I was looking through YouTube for something to watch and found this 1979 film with Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Martin Landau, Henry Fonda, and other big names from the seventies.
Pretty bad stuff, but in a fun way. The story was lame and was basically about the Americans and the Russians teaming up to fire their space nukes (that neither side would admit existed) at a huge meteorite that was heading straight for Earth.
Being a disaster film this had to have a disaster or two, so they had a few splinters as they called them, hit Earth before the big one. The first one wiped out a skifield in Switzerland, the second one Hong Kong, and in the finale Manhattan was hit.
The film starts off with Sean at the helm of a yacht, and he is in a race, although he looks as though he is out for a Sunday drive. He was interrupted during the race by the Coast Guard who were sent by NASA to get him because Sean was an ex-NASA guy, and extremely smart in figuring stuff out. Here he is giving the Connery Death Stare at the Coast Guard captain as the car drives off, no dialogue, just the stare:
The special effects were primitive, and they used a lot of stock footage. In the New York disaster the scientists were underground in a special bunker and after the meteor hit they had to make their way to the surface. On their way they encountered brown water gushing into the tunnels from the river which left the actors covered in a weird brown goo, they looked like they were covered in chocolate jelly. They had a jolly good time though, as you can see here:
There were scenes where people were being injured or killed by debris, and instead of helping them the characters nearby were just standing there just staring, and from the looks on their face you could see the actors were thinking “This film is borked!”.
Something I noticed early on in the interior shots was the overuse of the colour brown. Everything was a various shade of brown; the walls, the ceiling, the carpet, tables, chairs, even Sean was mostly brown.
One problem I had was that I could not stop staring at this guys nose throughout the whole film.
In each of the splinter disasters the camera followed a random person as they tried to escape death. In Switzerland it was a young couple having a coffee and cake in a restaurant after a nice afternoon’s skiing. In Hong Kong it was a young father making his way through the stampede in the streets to his family. In both cases we see them get wiped out by an avalanche and the tsunami respectively. Yipes!
One funny scene in Hong Kong showed a stampede along a shopping street, and one guy chances apon a nice painting on the street side and pilfers it while on the run, probably thinking “If I’m gonna die, I want to die with this lovely painting of the harbour. Nice!” Weird stuff.
While the scientists are escaping the bunker they make their way up to a subway station, and there they have to wait while rescuers dig through to them. Also waiting are these two, looking rather annoyed with the whole situation: “This film is borked! says Stella, “Yep, borked!” says Janice.
From Wikipedia: According to one biography of Natalie Wood, she and most others in the cast knew early on this film was going to be a dud, mainly due to the director and the script. . Wikipedia also says this lost millions, and was considered one of the reasons for the movie studio’s downfall.
If this was a comedy, which in some small ways it was, then it could have been a hit. Sean actually had some funny lines in this including this: Sean is miffed at nose guy, and on the way out of his office says, “Why don’t you stick a broom up my arse, I could sweep the floor on the way out”. Ha!
At one hour forty-five minutes it is a bit long to watch even for curiosity’s sake, so avoid this.
Date watched: December 28th
Film count 2015: 167