Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(YouTube) Video Saturday Cinema, Rollercoaster 1977 - "First, Harry, I think I should tell you about the bomb. Would you like to know where it is?" George Segal, Timothy Bottoms and Richard Widmark star in a thriller about an amusement park extortionist   (youtube.com) divider line 31
    More: Video, Richard Widmark, George Segal  
•       •       •

468 clicks; posted to Video » on 01 Mar 2014 at 11:16 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



31 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-03-01 10:03:28 AM  
Ha, I remember that movie. The bad guy gets smeared in the end. Plus, George Segal The World's Hammiest Actor, and his 70s porn stache.
 
2014-03-01 10:06:04 AM  
3.bp.blogspot.com

Quick - name another film that came out in 1977 apart from Star Wars?

To save you the agony, one was Rollercoaster, written by a Tommy Cook, a television actor with dozens of westerns and police shows to his credit. His story about a man attempting to extort $1 million from amusement park operators by placing bombs on rides was certainly nothing novel. The now effectively retired Hitchcock had perfected suspense thrillers about an innocent man made to dance like a puppet for a clever criminal.

This is a story in that vein.

Safety Inspector Harry Calder is made to act as the go-between for an unnamed man who is endangering the public to line his own pockets. The roles went to George Segal and Timothy Bottoms respectively.

Rounding out the principal cast is Richard Widmark as the FBI man trying to arrest the blackmailer.

Filmed in curved screen Cinerama by the prolific David M Walsh. The film advertising really made use the term liberally in the adverts. Backing up the visuals was Sensurround, the sub-woofer based sound system in limited use for special film during those years such as Midway and Earthquake. Back in the days before digital synthesizers, the film sent extra sound technicians to record the rollercoasters close up to record the sub-35 Hz.

Universal's Sensurround system wasn't permanently installed. These were carted in and out of cinemas because so few films used deep bass. At the time, most film audio was stored in a mono optical track next to the image. Adding more audio channels was a real innovation bit it took time to get everyone to switch over to more modern systems but like today, everyone wanted their particular standard to be the winner. Ultimately, the effort proved short lived and thanks to a film that year called, Star Wars, they invested heavily in science fiction pictures.

One feature of the film is that the blackmailer's background is never explained.  Apparently, filmmakers were originally going to include a scene of the Young Man on the phone with his mother. It was to establish a motive behind his plot, namely to get the money from larger amusements parks that were forcing his parents' small family-owned amusement park out of business. The filmmakers later decided that the movie was more suspenseful if the motive behind the Young Man's actions were never known, as well as keeping the audience from sympathizing with the Young Man.

If the film has a flaw, its that sometimes it descends into TV level film making. Hitchcock spoiled us with his carefully crafted scenes and framings. Sometimes Rollercoaster is a bit workmanlike and could use a few extra sets and camera set ups. Still, George Segal can certain carry a scene and make us not mind. I'm thinking more of the climax when Widmark hits upon a rather clichéd idea of using the blackmailer's transmitter against him. It felt more like a movie of the week than a movie in that scene. In this clip from a Hitchcock interview, he puts his finger on the solution, the scene could have been better by making more use of the amusement park as a character in the film's climax rather than a trailer in it where a policeman fiddles with a radio trying to jam a transmission.

There were many second unit directors, perhaps that's what led to some of the unevenness.

Interestingly the filmmakers filmed a much more body-strewn film than the verison that made the theatres. The elected to cut back on the gore in the initial rollercoaster crashes to make the film have a broader appeal. A plaque commemorating where the scene where Timothy Bottoms' character was killed in the climatic scene of the film  is apparently shown at  at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California.

It may be that I have Frankenheimer on the brain, but I do wonder what he would have done with this story.

Link to last week's Saturday Cinema.

www.rarefilmposters.com
 
2014-03-01 10:24:02 AM  
I saw this one and Earthquake in Sensurround

/didn't help much
 
2014-03-01 11:11:05 AM  

gaslight: Quick - name another film that came out in 1977 apart from Star Wars?


Smokey and the Bandit.
 
