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The Swarm (1978)

PG | | Horror, Thriller | 14 July 1978 (USA)
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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)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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In trying to prevent a killer bee attack, a scientist looks for a better solution to the problem than the one the U.S. military has engaged.

Director: Ash Bolland
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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:

Monsters by the millions - and they're all for real! 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

One of Sir Michael Caine's notorious "paycheck movies" alongside Ashanti (1979), Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), Jaws: The Revenge (1987), The Island (1980), The Hand (1981), and Blame It on Rio (1984). See more »

Goofs

When the train crashes off the railway track, a carriage explodes. Whether the locomotive was powered by electricity or diesel, the passenger carriages would have carried no fuel and would not have exploded. Although since only one carriage car exploded and spread fire to the rest, it could be conceivable (although unlikely) this was a dining car and contained bottled gas. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Krim: They're more virulent than the Australian Brown-Box Jellyfish!
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 The Cinema Snob: The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Below average catastrophe movie, badly produced and directed by Irwin Allen
20 May 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Lousy catastrophe movie by usual Irwin Allen with ordinary big actors and embarrassing filmmaking. Michael Caine plays a scientist fends off a swarm along with Katharine Ross . It is a swarm of killer bees causing death, destruction and wreak havoc. While the military high staff : Richard Widmark, Bradford Dillman, Cameron Mitchell attempt to take extreme measures. Later on, the feared swarm attacking Houston . Monsters by the millions - and they're all for real! This is more than a movie. It's a prediction! The most terrifying thing about THE SWARM is that it is based on Fact: It exists. Fact: It has awesome destructive power. Fact: We don't know how to stop it. It is more than speculation... it is a prediction! ...is here!

Low-brow insect movie with absurd script, primitive effects and average acting. This is a failed and boring catastrophe movie that even a wasted all-star cast cannot save .Disastrous catastrophe movie in which lacks characterization , being an immense bore . Silly screenplay by the prestigious Stirling Silliphant who was presumably well paid . Ridiculous and absurd FX, in fact the bees are really just black spots painted on the movie . This formula intrigue movie belongs to catastrophe genre of the 70s , being the undisputed king , ¨The towering inferno¨ along with ¨Earthquake¨ , ¨Two minutes warning¨ and many others ; this formula disaster movie was widely developed by Irwin Allen , previously winner of numerous Oscars for ¨Poseidon¨ until the failures as ¨Beyond Poseidon¨, ¨Swarm¨ and ¨When the time ran out¨ , retitled ¨Earth's final fury¨ . Filmed at the height of the disaster genre from the 7os , this entry in the spectacular series profits of an all-star though really wasted and a suspenseful final that takes place at the ocean . It is really a B movie on bees, but it is still better than "The Bees" film. However, the main and support cast are very good but extremely wasted, giving mediocre performances such as : Michael Caine Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain, Henry Fonda, Ben Johnson, Olivia De Havilland, Fred McMurray , Patty Duke Astin , Slim Pickens , Bradford Dillman , Alejandro Rey , Don 'Red' Barry and many others.

Atmospheric photography in Panavision by Fred J. Koenekamp . Intriguing and thrilling score by Jerry Goldsmith in his usual style . This big-budgeted disaster movie was badly directed by Irwin Allen ; this was his big flop . It was the ¨Swam Sing¨ by Irwin Allen, a great producer and director that financed several disaster movies . Rating : 3.5/10 . Inferior disaster movie and bottom of barrel.


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