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USA | 1974 | 123 Minutes | Mark Robson

March 31, 2014

Science on Screen

A benchmark of the 70s disaster movie, Earthquake features Charlton Heston leading an all-star cast who are all caught in "the big one". With introduction by Washington State Seismologist, John Vidale, PhD.

A catastrophic earthquake hits Los Angeles, forcing its residents–Heston, Ava Gardner, Lorne Greene, George Kennedy (a disaster movie staple), Richard Roundtree, and more–to deal with the disastrous results.

But that's L.A. How would we cope with the same thing in Seattle? Before the film, Washington State Seismologist and University of Washington Professor John Vidale joins us to discuss the different kinds of earthquakes that affect our area, early warning signs of earthquakes, and how we are preparing for when "the big one" hits Seattle. We'll also have informative flyers on earthquake safety and a free bottle of water, to help start your own Earthquake Preparedness Kit. 

Earthquake originally came to the big screen with great fanfare. With a first draft script from The Godfather writer Mario Puzo, the film went head-to-head with the year's other big disaster hit, The Towering Inferno. Released in "Sensurround" (a short-lived theatrical experience that added low frequency effects intended to be felt more than heard), the film received a Special Achievement Academy Award® for its groundbreaking visual effects, which included a clever mixture of miniatures, matte paintings, full-scale sets, and the complete destruction of the Universal Studios backlot.

An initiative of The Coolidge Corner Theatre with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

  • Director: Mark Robson
  • Principal Cast: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy, Lorne Greene, Geneviève Bujold, Richard Roundtree, Marjoe Gortner, Walter Matthau, Victoria Principal
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1974
  • Running Time: 123 Minutes
  • Format: HD Video
  • US Distributor: Universal Pictures