Avalanche (1978)

PG | 91 mins | Drama | 28 July 1978

Director:

Corey Allen

Producer:

Roger Corman

Cinematographer:

Pierre-William Glenn

Production Designer:

Sharon Compton

Production Company:

New World Pictures
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HISTORY


The credits state that Avalanche was: “Filmed on Location at Tamarron Resort in Durango, Colorado.”
       Though a character referred to as “Gary” appears in the movie, the actor and role name are not listed in the film’s end credits.
       According to a 1976 news item in HR, producer Roger Corman approached Charlton Heston to star in the film. However, HR reported on 28 Dec 1977 that Rock Hudson and William Holden were both in contention for the lead role. A 6 Feb 1978 DV news item announced that Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow had been cast to star in the film.
       On 14 Feb 1978, an HR news item noted that Corman was “cornering” Ann Sothern to play Mia Farrow’s mother. However, the mother of Farrow’s character, “Caroline Brace,” does not appear in the final film.
       According to a news item in the 28 Mar 1977 DV, Roger Corman considered directing the film himself, but 12 Jan 1978 HR news item announced that Corey Allen was hired as the film’s director.
       Although news items in the 2 Sep 1976 DV and the 12 Jan 1978 HR announced Gavin Lambert as the movie’s writer, his name does not appear in the film’s onscreen credits.
       While a 31 Jan 1978 news item in DV reported that William Cruse and his company, the William Cruse Co. would be responsible for the movie’s visual effects design, especially the shooting of the avalanche, neither his name nor his company’s name are listed in the film’s onscreen credits. On 28 Feb ... More Less


The credits state that Avalanche was: “Filmed on Location at Tamarron Resort in Durango, Colorado.”
       Though a character referred to as “Gary” appears in the movie, the actor and role name are not listed in the film’s end credits.
       According to a 1976 news item in HR, producer Roger Corman approached Charlton Heston to star in the film. However, HR reported on 28 Dec 1977 that Rock Hudson and William Holden were both in contention for the lead role. A 6 Feb 1978 DV news item announced that Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow had been cast to star in the film.
       On 14 Feb 1978, an HR news item noted that Corman was “cornering” Ann Sothern to play Mia Farrow’s mother. However, the mother of Farrow’s character, “Caroline Brace,” does not appear in the final film.
       According to a news item in the 28 Mar 1977 DV, Roger Corman considered directing the film himself, but 12 Jan 1978 HR news item announced that Corey Allen was hired as the film’s director.
       Although news items in the 2 Sep 1976 DV and the 12 Jan 1978 HR announced Gavin Lambert as the movie’s writer, his name does not appear in the film’s onscreen credits.
       While a 31 Jan 1978 news item in DV reported that William Cruse and his company, the William Cruse Co. would be responsible for the movie’s visual effects design, especially the shooting of the avalanche, neither his name nor his company’s name are listed in the film’s onscreen credits. On 28 Feb 1978, DV announced Gene Warren was hired to handle special effects, but his name does not appear in the film’s end credits. Warren’s company, Excelsior!, is given onscreen credit for special visual effects.
       According to production notes from the AMPAS library, the film would start shooting in 1974. From late 1976 to early 1978, publications announced multiple start dates and several Colorado towns as the production location. HR reported on 8 Dec 1977 that filming would take place in Aspen but LAT announced on 11 Feb 1978 that the production location would be Purgatory, CO. While the 2 Sep 1976 HR reported that filming was scheduled to begin in early 1977, news items in HR on 12 Jan 1978 and Var on 18 Jan 1978 announced that principal photography would commence on 13 Feb 1978 in Keystone, CO. However, on 31 Jan 1978, DV stated that the production was set to start shooting 20 Feb 1978, and on 16 Feb 1978, DV reported the filming would begin 6 Mar 1978 in Durango, CO.
       As stated in DV on 2 Sept 1976, the film marked the largest New World budget to date. However, budget estimates ranged from $2 million, announced by DV, to $3.5 million, reported by The Denver Post on 28 Jul 1978, to $12 million, according to HR on 28 Dec 1977.
       Although the 1976 HR news item announced that the movie would be released during the summer of 1977, the movie opened in Los Angeles, CA at the Hollywood Pacific #3, UA Cinema Center on 29 Mar 1978. On 21 Apr 1978, an HR news item announced that the film’s world premiere would take place at General Cinema’s Cherry Creek Theatre in Denver, CO, on 19 Jul 1978. A 28 Jul 1978 news item in HR reported that attendance at the premiere was so high, additional theater space had to be found to accommodate the crowds. According to the same HR article, the film officially opened 28 Jul 1978 in Denver, St. Louis, MO and Minneapolis, MN; and a news item in the 17 Aug 1978 HR announced that additional releases were planned for Chicago, IL, Milwaukee, WI, Los Angeles, San Francisco, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, New Orleans, LA and Cleveland, OH.
       According to a 17 Aug 1978 news item in HR , Corman announced that the film’s nearly $87,000 box office gross in eleven Colorado theaters helped push the New World Pictures’ total grosses over $400 million for the first time.
       On 16 Aug 1978, a HR news item announced that Delos Records would release the film’s soundtrack.
       In a 17 Oct 1979 press release, CBS announced it would air the picture as a special movie presentation on 3 Nov 1979.
       A 9 Aug 1996 article in DV mentioned Corman’s plans to remake Avalanche as a picture reminiscent of the John Boorman film Deliverance (1972, see entry). The survival story, about “a yuppie ski vacation” would be based on a story written by Rachel Samuels. Although shooting was scheduled to begin fall 1996 in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the remake apparently never went into production.
       Reviews were mixed, with the U.S. Catholic Conference expressing one very specific criticism, stating "Avalanche also has enough action in the bedroom and nudity to stir some wonder over its relatively mild PG rating," according to a 3 Oct 1978, DV news item.
             The following acknowledgements appear in the end credits: “Cindy Perpich’s (misspelled Perpiche’s) appearance sanctioned by the United States Figure Skating Association,” and “Promotional Considerations Provided by: Alpine Design; Cobra Communications; Dynascan Corp.; Coleman Camping Equipment; Gladding Corp.; Kelty Pack; Schieffelin and Co.; New York, Snocraft Corp.; Yamaha Motor Corp.”

