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Earthquake

Year: 1974
Director: Mark Robson
Writer: Mario Puzo
Cast: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Genevieve Bujold, Walter Matthau, George Kennedy, Richard Roundtree, Victoria Principal
One of the films I used to look forward to every few years on TV, starring the biggest actors of yesteryear.

I didn't know their names especially well in the years before I'd even turned 10 years old, but I could relate to the thrills. It was the birth of the blockbuster era when I came of age, and a few years before that was the time the big disaster movies of the 70s were front and centre in Hollywood.

They contained ideas and formulae the rise of the blockbuster picked up on and ran with (ones still very much in effect today - with minimal plotting and character development but maximum movement), so it was the sheer adventure of films like The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure that gave me many a happy Friday night in the lounge room.

Ironically, I don't remember much of it - which may be proof enough it was the early template for today's forgettable pack-'em-in-on-the-first-weekend event movies. Presumably the special effects would leave a lot to be desired by today's standards as well, but it concerned a ramshackle group of characters trying to escape the after-effects of a devastating earthquake in Los Angeles.

Like the biggest and loudest Hollywood has to offer, the name is the pitch, and the m.o. is a noisy good time, as empty but as much fun as the Disneyworld ride that bears the same name.

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