6.2/10
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83 user 50 critic

Rollercoaster (1977)

PG | | Action, Crime, Drama | 17 June 1977 (USA)
A blackmailer threatens to sabotage roller coasters at various American amusement parks if he isn't paid a huge ransom.

Director:

James Goldstone

Writers:

Sanford Sheldon (story), Richard Levinson (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Segal ... Harry Calder
Richard Widmark ... Hoyt
Timothy Bottoms ... Young Man
Henry Fonda ... Simon Davenport
Harry Guardino ... Keefer
Susan Strasberg ... Fran
Helen Hunt ... Tracy Calder
Dorothy Tristan ... Helen
Harry Davis Harry Davis ... Benny
Stephen Pearlman ... Lyons
G.F. Rowe G.F. Rowe ... Wayne Moore (as Gerald Rowe)
Wayne Tippit ... Christie
Michael Bell ... Demerest
Charlie Tuna Charlie Tuna ... Rock Concert M.C.
Lonny Stevens Lonny Stevens ... Federal Agent #1
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Storyline

The plot is about a guile young terrorist who is able to blackmail a series of companies by placing home-made radio controlled bombs within the central attraction of amusement parks; roller coasters. The young man played by Timothy Bottoms gives a hard time to the cops after they give him UV marked money. He then wants revenge and places a bomb in a roller coaster at the most important amusement park event of the year. Written by Nebiros <nebiros@informador.com.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ride it...in Sensurround See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Achterbahn See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Sensurround | Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director James Goldstone once said of this movie: "but this is a suspense film not a disaster film. It is in the classic Alfred Hitchcock and Carol Reed tradition, in which the criminal challenges the police, and a surrogate, an innocent man, is drawn into the maelstrom." See more »

Goofs

During the catastrophic accident in the beginning of the movie, most of the people in the roller coaster cars are obviously dummies. See more »

Quotes

[speaking to each other over walkie-talkies]
Young Man: First, Harry, I think I should tell you about the bomb. Would you like to know where it is?
Harry Calder: Sure!
Young Man: You're holding it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

This film was generally released uncut in cinemas and later in the 1980s on VHS. However, at the end of the 1980s/the beginning of the 1990s, a few seconds were removed from the ending of the film (bodies lying on the floor, a one second close-up of the young man's face, bloody and with his eyes open). This version was used worldwide for subsequent TV airings, VHS re-release and then DVDs. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Backstory: The Poseidon Adventure (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Hello! Ma Baby
(uncredited)
Written by Joseph E. Howard and Ida Emerson
[Singing Mushrooms in amusement park]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sure it made coasters scarier
18 December 2005 | by tsar65See all my reviews

This is probably my favorite childhood film having seen it 30 times at the theater during the summer of '77 (to put it in perspective I only saw Star Wars 12 times) and it still holds up very well. I'm sure part of that is the nostalgia factor as it seems to capture a time and place(s) pretty well, but there's a bit more to its appeal to me than that. It works because none of the characters are grossly exaggerated caricatures but everyday men with foibles like struggling to quit smoking. The Caulder character is identifiable because of his family and work failings while Bottom's soft-spoken psychopath (which probably would be portrayed as over the top if the movie were to be made now) is much more in tune with an understated realism that most contemporary madmen you see on screen today lack. While the Widmark character of Hoyt is a pretty much by the book portrayal of a federal dick, his sardonic exchanges with Segal lend an heir of authentic, yet begrudging mutual respect. That credit should go to the screenwriters. Henry Fonda's exchanges with Caulder are similar in their edge and that makes for an understanding of what Harry is up against in trying to stop the bomber. Susan Strasberg as Caulder's love interest is sympathetic, and very pretty, but isn't given much screen time outside of being a nanny for Caulder's daughter...a minor complaint to be sure.

After Roller-coaster came down from my long since demolished local three screen multiplex and had its initial HBO run it sadly all but seemed to disappear from my life, outside of an occasional run on late night TV during the eighties, but reappeared in 1998 when I stumbled upon a VHS copy from a company called GOODTIMES at a Tower Record store in Seattle. I was ecstatic. I still pull it off the shelf every once in awhile to remind myself that some of the minor films of the seventies that weren't appreciated in their day deserve another view.


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