American based Federation World Airlines has just acquired a Concorde jet, which will make its inaugural commercial flight from Washington, D.C. to Paris, and then to Moscow as a goodwill ... See full summary »
Construction Engineer Stuart Graff is estranged from his jealously possessive wife, Remy, and has an affair with Denise Marshall, the widow of a co-worker. Meanwhile, Remy tries to persuade her father, Sam Royce, who is Stuart's employer, to use his influence to stop Stuart from seeing Denise. Rogue policeman Lew Slade is suspended from the L.A.P.D. for having punched an obtuse officer from another jurisdiction. Embittered, Slade contemplates quitting the police force. Jody, a perverted grocery store manager, lusts after Rosa Amici, sister of Sal, the assistant to Miles Quade, an aspiring daredevil motor cyclist. The lives of all these people are devastated when a major earthquake rips through Los Angeles and reduces the city to ruins.Written by
Kevin McCorry <email@example.com>
M.G.M. showgirl Beth Renner was Ava Gardner's double in "Earthquake". See more »
In the earthquake scene when Walter Matthew drinks at the bar unfazed, the bartender reacts and screams in pain before a large shard of glass drops from above near him. See more »
This is a precautionary evacuation. We repeat. There is no present danger of the dam collapsing. Move to high ground west of Highland Avenue and north of Franklin. It is a precautionary evacuation. We repeat. This is a precautionary evacuation.
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For the initial network television showing broadcast on NBC in September 1976, additional footage was shot to lengthen the film in order to show it over two nights. The most extensive segment of new footage is a subplot of a newlywed couple (Debralee Scott and Sam Chew Jr.) on a flight to Los Angleles so the husband can interview for a job with Stuart Graff (Charlton Heston). The plane tries to land as the earthquake hits, but the pilots are able to regain control and fly away before the runway breaks up. Other significant segments are new scenes with Jody (Marjoe Gortner) and Rosa (Victoria Principal), which establish Jody's obsession with Rosa, as well as one short scene in a pawn shop with Buck (Jesse Vint) and Hank (Michael Richardson), who play Marjoe's roommates in the theatrical version. Contrary to popular belief, these additional scenes were *not* "leftover" footage from the original 1974 theatrical release. Rather, the footage was filmed almost two years later by NBC to expand the film. These additional scenes were shot without the original director Mark Robson, who opted out, (in fact, he loathed the additional scenes), but they were shot with Universal's approval. In addition, two deleted scenes originally shot for the theatrical release were re-inserted into the television version, including a narrative opening about the San Andreas Fault, as well as a scene of Rosa brushing off a guy (Reb Brown) trying to give her a ride on his motorcycle. Incidentally, the version frequently running on the American cable channel "American Movie Classics" is the television version, and not the original theatrical version. See more »
Remy (Ava Gardner) and Stuart Graff (Charlton Heston)'s marriage is falling apart. She ODs once again after another fight. During a small earthquake, she jumps up and reveals that she's faking. He's a construction engineer working for his father-in-law Sam Royce (Lorne Greene). He starts an affair with the widow of his friend and single mom Denise Marshall (Geneviève Bujold). There is a mysterious drowning at a local dam and other disturbing signs. LAPD cop Lou Slade (George Kennedy) gets suspended for punching a clueless county cop. Miles (Richard Roundtree) is a motorcycle rider perfecting a new stunt. Grad student Russell predicts the big one in 48 hours.
Walter Matthau's getup is hilarious. That bar is a weird place and that T-shirt is super fine. I like that group of characters. They're a little off-beat and slightly fun. I care a lot less about the affair and the jealousy within the Graff marriage. They could drop into the earth for all I care. The earthquake action is as much as can be expected with shaking cameras, miniatures, falling styrofoam and other stuntwork. This is good special effects for its times and satisfies the need for destruction. It's nowhere near as visually compelling as CGI but it feeds the same animal instincts. There is a good 15 minutes of continuous destruction. The aftermath is a mix of good rescue scenarios and bad melodrama.
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