4.5/10
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131 user 75 critic

The Swarm (1978)

PG | | Horror, Thriller | 14 July 1978 (USA)
Trailer
2:15 | Trailer
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)
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 climates, 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 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, Texas. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is more than a movie. It's a prediction! 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:

The Swarm See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)
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

Penultimate theatrical movie of Olivia de Havilland, The Fifth Musketeer (1979) was her last. The movie was also the penultimate cinema movie as a director for Irwin Allen, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) being his last as a director. See more »

Goofs

As Helena and Crane stroll during the train evacuation, scene changes from early evening to broad daylight. See more »

Quotes

Helicopter Pilot #2: Oh, my God! Bees! Bees! Millions of Bees!
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 »

Alternate Versions

DVD and laserdisc release includes 40 minutes of footage not included on the theatrical release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Meteor (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Reach for the Windex!
13 December 2003 | by bwaynefSee all my reviews

Whenever I bother to watch "The Swarm," I'm always tempted to get out the Windex and spray the TV screen until I remember those dark smudges are supposed to be killer bees, the star attraction of what proved to be disaster flick king Irwin Allen's last box-office hit (and a modest one at that). That's the number one problem with this movie. How can killer bees incite terror in the viewer when they only amount to a bunch of dots on the screen?

Since the "horror" has no sting, the only thing left to do is gawk at the movie stars. Give Allen credit. Even if he wasn't much of a director (this film marked his debut in that capacity), and was strictly a schlockmeister as a producer, he did what many others, including the producers of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," had tried and failed to do when he brought megastars Steve McQueen and Paul Newman together to headline "The Towering Inferno." The lineup for "The Swarm" doesn't have quite the same star power, but we do get Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, and Richard Widmark, as well as cameos by Henry Fonda and Fred MacMurray, along with the TV names that always round out these "all-star casts." If star watching doesn't keep you occupied, Allen's dreadful direction may keep you glued to your chair in bewilderment by his idea of style. My favorite scene is the first confrontation between bee expert Caine and short-tempered military man Widmark. While the two stars argue back and forth, the camera slowly circles the pair as if something very dramatic is taking place. It must be the worst staging of a scene since Ed Wood was grinding out another kind of B movie. But Wood's movies were more entertaining than "The Swarm," and although there are more unintended laughs to come, there not enough to combat the boredom.


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