2014-03-01 11:25:50 AM  
Timothy Bottoms was great in "Paper Chase"
 
2014-03-01 11:51:11 AM  
gaslight:

From your poster "Rollercoaster is a suspense melodrama of the sort that Alfred Hitchcock does best". I'm betting that the very next line in that review was "James Goldstone is no Alfred Hitchcock"
 
2014-03-01 11:52:19 AM  
What is: name a movie that is cornier than Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park, Alex?
 
2014-03-01 11:52:25 AM  

gopher321: Ha, I remember that movie. The bad guy gets smeared in the end. Plus, George Segal The World's Hammiest Actor, and his 70s porn stache.


George Segal was the B-listiest B-lister ever. Discuss.
 
2014-03-01 11:56:02 AM  

Mugato: gaslight: Quick - name another film that came out in 1977 apart from Star Wars?

Smokey and the Bandit.


Kentucky Fried Movie.  I went to the theater for that as many times as I went to see Star Wars that year.  Many.
 
2014-03-01 11:59:08 AM  

Mugato: gaslight: Quick - name another film that came out in 1977 apart from Star Wars?

Smokey and the Bandit.


Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.
 
2014-03-01 11:59:18 AM  

MFAWG: gopher321: Ha, I remember that movie. The bad guy gets smeared in the end. Plus, George Segal The World's Hammiest Actor, and his 70s porn stache.

George Segal was the B-listiest B-lister ever. Discuss.


He's very good in "A Touch of Class" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
 
2014-03-01 12:11:07 PM  

Dr Jack Badofsky: Mugato: gaslight: Quick - name another film that came out in 1977 apart from Star Wars?

Smokey and the Bandit.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.


A Bridge Too Far

Saturday Night Fever  -Got laid at that movie, good times...  I miss drive ins.

My motorcycle was built that year
 
2014-03-01 12:22:14 PM  
cbs

When I was like 10 we were at Disney on the monorail and I said something to the effect, "I'm hijacking this monorail and taking it to Cuba!". I'd be the only 10 year old in Gitmo nowadays.
 
2014-03-01 12:44:16 PM  

BalugaJoe: Timothy Bottoms was great in "Paper Chase"


I prefer his talking motorcycle.
 
2014-03-01 12:45:29 PM  
Love the critique but you forgot to mention the appearance of teenage Helen Hunt and an the performance by Sparks (in their 'hard rock' phase) which make this film a must-see.
 
2014-03-01 01:27:22 PM  
If you've never seen George Segal, check out The Quiller Memorandum. Beautifully shot and understated thriller where Segal is a US soldier very early in the cold war who's tasked with contacting German nationalists in post-war Berlin. A completely different performance. What I love about Rollercoaster is that it's so firmly planted in the pre-digital world. Everything is analogue, no cell phones, people travel for discussions rather than have video conferences, and the smoking.

Lots and lots of smoking.
 
2014-03-01 01:39:33 PM  

Tak the Hideous New Girl: Love the critique but you forgot to mention the appearance of teenage Helen Hunt and an the performance by Sparks (in their 'hard rock' phase) which make this film a must-see.


Steve Gutenberg also has a walk on. He's the messenger who delivers the walkie-talkie from the bomber to George Segal.
 
2014-03-01 02:35:53 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I saw this one and Earthquake in Sensurround

/didn't help much

 
2014-03-01 02:53:18 PM  
I think I'll contribute by leaving this tune here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4HE0XISYAM
 
2014-03-01 03:00:26 PM  

schemy: MFAWG: gopher321: Ha, I remember that movie. The bad guy gets smeared in the end. Plus, George Segal The World's Hammiest Actor, and his 70s porn stache.

George Segal was the B-listiest B-lister ever. Discuss.

He's very good in "A Touch of Class" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"


I'm not saying he sucked, just that he seemed to be in alot of crap movies and was pretty much ubiquitous on the talk show circuit of the time.
 
2014-03-01 03:40:11 PM  
The movie's kind of fun if you've ever been to King's Dominion, the amusement park where it was filmed. Pretty cheesy looking by today's amusement park standards, but the rickety old wooden coasters are great.
 
2014-03-01 04:50:57 PM  

wiredroach: The movie's kind of fun if you've ever been to King's Dominion, the amusement park where it was filmed. Pretty cheesy looking by today's amusement park standards, but the rickety old wooden coasters are great.


