Mark Robson (1974)

PG Certificate
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Our Score
"The big one" hits Los Angeles at the worst possible moment for an all-star cast in this highly enjoyable slice of hokum. The first hour builds the tension with tremor suspense before the city is razed spectacularly to the ground (the dam-busting sequence inspired a Universal theme-park favourite). Director Mark Robson's film deservedly won a special achievement Oscar for its visual effects (did making us believe Ava Gardner was Lorne Greene's daughter come under that category, too?). With Charlton Heston, Shaft's Richard Roundtree and Walter Matthau (mischievously credited as Walter Matuschanskavasky) also among the imperilled cast, this registers a solid eight on the entertainment Richter scale.


In the aftermath of a catastrophic earthquake in Los Angeles, an architect helping in the rescue effort searches the smouldering ruins for his missing wife. Meanwhile, other residents, including an insubordinate cop, a lecherous shopkeeper and a daredevil motorcyclist, face their own battles for survival. Disaster movie, starring Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Genevieve Bujold, Richard Roundtree and George Kennedy.

Cast & Crew

Stuart Graff Charlton Heston
Remy Graff Ava Gardner
Lew Slade George Kennedy
Sam Royce Lorne Greene
Denise Marshall Geneviève Bujold
Miles Quade Richard Roundtree
Jody Marjoe Gortner
Dr Stockle Barry Sullivan
Dr Vance Lloyd Nolan
Rosa Victoria Principal
Drunk Walter Matthau
Royce's secretary Monica Lewis
Miles's manager Gabriel Dell
Cameron Lloyd Gough
Director Mark Robson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Ambassador Film Prods LtdGuidance: Violence, swearing.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray