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.
Academy Awards Best Sound 1974
Academy Awards Best Visual Effects 1974
Academy Awards Scientific or Technical Award 1974