- Rated: PG
- Run Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: May 9, 2006
- Originally Released: 1974
- Label: Universal Studios
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Note: This release also includes the original Theatrical Sensurround Audio.
- Packaging: Snap Case
- Single Side - Dual Layer
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 2.35
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - Spanish
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English
- Sensurround 3.1 - English
- Subtitles - English (SDH), French, Spanish - Optional
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Marjoe Gortner &
Pedro Armendariz, Jr.,
Tiger Williams &
Mario Puzo &
Director of Photography:
Philip H. Lathrop
Executive Production by
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"I know you'll laugh, but
- I think we're going to have a really big quake."
Academy Awards 1974 -
Academy Awards 1974 -
Best Visual Effects
Academy Awards 1974 -
Scientific or Technical Award
Entertainment Weekly - 09/09/1994
"They really don't make 'em like this anymore." -- Rating: B
Entertainment Weekly - 06/04/2004
"There wasn't a boy in the 1970s who didn't get all giddy over this pleasing and plot-light demolition derby..."
This essential 1970s disaster epic, with a script co-authored by Mario Puzo (THE GODFATHER), centers around a devastating earthquake in Los Angeles and the shocking aftermath it causes. The all-star cast is led by Charleton Heston as a construction engineer whose marital problems supply him with plentiful stress before the quake even hits. The film was presented theatrically with a sound process known as "Sensurround," which caused cinemas to physically vibrate during quake sequences.
Description by Universal Studios Home Video:
Charlton Heston leads an all-star cast in an epic film about ordinary citizens who must come together in the face of an unstoppable natural disaster!
When the most catastrophic earthquake of all time rips through Southern California, it levels Los Angeles and sends shockwaves through the lives of all who live there. Now strangers must become heroes as the city struggles to get to its feet before the next terrifying aftershock hits!
Also starring Ava Gardner, George Kennedy, Lorne Greene, Victoria Principal, Genevieve Bujold and Richard Roundtree, Earthquake combines outstanding performances with Academy Award-winning sound and groundbreaking special effects.
The lives of several Angelenos are shaken up when the Big One hits Los Angeles. Heading the gigantic, star-studded cast is Charlton Heston as an adulterous engineer and Ava Gardner as his jealous wife. Other characters include an Evel Knievel-like daredevil, a psychotic grocery store manager, and a hot-tempered cop -- all of whom respond to the disaster in a variety of ways, ranging from heroic to deranged.
Essential Cinema |
Los Angeles, California |
Love Affairs |
Love Triangles |
Special Effects |
Theatrical Release |
- Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Cinematography. Academy Awards: Best Sound.
- Color by Technicolor.
- Originally released in Sensurround, a sound system which creates low-frequency vibrations that simulate the sensation of small tremors in the theater. Universal charged exhibitors $500 a week for use of the system. A warning for the faint-hearted flashed on the screen before the film began.
- Additional cast members: Scott Haylands (Assistant Dam Caretaker); Tiger Williams (Corry Marshall). Walter Matthau is credited under his real name, Walther Matuschanskavasky.
- Additional technical credit: Jack McMasters, special effects.
- Waldon O. Watson, Richard J. Stumpf, Robert J. Leonard and the Universal City Studios Sound Department received a Class II Technical Award for the development and engineering of the Sensurround System for motion picture presentation.
- The disaster movie was a unique phenomenon of the 1970s. "The Poseidon Adventure," about the sinking of a giant ocean liner, was the movie that launched (no pun intended) the mini-genre. Other entries, besides "Earthquake," include "The Towering Inferno" and the "Airport" movies. All disaster movies conformed to a similar plan: a vast array of characters (portrayed by movie stars and celebrities), usually trapped in one place together (airplane, skyscraper, ocean liner), confront a major calamity. Though these characters are plagued by a variety of personal problems, they are all linked by their common fight for survival.
- Copyright 1974 Universal Pictures.