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.
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