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The Swarm (1978)

PG | | Horror, Thriller | 14 July 1978 (USA)
A huge swarm of deadly African bees spreads terror over American cities by killing thousands of people.

Director:

Irwin Allen

Writers:

Arthur Herzog III (novel) (as Arthur Herzog), Stirling Silliphant (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Brad Crane
Katharine Ross ... Captain Helena Anderson
Richard Widmark ... General Slater
Richard Chamberlain ... Dr. Hubbard
Olivia de Havilland ... Maureen Schuester
Ben Johnson ... Felix
Lee Grant ... Anne MacGregor
José Ferrer ... Dr. Andrews (as Jose Ferrer)
Patty Duke ... Rita (as Patty Duke Astin)
Slim Pickens ... Jud Hawkins
Bradford Dillman ... Major Baker
Fred MacMurray ... Mayor Clarence
Henry Fonda ... Dr. Walter Krim
Cameron Mitchell ... General Thompson
Christian Juttner ... Paul Durant
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Storyline

Killer bees from South America have been breeding with the gentler bees of more northern climes, slowly extending their territory northward decade after decade. Entomologist Brad Crane has discovered that something is making them come together in huge, killer swarms. He wants to keep the General Slater from using military tactics from further upsetting the balance of nature as they join to try to stop the swarms from approaching Houston. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...is here! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 July 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der tödliche Schwarm See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$10,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

José Ferrer appeared in this film, as the director of a nuclear power plant, as a favor to Irwin Allen. Ferrer did his scenes all in one morning, by just walking across the Warner Bros. lot from the soundstage, where he was filming The Amazing Captain Nemo (1978), a CBS mini-series that he was also making for Allen. See more »

Goofs

Helena says they saw dead bee-covered soldiers outside, but no dead soldiers were in evidence earlier when the recon team enter the missile base. See more »

Quotes

[as helicopters drop special sound-emitting floats to attract the swarm to its doom]
Helena: Won't the noise of the helicopters drown out your sound?
Brad Crane: No. It's an entirely different sonic level.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Disclaimer in closing credits: The African killer bee portrayed in this film bears absolutely no relationship to the industrious hard-working American honey bee to which we are indebted for pollinating vital crops that feed our nation. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hot Honey (1978) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The Swarm buzzes along too slowly
23 August 2017 | by Takeshi-KSee all my reviews

This was the last of the disaster films produced by crowd panic expert Irwin Allen, his most famous being The Towering Inferno. When I was watching this again recently I realized the plot was almost identical to Outbreak, the mid nineties disaster film centered around disease control experts dealing with much the same issue; namely how do you contain the risk to public health while gun ho military nuts want to just nuke everything instead? In the end this film splits the difference. I do like how it points out how keenly important bees are to human existence.

The acting is good. Michael Caine is his usual gravelly best, while Katherine Ross is the one weak point although to be fair, she didn't have much of a role to work with. Her character should have been the moral force fighting against military insanity. This subplot is handled by Caine's character. I wonder if his agent forced a change there. Either way it renders Ross' character into being just the walk on love interest, although admittedly this was made in the seventies so what else do you expect for that time period. Speaking of which the swarm of African bees eventually start being called "The Africans" continually. The Africans are coming to get us etc. A tad uncomfortable to hear. Owing to the time it was made too, its pace may be slower for today's taste.

It also includes notable aging stars; Slim Pickens (the yahooing nutcase riding the bomb down in Dr. Strangelove), Henry Ford, Jose Ferrer, Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain and legendary centarian Olivia de Havilland.


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