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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During the earthquake scene at the bar, a man dressed in yellow t-shirt and jeans is killed by falling debris from the roof, later, the same man appears being crushed between a wall and the pool table. See more »
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 »
In 1974 I was 29 years old when I first saw this movie. At the time I didn't question the suitability of the lead stars as I had grown up with them appearing in other films. Considering all the various genre of films I had seen up to that time, I must confess that it didn't seem a bad effort at that point in time. I grew up with various westerns and others and one film in particular I remember well is the classic "King Kong".
Critics who knock this film must remember that 1974 was a transitional period where techniques were still being learned. Without the benefit of computers, I might add. When you have grown up with computer wizardry, that is, since the start of the seventies, it it far easier to find fault than to see the merit in what these people achieved.
However, with the passage of time, one realizes the major fault with this film was the poor casting. This should not detract from the efforts of the special effects people. They have led the way and shown the young people coming along what can be done with skill and imagination. 3/10 for casting, 6/10 for special effects.
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