       The end credits also offer: “Special Thanks to: The Colorado Mountain Men; 3rd Platoon, Company C; 3rd Battalion (misspelled Battallion), 37th Infantry; United States Army Reserve; National Ski Patrol Systems, Inc.; The United States Forest Service.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
2 Sep 1976
---
Daily Variety
28 Mar 1977
---
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1978
---
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1978
---
Daily Variety
16 Feb 1978
---
Daily Variety
28 Feb 1978
---
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1996
p. 4, 38.
Denver Post
28 Jul 1978
p. 59.
Hollywood Reporter
1976
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Dec 1977
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 1977
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 1978
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Feb 1978
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 1978
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jul 1978
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Aug 1978
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 1978
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 1978
p. 3.
LAHExam
1 Sep 1978
Section B
Los Angeles Times
11 Feb 1978
---
Los Angeles Times
30 Aug 1978
p. 10.
MFB
Jan 1980
---
Variety
26 Jul 1978
---
Variety
6 Sep 1978
p. 22.
Variety
4 Nov 1978
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
New World Pictures Presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Avalanche seqs dir
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Key grip
2d unit photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Avalanche seqs ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Original Music Copyright © 1978 William Kraft
Paladin
Paladin
Paladin
Paladin
Paladin
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec visual eff
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod coord
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Loc auditor
STAND INS
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt coord
SOURCES
SONGS
"Difficult Sesson," additional music arrangement by Mark Wilde, performed by Paladin
"Right Down at the Bottom," additional music arrangement by Betsy Clark, performed by Paladin.
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 July 1978
Premiere Information:
World premiere at General Cinema in Denver, CO: 19 July 1978
Los Angeles opening: 30 August 1978
Production Date:
Began 6 March 1978 in Durango, CO
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Caroline Brace checks into the newly opened ski resort owned by her ex-husband, David Shelby. Delighted to run into her former mother-in-law, Florence Shelby, Caroline joins her on a tour of the facility with Florence and David’s accountant, Henry McDade. To increase publicity of the resort's grand opening, David has invited winter sports stars such as a ski jump champion named Gary; the downhill skier and notorious playboy, Bruce Scott; and Olympic skaters Cathy Jordan and Annette Rivers. Greeting Caroline, David relates his pride in the resort and the struggle it took to build it, noting that he may be implicated in an investigation of a planning commissioner. Putting his woes aside, he expresses his desire to reconcile with Caroline. Meanwhile, on the skating rink, Cathy stumbles at the end of her routine and despite her coach’s assurances, she worries that she’ll never get it right. Out on one of the resort's hillsides, McDade and Florence encounter Nick Thorne, a nature photographer who warns that the removal of the trees is rendering the slope unstable. Vowing to remind David of the environmental hazards at the resort, Nick tosses a snowball that easily rolls down the mountain. Elsewhere, Bruce is trying out the ski course when a small avalanche breaks above him. Racing ahead of the oncoming snow, Bruce is forced high up into a tree for safety. When the avalanche eventually stops, he jumps down on the snow and skies away. Later, Nick flags David down, insisting they talk about conditions on the mountain and David introduces Caroline as his wife to Nick. After Caroline leaves, Nick argues with David and ski patrol ranger, Phil Prentiss, about whether enough ... +


