Earthquake (1974)

USA, 1973-
123m, 140m (US television version)
35mm film, 70mm (blow-up), Panavision (anamorphic), Technicolor, 2.35:1
4-Track Stereo (35mm film magnetic prints), 70mm 6-Track (70mm prints), mono (35mm film optical prints), (70mm and 35mm film magnetic prints), English

An American borderline science fiction film directed by Mark Robson.

Plot Summary

Various officials and residents of battle with their own problems and with a massive Earthquake that levels their city.


Director: Mark Robson
The Filmakers Group, Universal Pictures
Copyright: Universal Studios
Executive Producer: Jennings Lang
Producer: Mark Robson
Unit Production Manager: Wallace Worsley Jr
Script: George Fox, Mario Puzo
1st Assistant Director: Fred R. Simpson
2nd Assistant Director: Murray Schwartz
Director of Photography: Philip Lathrop
Editor: Dorothy Spencer
Music: John Williams
Sound: Melvin M. Metcalfe Sr, Ronald Pierce
Westrex Recording System
Costume Designer: Burton Miller
Special Effects: Frank Brendel, Mike Reedy
Special Photographic Effects: Albert Whitlock
Special Photography: Clifford Stine
Matte Photography: Ross Hoffmann
Miniatures: Glen Robinson
Production Designer: Alexander Golitzen
Art Director: E. Preston Ames
Assistant Art Director: Fred Tuch
Set Decorator: Frank R. McKelvy
Locations: Lake Hollywood, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA; Macy's Plaza/Hyatt Regency Hotel, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA; Mulholland Dam, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA; Sunset Vine Tower, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA; Wilshire Collonade Building – Wilshire Boulevards, Los Angeles, California, USA
Studio: Universal Studios, Universal City, California, USA
Stunt Coordinator: John Daheim

Charlton Heston (Stewart Graff)
Ava Gardner (Remy Royce-Graff)
George Kennedy (Sergeant Lew Slade)
Lorne Greene (Sam Royce)
Geneviève Bujold (Denise Marshall)
Richard Roundtree (Miles Quade)
Marjoe Gortner (Jody)
Barry Sullivan (Dr Willis Stockle)
Lloyd Nolan (Dr James Vance)
Victoria Principal (Rosa Amici)
Monica Lewis (Barbara)
Gabriel Dell (Sal Amici)
Pedro Armendariz Jr (Officer Emilio Chavez)
Lloyd Gough (Bill Cameron)
John Randolph (Mayor Lewis)
Kip Niven (Walter Russell)
Scott Hylands (Max)
Tiger Williams (Corry Marshall)
Donald Moffat (Dr Harvey Johnson)
Jesse Vint (Buck)
Alan Vint (Hank)
Lionel Johnston (Sandy)
Walter Matuschanskayasky [real name: Walter Matthau] (drunk)
Michael Richardson (Ralph)
John Elerick (Carl Leeds)
John S. Ragin (Chief Inspector, L.A. Dept. of Water & Power)
George Murdock (Colonel, Army Corps of Engineers)
Donald Mantooth (Sid)
Alex Brown (pool player)
Bob Cunningham (Dr Frank Adams)
John Dennis (brawny foreman)
Gene Dynarski (Fred)
Bob Gravage (Farmer Griggs)
H.B. Haggerty (pool player)
Tim Herbert (Las Vegas booking agent)
Dave Morick (City of L.A. Emergency Services technician)
Inez Pedroza (Laura)

Alternative Titles

Erdbeben – Austrian/West German title
Jordbävningen – Swedish title
Jordskælv – Danish title
Maanjäristys – Finnish title
Terremoto – Italian/Spanish title
Tremblement de terre – French title
Trzesienie ziemi – Polish title

Extracts included in
Behind the Action: Stuntmen in the Movies (2002)
Conquest of the Earth (1980)
Galactica 1980: Galactica Discovers Earth Part 1 (1980)
Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)
The Man Who Saw Tomorrow (1981)
Precious Images (1986)
Quake (1993)
Shakedown (2002)
Super Secret Movie Rules: (2004)

Includes extracts from
High Plains Drifter (1973)



  • Action vol.10 no.1 (January/February 1975) pp.24-29
  • American Cinematographer vol.55 no.11 (November 1974) p.1286
  • Cinema TV Today no.10112 (7 December 1974) p.14
  • Empire no.123 (September 1999) p.136 – video review
  • Filmmakers' Newsletter vol.8 no.12 (October 1975) pp.22-24
  • Films Illustrated vol.4 no.41 (January 1975) pp.170-171
  • Films in Review vol.29 no.1 (January 1978) p.43
  • Films in Review vol.30 no.4 (April 1979) pp.234-236 – note
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.230 no.14 (22 February 1974) p.10 – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.233 no.46 (13 November 1974) p.3
  • International Photographer vol.46 no.10 (October 1974) pp.8-11, 17
  • Jump Cut no.6 (March/April 1975) pp.3-4
  • Making Films in New York vol.9 no.2 (April 1975) pp.6-7
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.42 no.492 (January 1975) pp.7-8
  • Radio Times vol.306 no.3991 (19 August 2000) p.46 – illustrated article (The reel story behind… by Andrew Collins)
  • Radio Times 6 December 2003 p.67 – note (Film Trivia by David Parkinson)
  • Sight & Sound vol.9 no.9 (September 1999) p.65 – video review (Video: retail by Geoffrey Macnab)
  • Variety 13 November 1974 p.18
  • Weng's Chop no.9 (August 2016) pp. 54-62 – illustrated article (Surviving the 1970s disaster film: Giant meteors, tidal waves, crippled jumbo jets & towering infernos by John Harrison)


  • Film Review 1976-1977 by F. Maurice Speed p.165
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.115
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.87
  • Trick Cinematography by R.M. Hayes pp.208-212
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.20