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Earthquake Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jeff Shannon

The disaster-movie trend of the early and mid-1970s was starting to wear out its welcome when Earthquake was released in 1974. Itís another one of those enjoyably mindless all-star marathons, and the title tells you all you need to know about the plot. Charlton Heston offers his trademark brand of macho courage as the citizens of Los Angeles brace for the Big One--an earthquake that rattles the city to its crumbling foundation. It's got all the sophistication of a Love Boat episode, but the movie's momentum scores high marks (at least on the Richter scale), and the Oscar-winning sound design and special visual effects are still impressive, especially when you consider that advanced computer-graphics effects were still two decades in the future. Genevieve Bujold adds a touch of class to the all-star ensemble, and of course, what self-respecting disaster flick would be complete without a role for George Kennedy? In more ways than one, this cheesy movie rocks! (If you want to re-create the movie's original sound process known as "Sensurround," youíll just have to crank up the bass and subwoofer on your home theater system until plaster cracks and windows shatter!)

Academy Awards

Earthquake received Academy Awards for Sound (Ronald Pierce, Melvin Metcalfe, Sr.) and Special Achievement Awards (Frank Brendel - Visual Effects, Glen Robinson - Visual Effects, Albert Whitlock - Visual Effects). Earthquake also received Academy Awards nominations for Art Direction/Set Decoration (Alexander Golitzen - Art Direction, Preston Ames - Art Direction, Frank McKelvy - Set Decoration), Cinematography (Philip Lathrop), and Film Editing (Dorothy Spencer).

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"I find it shocking how they realsed this movie three years after the Sylmar earthquake that was devestating to the San Fernando valley in Febuary of 1971."

--Mona Sanchez

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Mark Robson

Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Genevieve Bujold, George Kennedy, Richard Roundtree, Victoria Princepal, Walter Matthau

Released: November 15, 1974

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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