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 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 3:39 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Curiously, there is no previous thread on this film and score that is mostly about its aesthetic qualities. Only sales stuff and technical things.

Of course, I've had the soundtrack CD for years, and enjoyed it quite a bit ("Miles on Wheels" is Williams at his coolest!), but only now got around to seeing the film, believe it or not.

Overall, I found it far inferior to fellow disaster epics THE TOWERING INFERNO (currently being discussed in the off-topic forum) and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. Too forced, clichéed and simply unbelievable (what the hell is up with that army dude going bananas and shooting people more or less randomly?!). And it's really over before it gets started - too many plotlines, perhaps, to showcase the various stars.

Some impressive sets, though, and the dam-break scene is pretty good (I assume it's miniatures).

P.S. I always thought Miles was the Charlton Heston character, and was taken aback to see that it was actually Mr. Shaft himself, Richard Roundtree! big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 3:40 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

And yes, if you're wondering why I'm doing all these Williams threads recently (ressurecting threads, revisiting albums or watching Williams-scored films I haven't seen before), it's because I'm gearing up to the Williams concert here in Oslo on Thursday.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 3:51 PM   
 By:   MICHAEL HOMA   (Member)

lucky , lucky you thor, let us know how the concert is and what he plays, oh btw , what is ur favorite WILLIAMS score?

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 3:53 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

lucky , lucky you thor, let us know how the concert is and what he plays, oh btw , what is ur favorite WILLIAMS score?

I'll do a report, yes. This is the first time I've been to a concert dedicated entirely to Williams' music (this VERY rarely happens in Norway, if at all) and even though he will not be there himself, it's still an event for me.

Oh, and since you ask - my favourite Williams score is probably JURASSIC PARK. smile

Have you seen EARTHQUAKE, though, Michael?

 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 4:04 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

The movie has not endured as well compared to "Towering Inferno" and "Poseidon Adventure" because overall, the acting is poorer and the script worse. Casting wise, it is ridiculous to think of Ava Gardner being Lorne Greene's daughter, and that's just for starters (for instance you also have one-time "Dead End Kid" Gabriel Dell being a mere older brother to Victoria Principal, even though there was a 27 year age difference between them!)

Some additional soapy exposition didn't survive the final cut (the reason why Heston finally plunges into an affair with Bujold is because that morning he discovered that Ava had an abortion some time back without him knowing). Heston was the one who insisted on having his character die at the end trying to save his bitchy wife instead of letting her drown so he could have a final clench with Bujold beacuse it would be more off-beat (though honestly, by this point audiences were more used to seeing Heston die at the end of these movies!).

There used to be an expanded TV version of the film that featured footage shot more than a year after the fact and specifically for TV viewings only (this sort of thing also happened with "Midway" and "Two Minute Warning") which gave us a subplot of a plane landing at the time the quake hits and managing to take off again followed by boring chat between a young married couple.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

SPOILER!!

Heston was the one who insisted on having his character die at the end trying to save his bitchy wife instead of letting her drown so he could have a final clench with Bujold beacuse it would be more off-beat (though honestly, by this point audiences were more used to seeing Heston die at the end of these movies!)..

Yeah, but you don't really see him die, though. He's just flushed away with the current. It's not impossible that some of them will make it. In either case, it felt too sudden and forced, like most of the setpieces in the film (such as the whole electricity/water thing when Bujold is trying to save her son).

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 4:09 PM   
 By:   MICHAEL HOMA   (Member)

yes thor, i saw EARTHQUAKE , my parents took me to see it when i was just a kid and it was in SENSURROUND , but to be honest about it, the process was all i remember, to a kid it was fascinating. all that noise and seats felt like they were shaking,,,, great, but, when i saw it as an adult without the SENSURROUND , i felt it was just a mess , too busy, too many characters , i really cant find anything good to say about it, except the score, which of all things , i let slip by me , i have tried everywhere to get a copy of the cd, always out bid on ebay etc. and everywhere i look its very pricey.

 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 4:18 PM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

Thor, you're slipping:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=12676&forumID=1&archive=1

razz

Have fun on Thursday!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 5:12 PM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

I saw this film in SENSURROUND when it was released. The theatre originally had one screen, but had been subdivided into multiple rabbit hutches. As a result there were suspended ceiling tiles--the ones made of a foamed material and supported by an aluminum lattice. During the first earthquake scene, when the big subwoofers were activated, a few of the tiles became dislodged and fell onto some hapless viewers. To say they became hysterical would be an understatement. A bit more realism than they were expecting!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 7:13 PM   
 By:   Timmer   (Member)

Not one of Williams finest moments but I just love that main title and it's cocktail lounge version.

I'd watch it again just to see young Vicky Principal in a tight T-shirt cool

 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2009 - 7:22 PM   
 By:   workingwithknives   (Member)

I saw this film in SENSURROUND when it was released. The theatre originally had one screen, but had been subdivided into multiple rabbit hutches. As a result there were suspended ceiling tiles--the ones made of a foamed material and supported by an aluminum lattice. During the first earthquake scene, when the big subwoofers were activated, a few of the tiles became dislodged and fell onto some hapless viewers. To say they became hysterical would be an understatement. A bit more realism than they were expecting!

Theatre damage due to "Sensurround" was a big news item in its day. I've always wondered if it was more hype than truth.

Loved those Irving Allen disaster films back in the days. I remember standing in a long line to see "The Poseiden Adventure" with my father, uncle and cousin and being turned away due to a full house. We went back later and watched an evening performance.

