Earthquake (1974)


“Earthquakes bring out the worst in some people. ” – Sgt. Lew Slade

Number of Times Seen – 2 (6 Feb 2013 and 5 Sep 2018)

Brief Synopsis – After a devastating earthquake hits Los Angeles, the people living there must try and find a way to survive.

My Take on it – This film is known as one of the best made disaster films of the 70’s and like most of them has a star studded cast to help us keep track of who is who.

Charlton Heston is fun in the lead even if his character is hard to sympathize with.

The rest of the characters shown also aren’t that memorable and it’s a bit hard to actually care what happens to most of them.

Some of the various storylines presented are played out in a very dramatic fashion which makes them more laughable than poignant.

The various stories feel a bit too random and the way that they have them interconnect throughout the story doesn’t always work very well, yet it still is fun to see how they chose to connect each and every one of them.

The overall story itself isn’t that great yet they do manage to show how disastrous and destructive an earthquake can be.

This film won a Special achievement Oscar for Special effects and compared to many of the films of the early 70’s, it really is a step above the rest.

The problem is that some of the effects when compared to today’s standards seem a bit laughable.

Bottom Line – Very generic yet star studded 70’s disaster film. The characters aren’t interesting enough to really care about and they overplay the drama in some of the storylines. Heston is fine in the lead yet it’s quite hard to sympathize with his character also. The way that they have some of the stories interconnect is fun to watch because they are seemingly done quite randomly.  The story itself isn’t great yet it does manage to show how destructive and devastating an earthquake could possibly be.  The special effects were great for its day and compared to others films of the early 70’s, there is no question that they deserved their Special achievement Oscar for the various effects shown, yet some of them look quite laughable after 44 years.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The producer, Jennings Lang, offered a cameo role to his friend Walter Matthau, which Matthau accepted without compensation, on the condition that he be billed under his “real name” (which it’s not), “Walter Matuschanskyasky”. Matthau’s role was originally scripted as “a drunk sits at the end of the bar”, which was expanded by writer George Fox, giving the character lines of dialogue (involving toasts to celebrities). When the film was completed, as agreed by Lang and Matthau, “The Drunk” was credited as “Walter Matuschanskayasky”. This lead to a long-standing, but false, rumor that “Matuschanskayasky” was Matthau’s real name. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “Earthquake (1974)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1974 |

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