6.6/10
4,416
55 user 40 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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ON DISC

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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 Mark Burns ... Hollingsworth
John Stride 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:

He feels the full fury of Juggernaut! [David Hemmings] See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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, 31 December 1974
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were grave concerns when filming commenced without Richard Harris. Harris was in New York City, and the crew had to schedule filming around him, with the producers worried that he wasn't going to turn up at all. See more »

Goofs

The scene where the Indian steward brings tea and toast to the children's and their mother's cabin (immediately after the pot of nails is knocked over in the corridor) he leaves immediately followed by the kids. Instantly outside, the steward is approaching from the far end of the corridor carrying a tray. See more »

Quotes

[Fallon is working to defuse one of the bombs, with Braddock copying his actions on another bomb, and Marder and his team in London making notes and offering advice]
Commander Marder: The reading on the left is some sort of trigger mechanism. On no account cut the red wire before isolating the relay contacts.
Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Fallon: I may be stupid, but I'm not *bloody* stupid.
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Connections

Referenced in Speed: Elevated Voltage (2018) 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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