6.3/10
5,499
90 user 53 critic

Rollercoaster (1977)

PG | | Action, Crime, Drama | 17 June 1977 (USA)
Trailer
1:25 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A crazed sniper is set to kill spectators at an L.A. Coliseum football championship game and the police races against time to eliminate him.

Director: Larry Peerce
Stars: Charlton Heston, John Cassavetes, Martin Balsam
Earthquake (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Various interconnected people struggle to survive when an earthquake of unimaginable magnitude hits Los Angeles, California.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy
Airport 1975 (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A 747 in flight collides with a small plane, and is rendered pilotless. Somehow the control tower must get a pilot aboard so the jet can land.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Charlton Heston, Karen Black, George Kennedy
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A supersonic airborne disaster. In order to survive a flight headed for the Moscow Olympics, passengers of the Concorde must endure aerial acrobatics to dodge missiles and survive a device that decompresses the plane.

Director: David Lowell Rich
Stars: Alain Delon, Susan Blakely, Robert Wagner
Airport (1970)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved.

Directors: George Seaton, Henry Hathaway
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, George Kennedy
Airport '77 (1977)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Art thieves hijack a 747, hit fog and crash into the ocean, trapping them and the passengers under one hundred feet of water.

Director: Jerry Jameson
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant, Joseph Cotten
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A film that chronicles the events of the Hindenburg disaster in which a zeppelin burst into flames.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: George C. Scott, Anne Bancroft, William Atherton
Rollercoaster (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In pursuit of fantasy, five teenagers hop the fence of a now defunct amusement park. While apparently a mindless diversion, for two of them the park is the setting for a more fatal bid at escape.

Director: Scott Smith
Stars: Brendan Fletcher, Kett Turton, Crystal Bublé
Black Sunday (1977)
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Black Sunday is the powerful story of a Black September terrorist group attempting to blow up a Goodyear blimp hovering over the Super Bowl stadium with 80,000 people and the president of the United States in attendance.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Robert Shaw, Bruce Dern, Marthe Keller
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

At the opening party of a colossal, but poorly constructed, office building, a massive fire breaks out that threatens to destroy the tower and everyone in it.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Nine people explore a cruise ship at sea in a manner that turns their whole lives upside down.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters
Skyjacked (1972)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A crazed Vietnam vet bomber hijacks a Boeing 707 in this disaster film filled with the usual early '70s stereotypes, and demands to be taken to Russia.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Charlton Heston, James Brolin, Yvette Mimieux
Edit

Storyline

When a roller coaster in California goes off its track, killing several people, safety inspector Harry Calder, who had recently inspected the coaster, is assigned to investigate. After another amusement park suffers a suspicious fire, Calder uncovers a blackmail plot by a psychopathic terrorist. The terrorist seems to know everything Calder and the FBI say and do, and insists that Calder deliver the blackmail money personally at an amusement park in Virginia. After running Calder all over the park, the money drop is made and the terrorist gets away, but he discovers that the FBI had marked the money, making it useless to him. He plots to get revenge by blowing up a giant new roller coaster on its opening day, and it's up to Calder to stop him. Written by Mark Walker

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Somewhere in the crowd is a killer who can turn smiles into screams. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

First film where real location sound effects were recorded in Sensurround. The July and August 1977 edition of Movie News Magazine (Australia) reported, "a separate Senssurround sound crew was on hand throughout location filming, recording on prototype equipment designed for extremely low and high frequencies to give the film a dramatically realistic multiple-perspective sound." See more »

Goofs

During the last ride of the Revolution roller coaster, the police chase after the young man. The chase is much longer than the actual roller coaster ride time. See more »

Quotes

Young Man: If they pay me and if they do what I say, I'll never bother them again.
Harry Calder: Are you sure? Maybe you enjoy it.
Young Man: Wrong psychological profile, Harry. I'm not in this for kicks.
Harry Calder: Oh yeah, right, it's only the money. You're a businessman. And in a corrupt society, you're no worse than anybody else. We all cheat on our taxes, Detroit makes defective cars.
Young Man: I'm not enjoying this conversation, Harry.
Harry Calder: Then get yourself another messenger boy.
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 Boom! Hollywood's Greatest Disaster Movies (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
Roller-coaster (James Goldstone, 1977) **1/2
25 April 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I'd watched this thriller/disaster movie on Italian TV as a kid; I was looking forward to re-acquainting myself with it via the Universal DVD, as part of my ongoing Richard Widmark tribute – but, unfortunately, the viewing was plagued by multiple freezing and jumps (beginning at the 47-minute mark and recurring every quarter of an hour or so thereafter!).

Despite some pacing problems which render the film a tad overlong, Roller-coaster is entertaining and fairly solid as these things go: once again, the casting sees a star in every major role. George Segal is the safety officer hero (his intelligence concealed by an essentially bemused countenance, he's ideal for playing the slightly neurotic common man suddenly thrust in the midst of a precarious situation), Timothy Bottoms the young extortionist/bomber (whose targets are various amusement parks across the U.S.), and Widmark plays the veteran F.B.I. agent out to get him (he also shares a typically antagonistic relationship with Segal). Henry Fonda appears as the hero's cantankerous boss (though featured in many of these films, his roles were always brief and basically thankless), Susan Strasberg as Segal's current girlfriend, Harry Guardino a local cop (curiously enough, he had appeared with both Widmark and Fonda in MADIGAN [1968], another policier but much classier). By the way, Segal's daughter here is played by a very young Helen Hunt!

Another interesting connection to an earlier thriller featuring a member of the film's cast is NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY (1968) with Segal; in both titles, the hero is contacted by the killer prior to making his moves (with this in mind, Bottoms' clean-cut appearance lends the latter a chilling quality – though the characterization, in itself, is fairly limited). Incidentally, the film is more concerned with the chase for the killer (generating reasonable suspense towards the end – especially in the way he determines to plant another bomb on an inaugural roller-coaster ride after his initial gizmo is detected) rather than depicting his mayhem; in fact, there's only one major disaster sequence early on (but it's an undeniably spectacular one)! I should mention, at this point, Lalo Schifrin's rather schizophrenic music – the carousel jingle is quite effective, but the scoring of the suspense sequences is gratingly monotonous!

P.S. Director Goldstone followed this with another star-studded epic – WHEN TIME RAN OUT… (1980), about an erupting volcano – which, however, was a notorious production that brought the disaster movie cycle to a lamentable conclusion. I wouldn't mind revisiting it at this stage, though


6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 90 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rollercoaster See more »

Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed