clearance sale on a wave of stray photos from all sorts of TV and movies, including a few that stem from 1970s disaster movies, I still have even more from that realm and today am going to share those with you as well. My entire life (except for a few instances of sleeping and eating!) has been devoted to a love of those all-star disaster epics from 1970-1980, which dominated movie screens for a time before petering out. So I don't like to go too long here without ruminating on them and dredging up various pictures and details having to do with them. (Virtually all of them have some sort of tribute – occasionally more than one – that may be accessed by clicking on the title of the movie in question.) Now hold on tight, there's a wheelbarrowful of disaster debris coming your way!
Meteor. Regardless of the money that was poured into it (not to mention the capable director and the requisite all-star cast), the movie helped lead to the demise of American International Pictures. As you can see in the poster above, there was opportunity for some of the snarkier critics in the country to remark on the fact that it looked like giant turds were headed for Earth! As is so often the case, foreign release posters (such as this one at left) tended to be far more explosive-looking and eye-catching.
This one kicks it up even one notch further with the rendering of a dramatic montage, though that's a pretty unflattering artistic depiction of Natalie Wood.
This one flips her around and puts Sean Connery over her shoulder, though it still doesn't really resemble her.
The actual photograph that artists were working from in creating these pieces of artwork is shown below. Somehow they completely failed to capture her essence the way they did Connery, Karl Malden and others.
Wood, who had passed on costarring in The Towering Inferno (1974) because she found the script “tacky” sure as heck didn't get it any better here! The potentially dynamic pairing of her with Sean Connery was about as scintillating as an ingrown toenail.
Ava Gardner only appears a handful of times and it is probably the very, very worse acting she ever gave in any project (playing an alcoholic TV reporter and seemingly on the sauce in real life!) Fonda is similarly set apart from the action. The rest of the cast scampers around an unnamed city as a saboteur helps to blow up building after building.
The poster shows a seemingly taller, slimmer Shelley Winters than one might have expected in the wake of her Oscar-nominated role as an obese ship passenger in The PoseidonAdventure (1972.)
However, a glimpse of the actual footage shows a personage more in line with reality...
While we're still on the subject of Hank Fonda and foreign release movie posters, take a look at the one for Rollercoaster which was selected for release in the United States...
...then look at this foreign one, in which the movie has been redubbed “Toboggan” (how fun is that?!) and depicts people getting the front row rollercoaster ride of their life (or death, as the case may be!)
This is a fun promotional card that takes things even further, and appears to be American.
The Swarm (1978), in which he was cast as an esteemed research scientist attempting to concoct a serum that will enable those stung by killer bees to live through the experience (and his role is larger than those of the other films we touched on.) At one point, he injects himself with the serum to test it and begins enduring spasms and hallucinations, as seen here!
Practically the entire (huge) cast of veteran stars faced similar humiliation one way or another.
Director-Producer Irwin Allen loved to assemble ginormous casts of famous faces and then “treat' them to any and all kinds of physical punishment, be it swimming for one's life, burning up or being stung to death by killer bees.
Oscar-winner Ben Johnson is sent careening through a train window after an assault by the bees (referred to repeatedly – and hysterically – as “killer Africans” throughout.)
Two-time Oscar-winner Olivia de Havilland is tossed to the floor and covered in hundreds of bees (though for all her efforts, this shot never made it into the final cut of the movie!)
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), got really limited promotion in America. As I've stated here before (and others visiting this site have concurred with me), the movie had come and gone in theaters before I had ever even known of its existence! Here's a foreign release poster that, while odd, offers a little more drama than the one used here.
This is a fun shot of three of the other ladies who costarred in the film.
Even rarer is this string of Spanish lobby cards for the movie, with color headshots of the cast that practically never turn up stateside.
I don't know if we ever truly see Shirley Jones with dry hair in the actual movie, at least not blow-dried out like this.
Of course, it was Miss Shirley Knight who rocked our world in this one. This was practically my first exposure to the woman and I never ever forgot her quiet elegance (while surrounded by idiotic squalor!)
This movie also marked the first time I'd consciously seen Veronica Hamel and she was dazzlingly beautiful. (She also is never seen in the movie with dry and curled hair the way it is in this photo.)
When Time Ran Out..., which put a nearly decade-long cap on her big screen career. In the following series of photos, in which she shows off one of her Paul Zastupnevich fashions for the movie followed by two of her new, lighter hair color, her career as a model comes in handy!
Hurricane, with a promising cast (Mia Farrow, Jason Robards, Max Von Sydow, Timothy Bottoms) that didn't wind up delivering much more than some wind, rain and hot air.
Far more eventful is this montage poster below, spread across two pages in a foreign magazine. This one at least showcases some of the disaster set pieces of the movie while also featuring a couple of its familiar faces.
If you've ever wanted more info about Ka'ne, here is a teen magazine puff piece that offers a little bit about him and his life around the time of Hurricane.
Two-Minute Warning, all about a deranged sniper at The Super Bowl (well, since they weren't allowed to use the name “Super Bowl,” it's “The Championship Game...”) This shot of John Cassavetes from the movie shows the term “Championship X” on the TV screen behind him. (Also, from the looks of it behind his right shoulder, he's more of a baseball aficionado than football!)
Check out this amusing foreign release poster in which it looks like Heston opened up a watertight door and then tossed the submarine out like so much jetsam!
Airport movies. The final one, The Concorde...Airport '79 (1979) was such a bomb that the makers hardly knew how to market it after its initial release. By the time it was flown overseas to the foreign markets (hence the “'80” in the title), it was being treated almost as the unintentional comedy that many critics and audiences had perceived it to be! So while earlier “box posters” had worried or serious faces on them, this Asian poster features mostly awkward grins. (Would you know from this that Susan Blakely is in fear for her life from evil business magnate Robert Wagner??)
Alain Delon or Sylvia Kristel, so they were dumped and Miss Cicely Tyson (whose role is eensy-weensy and she looks nothing like the picture chosen) was added in! I'm surprised they left out Charo...
Dana Wynter and George Kennedy weren't really there on set that day. They've been carefully cut out of other photos and pasted in!! Pre-photoshop, people...
swingin' stewardess look. She is achingly beautiful in the movie, even with what some folks feel is a disastrous grey/mustard yellow color combination in her uniform. But I love everything about her and it.
Miss Helen Hayes hasn't put her hat back on yet and a techie is peering in from the doorway. (If you look closely, Miss Jackie is smoking, on set and in costume!! tsk, tsk...!)
Here are publicity photos of Bisset in her Airport wig. One has her lolling in bed while the other shows her in street clothes.
This one seems to be an early one for test purposes and thank Jesus they styled that wig better by the time of the actual shooting!!
Of course, by the end of the movie, her poor wig had taken quite a beating, as had her character!
This peculiar situation reared its head in ads for the first sequel, too. This Japanese advertisement for Airport 1975 (1974) has a huge parade of faces along the bottom.
I figured out what was happening with Black's hair in this movie.
some amusing headshots of the actors from Earthquake (1974) who were called upon to make scaredy-faces as if the big one was happening at that very moment. Here we have something akin to that with Myrna Loy relaxed and normal...
...then Loy reacting to the mid-air collision that happens in the movie.
Then we see Reddy in a more pensive moment, caressing her crucifix as disaster strikes. (We assume she's channeling its power towards rescue and not fending off little Linda Blair who just a year before did distasteful things to a crucifix in The Exorcist, 1973!)