movie film review | chris tookey


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  Earthquake Review
Tookey's Rating
3 /10
Average Rating
3.00 /10
Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner , Lorne Greene
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Directed by: Mark Robson
Written by: George Fox, Mario Puzo

Released: 1974
Origin: US
Length: 129


An earthquake wreaks havoc in Los Angeles.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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How enjoyable it is to see so many bad Hollywood actors disappearing through cracks in the earth... Charlton Heston manages an impressively authoritative performance, against nigh impossible odds, including a truly dire performance by Ava Gardner as his wife. Though hugely successful at the box office, this disaster movie received deservedly scathing reviews for its hackneyed script and absurd performances. It won an Oscar for its sound, plus a special achievement award for the visual effects (no longer impressive), and a citation for its development of Sensurround, which made audiences feel the rumbling via their seats. Would that the script had the same vibrancy.
"An entertaining marathon of Grade A destruction effects, with B-picture stock characters spinning through it."
(Pauline Kael)
"Ava Gardner makes her entrance in this movie under a rumpled wig, wearing a negligee that can't hope to disguise her overweight figure, and boozily roaring the very first line of dialogue, "Goddamn it!" as if she's ready to play Vera Charles in a bus-and-truck touring company of Mame. No such luck, however, for the onetime pinup girl has come further down than that, cast here as the neglected wife of cheating hubby Charlton Heston and also the daughter of magnate Lorne Greene. This must be the wildest mismatch of performers playing parent and child in film history. Greene is only seven years older than Gardner and he looks seven years younger."
(Margulies & Rebello)
"A dramatic mess... The movie won an Oscar for special effects, but they seem tame and even sloppy... A lot of the buildings look like toys."
(Bruce Eder, Video Magazine, 1994)
"Flat, generally laughable hokum."
(David Pirie, Time Out)

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