I thought it was filmed at magic mountain?
 
2014-03-01 04:50:58 PM  

gaslight: [3.bp.blogspot.com image 580x878]

Quick - name another film that came out in 1977 apart from Star Wars?

To save you the agony, one was Rollercoaster, written by a Tommy Cook, a television actor with dozens of westerns and police shows to his credit. His story about a man attempting to extort $1 million from amusement park operators by placing bombs on rides was certainly nothing novel. The now effectively retired Hitchcock had perfected suspense thrillers about an innocent man made to dance like a puppet for a clever criminal.

This is a story in that vein.

Safety Inspector Harry Calder is made to act as the go-between for an unnamed man who is endangering the public to line his own pockets. The roles went to George Segal and Timothy Bottoms respectively.

Rounding out the principal cast is Richard Widmark as the FBI man trying to arrest the blackmailer.

Filmed in curved screen Cinerama by the prolific David M Walsh. The film advertising really made use the term liberally in the adverts. Backing up the visuals was Sensurround, the sub-woofer based sound system in limited use for special film during those years such as Midway and Earthquake. Back in the days before digital synthesizers, the film sent extra sound technicians to record the rollercoasters close up to record the sub-35 Hz.

Universal's Sensurround system wasn't permanently installed. These were carted in and out of cinemas because so few films used deep bass. At the time, most film audio was stored in a mono optical track next to the image. Adding more audio channels was a real innovation bit it took time to get everyone to switch over to more modern systems but like today, everyone wanted their particular standard to be the winner. Ultimately, the effort proved short lived and thanks to a film that year called, Star Wars, they invested heavily in science fiction pictures.

One feature of the film is that the blackmailer's background is never explained.  Apparently, filmmakers were originally going t ...


When this movie came (yes, I'm old), I think I read that Clint Eastwood was first offered the role that went to Segal.  Is that true?
 
2014-03-01 05:31:14 PM  
Big love for this movie here in Richmond Virginia, as a big part of it was filmed at the then brand new Kings Dominion in Doswel VA up the road..

when I hosted movie night at the Pub, I would try to make sure to show this one once a year.
 
2014-03-01 05:41:15 PM  

MFAWG: schemy: MFAWG: gopher321: Ha, I remember that movie. The bad guy gets smeared in the end. Plus, George Segal The World's Hammiest Actor, and his 70s porn stache.

George Segal was the B-listiest B-lister ever. Discuss.

He's very good in "A Touch of Class" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

I'm not saying he sucked, just that he seemed to be in alot of crap movies and was pretty much ubiquitous on the talk show circuit of the time.


I understand what you were saying.  He definitely wasn't at a loss for work in the 1970s.  I think he is a very underrated actor.  He's also great in the mature rom-com "Blume in Love".
 
2014-03-01 05:58:47 PM  
I'm not sure of the process to nominate a movie for next week. But try "Three Days of the Condor" 1975, with Redford and Faye Dunaway. It's a bit of hacker/geek/thriller movie.
 
2014-03-01 07:03:26 PM  

labman: wiredroach: The movie's kind of fun if you've ever been to King's Dominion, the amusement park where it was filmed. Pretty cheesy looking by today's amusement park standards, but the rickety old wooden coasters are great.

I thought it was filmed at magic mountain?


Some of it may have been; I can't say. But the bit where Segal is on the rollercoaster toward the end is King's Dominion.
 
2014-03-01 07:19:06 PM  
Always liked Richard Widmark.
 
2014-03-01 07:27:11 PM  
Theme park enthusiasts must watch this. A fun record of parks in the late 70s. And Sparks.
 
2014-03-01 10:28:42 PM  
Quick - name another film that came out in 1977 apart from Star Wars?

The Other Side of Midnight. Because of its connection to 20th Century Fox's space opera
 
2014-03-01 10:31:30 PM  

olomana: Theme park enthusiasts must watch this. A fun record of parks in the late 70s. And Sparks.


We do.

/sparks, probably, not so much.
 
Displayed 31 of 31 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
Advertisement
On Twitter






In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report