"Earthquake" did poorly at the box office if I remember correctly. Saw that one on the big screen too. Lorne Green playing the father of Ava Gardner is a hoot. I think the guy was actually only 5 years older than she.

One of my favorite scores, "Earthquake". I have a "101 Strings" LP of Les Baxter conducting a great version of the John Williams theme.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 21, 2009 - 1:36 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Thor, you're slipping:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=12676&forumID=1&archive=1


Actually, I was well aware of that thread, but as I said early in this thread, it is mostly about various soundtrack versions or subwoofer stuff and other technical things. Not my kinda point-of-departure. smile

Have fun on Thursday!

I will, thanks.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 21, 2009 - 8:46 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I saw this film in SENSURROUND when it was released. The theatre originally had one screen, but had been subdivided into multiple rabbit hutches. As a result there were suspended ceiling tiles--the ones made of a foamed material and supported by an aluminum lattice. During the first earthquake scene, when the big subwoofers were activated, a few of the tiles became dislodged and fell onto some hapless viewers. To say they became hysterical would be an understatement. A bit more realism than they were expecting!

Great fun!

If I recall correctly, the first scene in Earthquake where Sensurround is really let loose is set in a cinema, showing High Plains Drifter.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 21, 2009 - 7:17 PM   
 By:   Sean   (Member)

1. "The City Sleeps" is one of my favorite Williams cues.

2. I was such a little puss in '74 that they had to take me out of the theater during the Sensurround segments. Now the film just makes me laugh and grimace and snore.

cool

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 22, 2009 - 2:06 PM   
 By:   Midnight Mike   (Member)

Thor, I agree with you on “Miles on Wheels”. It’s the grooviest. I always start laughing whenever I play it though because it sounds like porno music on speed, but I love it. The Main Titles are good, but I feel they don’t quite have that majestic or epic quality that Poseidon and Inferno have.

My friend and I used to play the “Earthquake Sound effects” portion of the album when were kids and just fly all over the room pretending we were in an Earthquake. Good times.

I saw the film when it came out and the thing I remember most was waiting in the lobby for the next showing to start, and every so often we would hear that loud sensurround rumbling coming from the theater and the whole lobby would get excited, it was like waiting to get on a ride at an amusement park.

 
 Posted:   Apr 22, 2009 - 2:12 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)


I saw the film when it came out and the thing I remember most was waiting in the lobby for the next showing to start, and every so often we would hear that loud sensurround rumbling coming from the theater and the whole lobby would get excited, it was like waiting to get on a ride at an amusement park.


My fondest memory of the movie was when the elevator crashes to the bottom of the shaft and animated blood splats were thrown up on the screen. I half expected them to have "Zowie", Bam" or "Zonk" written in them ala the old Batman TV series. Lame!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 22, 2009 - 3:30 PM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

The ONLY thing about this film that is not CRAP is the Williams score. (yes, SenseSurround was fun, but, Geez, what a piece of solid intestinal waste!)

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 22, 2009 - 6:00 PM   
 By:   Midnight Mike   (Member)


My fondest memory of the movie was when the elevator crashes to the bottom of the shaft and animated blood splats were thrown up on the screen. I half expected them to have "Zowie", Bam" or "Zonk" written in them ala the old Batman TV series. Lame!


Yea, WTF was that all about? That was just odd. I don't recall seeing that in the theater, must have just blocked it out.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 22, 2009 - 6:08 PM   
 By:   TJ   (Member)

"Miles on wheels" is pretty awesome.

I don't particularly like the score, or his other disaster scores for that matter. But that track is really cool.

 
 Posted:   Apr 22, 2009 - 9:20 PM   
 By:   cirtap   (Member)

Earthquake!

Now this flic along with Supergirl are two examples of true "BAD" film making. No redeeming value, over the top bad acting, to down right awful casting. Earthquake was Universal's GIMMICK to cash in quickly the Irwin Allen diaster flics.

Earthquake looks like a cheap tv movie of the week. Bad Sets, Bad Visuals,(YES I KNOW IT WON VISUALS) Bad Editing. And so on and on. Why would a group of dumbass people GO into a death trap of a UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE during a major earthquake. IT IS so impossible to believe even back in 1974, in Los Angeles, that normal human beings would venture into a undergroun garage during major aftershocks!!!! IT IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!

The casting is horrible. Lorne Green daughter is Ava Gardner??? WHAT, only 3 years seperate them. WOW. What idiot thought of that.

There is a page stolen out of Irwin Allen's The Poseidon Adventure. The dramatic sequence of the man falling into the glass, ended the Turning over the Ship. NOT to be outdone, Mark Robson's rippoff was a man falling to his death into a large glass window!!! BUT, my question to the idiots of Earthquake. WITH major buildings crumbling down, Why would this THIN piece of glass still be standing?!?!?!

Dumb people doing dumb things. I truly hated Earthquake THEN, and HATE it now. Just as much as Supergirl.

You know the film is horrible is Gortner is in it. I do not understand why the Academy Voters really gave Earthquake best visuals. They are horrible. I do like Albert Whitlock's Art work.
And THE ONLY good thing about Earthquake is John Williams score.

While it is extremely dated. IT is the only thing worth hearing from Earthquake.

The Towering Inferno was a better film. While it is a True Hollywood flic, I forgive it's bad screenplay. And Lazy Directing by John Guillerman. Irwin had to go to Guillerman to tell him to move the camera, and stop the delays.

Earthquake. BAD!!!

 
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