Wednesday, February 13, 2019

EARTHQUAKE - "Terremoto" (1974)

Tonight's earthshakin' Wednesday The 13th feature is a sub-genre of Horror and Science Fiction movies we haven't covered much around here, 
"The 70's One Word Title Disaster Movies!"
A few more examples are "Airport," "Meteor," "Avalanche," "Fire," and "Flood!"

"Earthquake" came out in 1974, and is a star-studded affair!

Between the title card and this plaque, I don't think there's any question what this movie is about!

"Earthquake" was filmed entirely in Los Angeles and Hollywood, California!

The incredible cast includes Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner as a dysfunctional married couple!

I'm pretty sure you all know that Charlton Heston was in "Touch Of Evil," "Planet Of The Apes," "The Omega Man," "Soylent Green" etc. etc. etc.

She was born on Christmas Eve, and at one time Ava Gardner was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood!!
This picture of her at 15 shows what a natural beauty she really was!

Another beauty in this movie is the stunning Geneviève Bujold who was in films like "Coma" and "Dead Ringers."

It ain't my fault I tell you!

George Kennedy plays the disillusioned police officer! George was in SO many western TV shows, and he was in all four versions of "Airport."

One of the oddest appearances in "Earthquake" is that of Walter Mathau in a small non-speaking part as a drunk in a bar. To top it all off, he's credited as Walter Matuschanskayasky!
What the heck!?

Lorne Greene of "Bonanza" is also in there as Charlton Heston's boss and Father-in-law, and Ava Gardner's Father. Pretty weird since in real life, Lorne was only seven years older than Ava!

Don't forget about Barry ("Pyro...The Thing Without A Face," "Planet Of The Vampires,") Sullivan as Stockle.

Nope, not done yet! This fantastic trio is Gabriel Dell, Victoria Principal, and Richard Roundtree!
Gabriel Dell was one of the original Dead End Kids, and then went on to have adult roles in The Bowery Boys movies!
 I read that Gabriel and Huntz Hall formed a nightclub partnership in 1950 that resulted in the breakup of both men's marriages. Gabriel's wife and Mrs. Hall jointly divorced them on the same day in 1953, citing that the guy's act was an alienating factor for both of them! 
Wow! Now that's a real bromance!
If for nothing else, Miss Miami 1969, Victoria Principal will always be remembered for nine years and 251 episodes of "Dallas" as Pamela Barnes Ewing! 
And last but definitely not least, Richard Roundtree IS "Shaft," and will be John Shaft again in 2019, when the new "Shaft" movie comes out!

The weirdest role in the cast goes to Marjoe Gortner who at one time held the title as the "World's Youngest Ordained Minister." He was only four years old at the time!

So all those people interact as The City Of Angels crumbles and goes up in flames!

This shot of falling debris looks like a cool abstract painting!

Looks like footage from a Godzilla movie!!

I didn't realize there were so many ways to say


Randall Landers said...

These one-word title disaster flicks with the multitude of aging actors are always bad enough to be entertaining! My favorite is this one, but they're all up there with Sharknado as far as it goes.

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Secret Squirrel said...

True story... back when Earthquake was doing the rounds of the regional theatres here in Australia, some stupid teenager got bored and decided to climb around the cinema from the higher points (presumably he was going to scare people or something). When the earthquake "sensurround" sequence came on screen (it featured very low frequency rumbling and incredibly loud noises of destruction) he lost his footing and fell down in front of the screen with the audience thinking it was just part of the special effects. He laid there injured until the movie finished and the lights came on.

cheers from Oz!

EEGAH!! said...

Great story Paul! Sounds like something Tabonga would have done when we were in high school!

Grant said...

I've never known the Bowery Boys and the Dead End Kids too well, so my favorite Gabrielle Dell role is when he played a transvestite in an early BARNEY MILLER episode (they avoided the cliches by making him a tough-looking blue collar worker who was also completely straight - which you might not expect an earlier sitcom to do).

Joan Rivers once made a joke about the Emmy Awards - "I think Tom Selleck should win Best Actor for MAGNUM, and his swimsuit should win Best Supporting."
Somehow Victoria Principal's tank top in this movie makes me think of that joke.

EEGAH!! said...

Good One Grant!!

KD said...

The "Sensurround" effect, after a few "rumbles" during the movie, became easy to predict (thus telegraphing the earthquake scenes) due to the huge bass speakers being activated seconds before the "rumbling" low frequencies kicked in. So after a few "quake" scenes, we heard the quiet "bzzt" sound, and knew the "Sensurround" rumble was coming. Kinda spoiled the effect for us in that old movie palace in Pittsburgh, PA!

Lawson Desrochers said...

I, too, saw it with my dad in "Sensurround" at the Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood right when it came out. As a six year old, I found it quite a hoot. I wasn't sure if they ever re-hashed the gimmick, but a quick internet search and I found out that Sensurround was only used three more times, on Midway (1976), Rollercoaster (1977), and Battlestar Galactica (1978).

EEGAH!! said...

Good info Lawson! Thanx!

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