6.5/10
4,788
59 user 46 critic

Juggernaut (1974)

A blackmailer demands a huge ransom in exchange for information on how to disarm the seven bombs he placed aboard the transatlantic liner Britannic.

Director:

Richard Lester

Writers:

Richard Alan Simmons (as Richard De Koker), Alan Plater (additional dialogue)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Harris ... Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Fallon
Omar Sharif ... Captain Alex Brunel
David Hemmings ... Charlie Braddock
Anthony Hopkins ... Supt. John McCleod
Shirley Knight ... Barbara Bannister
Ian Holm ... Nicholas Porter
Clifton James ... Corrigan
Roy Kinnear ... Social Director Curtain
Caroline Mortimer Caroline Mortimer ... Susan McCleod
Mark Burns ... Hollingsworth
John Stride ... Hughes
Freddie Jones ... Sidney Buckland
Julian Glover ... Commander Marder
Jack Watson ... Chief Engineer Mallicent
Roshan Seth ... Azad
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Storyline

Some unknown maniac is threatening a navigation company to blow up one of its luxury transatlantics, the "Britannic", now in high sea with one thousand two hundred passengers. He is asking for a five hundred thousand pound sterling ransom, otherwise the seven bombs aboard will explode. An experienced anti-bomb squad is sent to the "Britannic", but although all the bombs are located, a very high skill level will be necessary to dismantle them. Perhaps that task is impossible. Written by Luis Carvacho <lcarvach@lascar.puc.cl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His ship is at the mercy of Juggernaut! [Omar Sharif] See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Anthony Hopkins has said that he believes this movie is highly underrated. See more »

Goofs

the EOD team wouldn't have had to be parachuted onto the sea & then attempt to climb aboard the liner. they'd have been winced aboard from an overhead helicopter. See more »

Quotes

[the police have caught Juggernaut and he has tried to justify why he placed the bombs]
Hughes: And you think we should give way to people like that?
Nicholas Porter: You *make* people like that.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Final Voyage (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Played by a band when the Britannic is leaving port
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User Reviews

 
Taut, Suspenseful Thriller
3 January 2012 | by TheExpatriate700See all my reviews

Juggernaut is a well done action / disaster thriller which combines some good performances with great direction and scripting. An extortionist calling himself Juggernaut has planted several bombs aboard the ocean liner Britannic and is threatening to sink the liner in heavy seas if he is not paid off. The film follows an official from the cruise company, a naval bomb defuser, and London police officials as they attempt to prevent a catastrophe.

What sets Juggernaut apart from a thousand other 'mad bomber' films is that to a large extent it approaches the threat from an official, even technical perspective. Rather than a maverick cop chasing the psychopath around the ship, we get highly suspenseful scenes of professionals trying to defuse bombs. The film plays up the difficulty of defusing a booby-trapped bomb, taking it beyond the film cliché of simply cutting the right wire. The heroes have to get through a variety of hidden snares within the devices before they even get to the wires. Indeed, the sub-plot involving the cruise official serves to remind us that this is not just a 'technical exercise,' that there really are lives at stake.

Furthermore, the film does not succumb to the temptation to overplay its villain or make him a flamboyant maniac. Despite his code name serving as the title of the film, Juggernaut does not figure that prominently in the plot. When he does turn up, the performance is quite understated, particularly when compared to the head of the bomb squad. (Only Richard Harris would think that downing a bottle of scotch is good preparation for defusing a bomb.) Indeed, one can argue that the bombs themselves serve as the primary antagonist of the film with their fiendish designs.

The acting in the film is quite good overall, even if the characters aren't always that well fleshed out. Richard Harris does a good job as the film's overall protagonist, lending him a sense of mordant humor that keeps him from becoming a stale action hero. Omar Sharif also does a good job as the ship's captain, even though his character is largely one note.

Juggernaut does have some weak points. At times, the investigation back in London is given short shrift, so that it is difficult to follow. Furthermore, there are one or two scenes contrived for dramatic effect that take away from the film's realism. In particular, one scene where a young child gets access to a restricted area of the ship strains credibility. Still, the film definitely stands as a minor classic in its genre.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Juggernaut See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,400,000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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