Earthquake - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Earthquake Reviews

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½ January 13, 2017
Even the first ever massive disaster movie is a disaster.
December 27, 2016
Entertaining disaster movie that doesn't shy away from the impact of the event. Aside from Ava Gardner laughingly cast as Lorne Greene's daughter, this is full on thrills and spills once you get past the drama.
June 7, 2016
Love the theatrical drama of these 1970's disaster movies!!
May 16, 2016
The cast is top-notch, and there are plenty of great effects and tense moments- but the story is awful. Straight from the beginning, the acting comes forced and the characters are sat up too soon. Most of the story elements and drama are lost once the quake hit an hour in, but otherwise there isn't much resolution or memorability.
½ February 12, 2016
As Hollywood blockbusters from the 1970s go, this one has disaster written all over it and for all the wrong reasons. It is bloody awful....toe curlingly so in places. There's so much wrong here from the acting to the script to the plot to the direction. There's a dreadful piece of miscasting where we are supposed to believe that Ava Gardener is Lorne Greene's daughter. Greene would have been 7 years old when he supposedly sired Ms Gardner and no make-up artist could ever disguise the fact. We also have to put up with a pre-Dallas Victoria Principal sporting a dreadful nylon afro wig as a highly unlikely street-wise moll, held captive by a lunatic soldier. We also have the bizarrely unnecessary character of a drunk played by Walter Matthau who pops up in nasty 1970s fashions and is given precisely nothing to do. The derisery script made me howl with laughter with corny lines like "Do you know who owns that hedge you just wrecked? I'm gonna tell you Slade. It's Zsa Zsa Gabor!" I really can't believe Mario Puzo wrote that one. It seems highly improbable that were Los Angeles levelled by a major tremor that the roads would remain so miraculously clear and able to carry traffic. It is also inconceivable that in the aftermath of a quake, the authorities would house the homeless and set up a makeshift hospital in the basement of an unstable tower block. The effects of the quake are quite well done but as the polystyrene rocks and cardboard girders rain down, there is little sense of peril or danger.
September 6, 2015
See this if you will for the cast but it's a dated bad disaster film with little other than the cast going for it.
June 27, 2015
By no means the best of the disaster genre from its golden age in the 70's but with plenty of good action, a solid cast, great score from John Williams, plenty of satisfying stunts and a bleaker outlook of what a disaster can do this mostly holds up even today.
May 25, 2015
Campy but quite entertaining disaster film co-written by Mario Puzo and directed by Mark Robson. As with most 70s disaster films, it's a star studded film with many stars of the past and present, including Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy, Lorne Greene, Geneviève Bujold, Richard Roundtree, Barry Sullivan, Victoria Principal, Donald Moffat, Walter Matthau (billed as Walter Matuschanskayasky) is comic cameo part as a drunk. As you might guess, an earthquake hits LA and the film follows a variety of characters ranging from a beat cop (Kennedy), a businessman (Heston) and his love triangle with is shrewish wife (Gardner) and actress girlfriend (Bujold), to my favorite character, an Evel Knievel-like Richard Roundtree who rides his motorcycle around for most all his part of the film. Honestly, this is a terrible film, but I did find myself entertained by it and was also quite surprised by the ending.
½ May 14, 2015
This film was recording in SENSESUROUND which meant that regardless of the movie you well to see at the multiplex, your seat shook and the dialog was drowned out by the rumbling. Better to watch on t.v. with the sound off while you are in another room.
March 29, 2015
just recently re-watched but doesn't hold up too well but when I was younger, I just loved the 'disaster trilogy' this one towering inferno & posiden adventure
March 22, 2015
A good old 1970's disaster romp. Its got great fashion, shoddy SFX and Victoria Principal in a brilliant wig. Love it.
February 6, 2015
Directed by Mark Robson (Von Ryan's Express (1965), Valley of the Dolls (1967) and Avalanche Express (1979)), and written by Mario Puzo (The Godfather (1972) and Superman (1978)), this disaster film was one in many that followed the successes of Airport (1970) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Hollywood wanted more and more disaster films, and while some were dodgy, this was a good one. In Los Angeles, one worker at the Mulholland Dam drowns after a routine inspection is interrupted by a violent tremor, which is picked up by the Californian Seismological Institute, which is ran by Dr. Willis Stockle (Barry Sullivan), who calls the National Guard and the Police to be on the safe side. However, that turns out not to be enough, as a massive earthquake, measuring 9.9 on the Richter Scale, destroys much of Los Angeles. Residents such as Stewart Graff (Charlton Heston), his wife Remy Royce-Graff (Ava Gardner), his boss and father in-law Sam Royce (Lorne Greene), police Sgt. Lou Slade (George Kennedy) and stuntman Miles Quade (Richard Roundtree) all have to survive. It's you're typical disaster movie fare, but the limited running time doesn't give it much room to breathe, or to develop the characters and their back stories of how they're thrown together in all this. But it doesn't seem to matter once the earthquake hits, as it looks absolutely brilliant on screen.
