Earthquake (movie)

Earthquake ( Earthquake ) is a movie American directed by Mark Robson , released in 1974 . This is one of the first disaster films , the results of the box office allow the continuity of the film disaster. The plot tells the destruction of Los Angeles by severaldestructive earthquakes .

The film was directed by Mark Robson featuring Charlton Heston , Ava Gardner , George Kennedy , Lorne Greene , Genevieve Bujold , Richard Roundtree . On its first run, the theaters projecting this film used the Sensurround special effects device for the first time .


That morning, the people of Los Angeles believe that a day like the others begins. Stewart Graff, chief engineer of a construction company, has once again quarreled with his wife. Policeman Lew Slade and his deputy Chavez chase a driver. At the same moment, the earth begins to shake slightly. Two scientists, Dr. Willis Stockle and student Walter Russell, are convinced that this jolt is just the prelude to a much larger earthquake in the coming hours …

Technical sheet

  • Title: Earthquake
  • Original title: Earthquake
  • Director: Mark Robson
  • Scenario: George Fox and Mario Puzo
  • Production: Mark Robson
  • Production Company: Universal Pictures
  • Photography: Philip Lathrop
  • Music: John Williams
    • Additional music: This is so good by Henri Betti ( 1947 ).
  • Artistic direction: E. Preston Ames
  • Sets: Alexander Golitzen
  • Costumes: Burton Miller
  • Editing: Dorothy Spencer
  • Special Effects: Frank Bendel and Jack McCasters
  • Budget: $ 7 million (estimate)
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Language: English
  • Format: Technicolor colors – 2.35: 1 ratio Cinémascope
  • Genre: disaster , drama
  • Duration: 123 minutes
  • Release dates:
    •  United States :
    •  United Kingdom :
    •  France :
  • Exploited with the Sensurround process that sends in the room of very low frequencies (17 to 35 hertz to 110db), at the time of the tremors, by means of loudspeakers of very strong power. These “Universal” labeled equipment were installed under the screen and at the back of the room. Three other films: The Battle of Midway (1976), The Toboggan of Death (1977) and Galactica (1978), also used the effect “Sensurround”; but the noise it caused in neighboring rooms and buildings did not encourage the continued operation of the system, which was also very costly for the operators.


  • Charlton Heston (VF: Raymond Loyer ) : Architect Stewart Graff
  • Ava Gardner (VF: Paule Emanuele ) : Remy Royce-Graff, daughter of Sam and wife of Stewart
  • George Kennedy (VF: André Valmy ) : Sgt. Lew Slade, Police Officer
  • Lorne Greene (VF: Raoul Curet ) : Sam Royce, CEO of a construction company
  • Geneviève Bujold (VF: Brigitte Morisan ) : Denise Marshall, young actress, becomes Stewart’s mistress
  • Richard Roundtree (VF: Med Hondo ) : Miles Quade, amateur stuntman
  • Marjoe Gortner (VF: Jacques Ferriere ) : Jody Joad, trader then military reservist
  • Barry Sullivan (VF: Jacques Berthier )r . Willis Stockle, seismograph
  • Lloyd Nolan (VF: Jean-Henri Chambois )r . James Vance, MD
  • Victoria Principal (VF: Sylvie Feit ) : Rosa Amici, sexy young woman
  • Walter Matthau (VF: Jacques Hilling ) : The Drunkard
  • Monica Lewis (VF: Jeanine Freson ) : Barbara
  • Gabriel Dell (VF: Jacques Richard ) : Sam Amici, Rosa’s brother and partner of Miles
  • Pedro Armendáriz Jr. (VF: Bernard Murat ) : Officer Emilio Chavez
  • Lloyd Gough (VF: Daniel Bremont ) : Bill Cameron
  • John Randolph (VF: Jean Violette ) : Lewis, Mayor of Los Angeles
  • Kip Niven (VF: Georges Poujouly ) : Walter Russell
  • Scott Hylands (VF: Francis Lax ) : Max
  • Tiger Williams : Corry Marshall
  • Donald Moffat : r . Harvey Johnson
  • Jesse Vint (VF: Jacques Balutin ) : Buck
  • Alan Vint (VF: Sady Rebbot ) : Ralph
  • Lionel Johnston (VF: Bernard Murat ) : Hank
  • John Elerick (VF: François Leccia ) : Carl Leeds
  • John S. Ragin (VF: Jacques Dynam ) : The Los Angeles Police Chief
  • George Murdock : Colonel
  • Donald Mantooth : Sid
  • Michael Richardson : Sandy
  • Bob Cunningham (VF: Jean Lagache )r . Frank Adams
  • Gene Dynarski (VF: Raoul Delfosse ) : Fred
  • Bob Gravage (VF Michel Gatineau ) : Mr. Griggs
  • HB Haggerty (VF: Georges Atlas ) : a billiard player
  • Dave Morick (VF: Jacques Deschamps ) : a technician from LA
  • Joan Blair (VF: Monique Thierry ) : the cashier


