The Toboggan of Death

The slide of death or Russian Mountains in Quebec ( Rollercoaster ) is a film American directed by James Goldstone and released in 1977 .


Harry Calder is a controller responsible for checking that amusement rides are working in amusement parks . When a fatal accident occurs on a roller coaster that he had recently inspected, he is questioned by the police. Convinced that it is not an accident, Calder travels to Chicago when he learns that the bosses of the five largest amusement park companies have decided to meet urgently at the Hyatt Regency. Together, they listen to a tape on which a man requires $ 1 million , otherwise other amusement parks will be targeted.

Technical sheet

  • French title: Le Toboggan de la mort
  • Quebec title: The Roller Coasters
  • Original title: Rollercoaster
  • Director: James Goldstone
  • Scenario: Richard Levinson and William Link
  • Production: Jennings Lang  (en)
  • Music: Lalo Schifrin
  • Photography: David M. Walsh
  • Editing: Edward A. Biery  (in) and Richard M. Sprague  (en)
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Language: English
  • Genre: disaster , thriller
  • Duration: 119 minutes
  • Release dates:
    • United States :(first in New York ), (national release)
    • France :


  • George Segal (VF: Dominique Paturel ) : Harry Calder
  • Richard Widmark (VF: Marc Cassot ) : Agent Hoyt
  • Timothy Bottoms (VF: Roger Crouzet ) : The young man
  • Henry Fonda (VF: François Chaumette ) : Simon Davenport, Harry’s boss
  • Harry Guardino (VF: Jacques Richard ) : Keefer
  • Susan Strasberg (VF: Sylvie Feit ) : Harry’s ex-wife, Fran
  • Helen Hunt (SV: Séverine Ziegler ) : Tracy Calder, Harry’s daughter
  • Dorothy Tristan  (from : Marion Loran ) : Helen
  • Harry Davis (VF: Henri Labussière ) : Benny Neilson
  • Stephen Pearlman (VF: René Bériard ) : Bert Lyons
  • GF Rowe ( Francis Lax ) : Wayne Moore
  • Wayne Tippit : Christie, the captain of the police
  • Michael Bell (VF: Jean-Pierre Moulin ) : Chuck Demerest
  • William Prince (VF: George Riquier ) : Quinlan
  • Richard Altman : Mandell
  • Gloria Calomee (VF: Maïk Darah ) : Jackie
  • Monica Lewis : the tourist mother
  • Dick Wesson : the tourist father
  • Ava Readdy : the hippie
  • Craig Wasson : the hippie
  • Joe George : a guard
  • Steve Guttenberg : the messenger (uncredited)
  • The Sparks : themselves (uncredited)


The film was shot in part at Kings Dominion , an amusement park near Richmond, Virginia , and at Ocean View Park, another Virginia park. A roller coaster marathon was organized in 1977 on the Kings Dominion Rebel Yell (which appears in the film) to promote the release of the film. Three of the participants in this marathon decided to form an association, the American Coaster Enthusiasts , bringing together lovers of roller coasters 1 .

The rollercoaster of the film climax is the Revolution at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California , opened in 1976 . They were the first roller coasters to feature a 360- degree vertical loop .

This is the third film to use the Sensurround recording process , after Earthquake ( 1974 ) and The Battle of Midway ( 1976 ). It will then be used only for the pilot of the Galactica television series , broadcast in theaters under the name of Galactica, the Battle of Space .

Craig Wasson finds his first role here, that of a hippie at the amusement park, seven years before having the main role in Body Double of Brian De Palma in 1984 . This is also the first role of Steve Guttenberg who interprets the young man who apologizes for bringing late the plans of the Revolution . Finally, Tracy Calder, Harry ‘s daughter, is played by the 14 – year – old Helen Hunt, who will later receive the Academy Award for Best Actress .

The group of Sparks makes an appearance, three years after the unfinished project of the film Confusion of Jacques Tati in which they had to take a role 2 . In The Toboggan of Death , they perform on stage at Six Flags Magic Mountain Park, where the opening of the new roller coaster, Revolution , is celebrated on Independence Day . They interpret in playback songs Big Boy and Fill’er Up their album Big Beat . The applause and the general sound were integrated into the final mix. You can seeRon Mael smashing a stool on the floor 3 .

One of the first interactive films was Rollercoaster written in BASIC for Apple II by David Lubar on behalf of David H. Ahl , the publisher of Creative Computing magazine. It is a text- based adventure game that can communicate with a Laserdisc player to launch a few seconds of the movie The Death Slider, illustrating the action taken by the player. The goal is to prevent your friends embark on a roller coaster before they are destroyed 4 ., accompanied by an article by David Lubar detailing his design, an article by David H. Ahl stating that Rollercoaster is the first hybrid “film / video game”, and other articles specifying the material required in order to play it .


  1. ↑ ” How did ACE come to be?  ”  [ Archive ] , on (accessed on st September 2017 )
  2. ↑ ” Sparks and movie Confusion Jacques Tati ”  [ archive ] , on (accessed on st September 2017 )
  3. ↑ ” Sparks and The death slide ”  [ archive ] , on (accessed on st September 2017 )
  4. ↑ Creative Computing  [ archive ] on The Secret Guide to Computers  [ archive ]
  5. ↑ ” Creative Computing Vol. 8 No. 1 – January 1982 ”  [ archive ] , on (accessed on st September 2017 )

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