January 11, 2015
1970s Hollywood productions are defined by their large-scale disaster pics and 'Earthquake', sandwiched in-between Irwin Allen blockbusters 'The Poseidon Adventure' (December 1972) and 'The Towering Inferno' (December 1974), was one of the significant releases. It follows Allen's formula insofar as casting established and potential stars playing easily identifiable characters and the reliance on competent special effects and stunt teams (141 members; a record at the time). The film also utilised new audio technology, "Sensurround", so that audiences would feel as though they were literally in the middle of the action when the titular event and obligatory aftershocks occurred. Such a gimmick became redundant when the film is presented away from the big screen and this is where the weight of the film rests on Mario Puzo and George Fox's script. The characters here are a mixed bag; some are quite engaging (Geneviève Bujold as a single mother and actress) and others are too oddball to be completely accessible (Marjoe Gortner as a military personnel who makes ends meet as a store clerk). The central figures are a feuding couple played by a generally good Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner. The script was trimmed down so that their backstory is never fully explored and thereby the characters, particularly Gardner's emotionally unstable spoilt brat, fail to truly capture one's sympathy when their lives are threatened.

And of the titular natural disaster itself... The earthquake lasts for just under eight minutes and is a wonderfully shot and edited sequence. Genuinely thrilling with almost-always believable moments of carnage (sans the elevator shot), the film still holds up relatively well today, but will perhaps be most embraced by fans of the genre. Features Walter Matthau (beautifully credited as "Walter Matuschanskayasky") as a barfly and a spunky Victoria Principal sporting one of cinema's greatest afros.
December 19, 2014
The film is described as "an Event"
and my god is it but for some truly great reasons.
For example Lorne Greene plays Ava Gardners Father when in real life there was only a few years age difference between them!!!!!
Charlton Heston Impersonates a Plank of wood,and George Kennedy is at his oafish best.
The special effects arent too bad lots of screaming and messy deaths help and the final damburst is gripping.
but above all else its rubbish Dialogue,Brat Kids in Peril,characters who disappear for no explained reason and Pam From Dallas in a black wig and tight t shirt
if you dont laugh at certain points thru this then you have no pulse.
surley a remake is coming?
October 26, 2014
The earthquake effects were probably first rate at its time, with the same tendency to follow the same formula most disaster flicks use today, including going overboard. But what makes this particular disaster flick unique is that it managed to create rare terrifying moments of the quake awakening, and that the film is the most ridiculous of the genre for its own reasons. (B-)
½ October 24, 2014
One of those hokey disaster films from the 70s with an all-star cast. In this one a big earthquake levels Los Angeles, leaving cardboard and styrofoam debris everywhere.
½ September 20, 2014
Earthquake is yet another disaster film in the long line of 70's disaster films. My girlfriend is actually a big fan of this genre (along with killer animal and killer bug movies), so I'm made to watch a lot of these, and they're always entertaining. This one has another interesting cast, which includes Charlton Heston, Lorne Green, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy, Fred Williamson, and Marjoe Gortner. This one was kind of special because when it was released, it was released with a new process called Sensurround, which involved rumbling the seats of the auditorium in which it played. This actually allowed it to be nominated for an Oscar, which it won, shockingly. The movie rises to just below mediocre standards, but there's loads here to keep one interested if one is so inclined. It's not an overly terrible movie, but it is shockingly dated and pretty uneven tonally, mainly because of Marjoe Gortner's character. A pretty decent watch, overall.
July 14, 2014
A cheesy and fun all star disaster movie.
Super Reviewer
½ June 21, 2014
Decent disaster film, Earthquake continues the tradition of disaster films that became so popular during the early 70's, except now it's an earthquake that it's the disaster, and it is a film that is quite predictable in what the filmmakers try to do. The film has a good cast, but it never realizes anything truly entertaining, and quite frankly, of all the 70's era disaster films, Earthquake is among the weaker ones, With The Poseidon Adventure being the best of the genre. I really expected more out of the film, and though it was entertaining at times, the script's reliance on genre clichés really brought this one down a bit, and the performances were surprisingly average despite some very good talent attached to the project. This film might be enjoyed by fans of other disaster films of this period, but I've seen better overall and this one just doesn't end up being anything really good. Overall it's a decent affair that could have been much better. Earthquake doesn't break new ground in the genre; it does what every other disaster film has done, and it is fairly predictable. Don't go into this film expecting a truly entertaining film, this is no different than every other genre film, but the script suffers due to a lack of real tension, and the cast here just doesn't deliver anything that stands out among other genre films. I would recommend other films in the genre such as the one I stated earlier in this review. Earthquake could have been good fun, but it simply never really delivers anything truly entertaining, and overall the cast, despite having some good name here, are simply wasted on a lacking script. Earthquake isn't horrible, but it never is a good affair either. This is the type of film that you watch when you have nothing else to watch.
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