Earthquake won two Oscars in 1975 .

  • Oscar for Best Sound : Ronald Pierce, Melvin Meldalfe Sr.
  • Oscar for the best visual effects : Frank Brendel, Glen Robinson, Albert Whitlock.

He was nominated for three other Oscars the same year.

  • Oscar for Best Artistic Direction : E. Preston James.
  • Oscar for Best Photography : Philip Lathrop.
  • Oscar for Best Editing : Dorothy Spencer.

Around the film

  • The filming took place from February 11 to May 9, 1974.
  • The film features interlacing passages. For example, Stewart’s SUV can be seen on a street before being overtaken by the thug chased by Sergeant Slade, giving way to a chase sequence. Later, as Miles Quade prepares to train on his motorcycle stunt, Corey goes on his bike admiring the circuit.
  • When the film was released at the Hollywood Theater in Hollywood in 1974, the bass sound of Sensurround was so heavy that pieces of plaster fell on the audience. It was necessary to install a safety net below the ornamentation in case of new damage. This news was announced in local newspapers at the time but some suspected that this event was just a rumor intended to give publicity to the film.
  • Ava Gardner did some of her stunts herself, especially in the scene where she has to avoid the concrete blocks and the heavy steel tubes falling from the skyscraper. [ref. necessary]
  • The swaying skyscraper was made by deformations of his reflection in a mirror.
  • The film Rosa looks at when the earthquake begins is The Man of the High Plains .
  • Ava Gardner , who plays the character’s daughter played by Lorne Greene , is actually only seven years younger than the actor.
  • A sequel, entitled Earthquake 2 , was planned but was never shot. It was to starring George Kennedy , Victoria Principal , Richard Roundtree and Gabriel Dell and the story was supposed to take place in San Francisco .
  • Walter Matthau has agreed to play a small role of drunkard in the film provided that he is registered in the credits under his real name, Walter Matuschanskyasky.
  • Earthquakes mysteriously hit the recording studio on the first and last days of filming. [ref. necessary]
  • In the original script, Charlton Heston was to come out alive from the final scene of the flood in the sewers. It was he who insisted to kill his character 1 .


The passage of the employee who is suspended from the beam will be reused in the episode Hell of Disco Quantum Code Series . Sam Beckett ( Scott Bakula ) finds himself in the shoes of the stuntman who performs acrobatics on the stage. The stunt girl making the first falling woman (brunette dressed in pink tailor) tells him in passing that they had already worked together on the waterfalls of the dining room in The Adventure of Poseidon . Upon seeing Lorne Greene on the edge of the pierced wall, Al Calavicci ( Dean Stockwell ) stares at him saying, “It’s Ben Cartwright! ” , A role that Greene held in the series Bonanza. Moreover the action of this episode takes place in 1976, which constitutes an anachronism, the film being released two years earlier.


When Sam Royce tries to catch the employee hanging from the beam, he holds out his right hand on the wide shot, while on the close-up that follows, he reaches out to the left.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Charlton Heston , In the Arena: An Autobiography , Harper Collins Publishers, 1997, p. 471-472.

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