Caroline Brace checks into the newly opened ski resort owned by her ex-husband, David Shelby. Delighted to run into her former mother-in-law, Florence Shelby, Caroline joins her on a tour of the facility with Florence and David’s accountant, Henry McDade. To increase publicity of the resort's grand opening, David has invited winter sports stars such as a ski jump champion named Gary; the downhill skier and notorious playboy, Bruce Scott; and Olympic skaters Cathy Jordan and Annette Rivers. Greeting Caroline, David relates his pride in the resort and the struggle it took to build it, noting that he may be implicated in an investigation of a planning commissioner. Putting his woes aside, he expresses his desire to reconcile with Caroline. Meanwhile, on the skating rink, Cathy stumbles at the end of her routine and despite her coach’s assurances, she worries that she’ll never get it right. Out on one of the resort's hillsides, McDade and Florence encounter Nick Thorne, a nature photographer who warns that the removal of the trees is rendering the slope unstable. Vowing to remind David of the environmental hazards at the resort, Nick tosses a snowball that easily rolls down the mountain. Elsewhere, Bruce is trying out the ski course when a small avalanche breaks above him. Racing ahead of the oncoming snow, Bruce is forced high up into a tree for safety. When the avalanche eventually stops, he jumps down on the snow and skies away. Later, Nick flags David down, insisting they talk about conditions on the mountain and David introduces Caroline as his wife to Nick. After Caroline leaves, Nick argues with David and ski patrol ranger, Phil Prentiss, about whether enough precautions have been taken to safeguard the resort. Nick departs, running into Caroline who is swimming in the resort's pool. During a flirtatious exchange with Nick, Caroline clarifies that she’s David’s ex-wife and she expresses interest in seeing Nick at the party that night. As Nick heads outside, he sneaks explosives out of Phil's truck. Meanwhile, David greets popular talk show host Mark Elliott and informs Mark that his wife Tina is at the resort with Bruce. That night, Nick makes an unexpected appearance at the party and incites David’s jealousy as he dances with Caroline. After arguing with David, Caroline goes home with Nick. In another cabin, Tina finds Bruce in bed with Annette, which sends her screaming into the snow in her underwear. In the morning, Nick leaves Caroline in bed to check out conditions on the mountain while Tina returns to argue with Bruce about his infidelity. In his office, David orders his lawyer, Marty Brenner, to come to the resort to deal with the commissioner’s investigation regardless of the dangerous flying conditions. Up on the mountain, Nick uses the purloined explosives to safely release pressure on a precariously dangling snow shelf. Back at the lodge, David presides over various grand opening celebrations and events while Mark Elliott covers the events on his talk show before taking a break to ski. As Mark boards the lift, he notices a little boy named Jason whose parents were going to leave him behind, and takes Jason up the mountain with him. Just then, Marty's airplane crashes into the mountain, triggering an avalanche. The snow sweeps away people on the lift, including Jason’s parents, and knocks Gary down in the middle of his ski jump. Bruce races downhill to outrun the avalanche, but this time the snow overtakes him. Caroline watches the disaster from Nick’s place, where she is protected from the devastation by the house’s remote location. At the ice rink, where David judges the competition from the observation booth, Cathy finally successfully completes her skating routine, just before the avalanche crushes her. The lodge collapses, crushing Tina in her room just as she's about to commit suicide and trapping Florence and McDade in the dining room. When the avalanche subsides, the survivors take stock of the situation. Mark and Jason are stranded on the ski lift as Nick digs through the snow to rescue Phil near the ranger station. When David crawls out of the collapsed observation booth and encounters Phil, the men decide to use the rest of Phil’s explosives to clear a path into the hotel and free any trapped guests. At the lodge, David and Caroline reunite and look for Florence. On the mountain, Annette is desperate to find Bruce, who is stuck upside down in an air pocket, submerged in snow. Though Bruce tries to alert rescuers to his location, it is too late to save his life. David and McDade dig toward each other and finally create a way out of the lodge. Florence is unconscious from a gas leak, but Caroline saves her with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, then accompanies her to the hospital on the ambulance. Meanwhile, the ski lift chair falls away, leaving Mark and Jason swinging from the lift line. As rescuers set a net under them, Jason drops to safety, but before Mark can join him, the lift line is momentarily reconnected to its power source and he is electrocuted. David learns that Florence’s route to the hospital may be cut off so he and Nick race to find her. Just then, the speeding ambulance skids on the ice and spins out of control. As the vehicle goes over the bridge and explodes, Caroline is thrown outside and left clinging to a weak railing. Nick and David arrive just in time to rescue her, and David realizes Florence is dead. Back at the destroyed resort, Caroline says goodbye to Nick and goes to see David. As they toast their survival with a bottle of champagne that Caroline finds, David says he knows he is the cause of the devastation and the end of their marriage. Caroline marvels at his admission. As Caroline leaves the resort in a taxi, David stands alone in the wreckage of his empire. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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