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Smash-Up on Interstate 5 (1976)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 3 December 1976
When a massive crash involving 39 vehicles and 14 deaths takes place on the freeway, the story then goes back in time 43 hours where we learn in countdown time segments, what brought the victims there.


Eugene Price (teleplay), Robert Presnell Jr. (teleplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Conrad ... Sergeant Sam Marcum
Sian Barbara Allen ... Barbara Hutton
Buddy Ebsen ... Al Pearson
Herb Edelman ... Danny
David Groh ... Dale
Scott Jacoby ... Lee Bassett
Joe Kapp ... Officer Estevez
Sue Lyon ... Burnsey
Vera Miles ... Erica
Donna Mills ... Laureen
Harriet Nelson ... June Pearson
George O'Hanlon Jr. ... Pete
Terry Moore ... Trudy
Bonnie Ebsen ... Penny
Tommy Lee Jones ... Officer Hutton


A disaster movie opening with an enormous multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 5 in California. After the opening stunt-filled action, a flashback of the crash victims' lives prior to and leading up to the accident. The closing replays the entire "smash up" from various angles and in slow motion, depicting much carnage and indifference to the victims. Written by Brooke <soylent@ican.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


15 Lives Bound Forever in One Shattering Second ... The Most Awesome Automobile Accident Ever Filmed!




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The exact site of the smash up is on the westbound side of Interstate 210 in La Crescenta, California, approximately one mile before the Sunland Boulevard exit. The freeway was under construction during filming in 1976, and was not open from Lowell Avenue to Sunland Boulevard. Corvette Summer (1978) used this same section of Interstate 210 in that film's finale. See more »


For the entire film, Sgt. Marcam's CHP cruiser is a then-new 1976 Dodge Monaco (an intermediate sized car). For the crash sequence at the end of the film, his car changes into a much larger 1973 Dodge Polara (no doubt a budget consideration, as the car is wrecked). See more »


Barbara Hutton: Sam... Jimmy... Where's Jimmy?... Why isn't Jimmy here?..Somebody better tell me.
Sergeant Sam Marcum: Barbara there was a shooting incident. He was on his way here... There was a shooting incident.
Barbara Hutton: Shot?
Sergeant Sam Marcum: [Sergeant Marcum knods his head yes ever so slightly]
Barbara Hutton: He's dead. He was on his way over here.
[breaks down crying]
Barbara Hutton: Oh God! Oh God! He never got to see the baby. He's dead. He never even got to see the baby!
See more »

User Reviews

Time Clock
22 June 2008 | by Brando10See all my reviews

I was 7 when this was on TV and was so hyped by the commercials for it. My favorite thing was the time clock in the corner of the screen: 40 minutes to smashup, 30 minutes to smashup, 20 minutes to smashup, etc. Obviously trying to keep people tuned in. And it worked!! At least for a 7 year old kid. My 10

year old brother and I were on the edge of our seats, even tho we were sitting on the floor, our eyes glued to the screen. I was so excited by it waiting for the big smashup and was in heaven when it finally happened! Being kids we just wanted to see cars smashed, not concerned about anyones welfare. Awesome!

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Release Date:

3 December 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carambolages See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmways Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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