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HISTORY

Film begins with the message: "In June 1974, Drs. F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina of the University of California startled the scientific world with their finding that fluorocarbon gases used in aerosol spray cans are seriously damaging the Earth's protective ozone layer. Thus, potentially dangerous amounts of ultra-violet rays are reaching the surface of our planet, adversely affecting all living things. This motion picture dramatizes what COULD happen in the the near future IF we continue to do nothing to stop this damage to Nature's protective shield for life on this planet."
       The end credits include a thanks to "the National Park Service for their assistance in the making of this motion picture."
       Though actress Susan Backlinie is not also listed in the production credits, she claimed in a feature called "Something Was Out There: Day of the Animals Thirty Years Later” on the 2006 Day of the Animals DVD that she worked as an animal trainer on the film. Though her career as an actress included being the first victim in Jaws in 1974, Backlinie was best known as a stuntwoman and animal ... More Less

Film begins with the message: "In June 1974, Drs. F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina of the University of California startled the scientific world with their finding that fluorocarbon gases used in aerosol spray cans are seriously damaging the Earth's protective ozone layer. Thus, potentially dangerous amounts of ultra-violet rays are reaching the surface of our planet, adversely affecting all living things. This motion picture dramatizes what COULD happen in the the near future IF we continue to do nothing to stop this damage to Nature's protective shield for life on this planet."
       The end credits include a thanks to "the National Park Service for their assistance in the making of this motion picture."
       Though actress Susan Backlinie is not also listed in the production credits, she claimed in a feature called "Something Was Out There: Day of the Animals Thirty Years Later” on the 2006 Day of the Animals DVD that she worked as an animal trainer on the film. Though her career as an actress included being the first victim in Jaws in 1974, Backlinie was best known as a stuntwoman and animal trainer.
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 1977
p. 3, 15.
Los Angeles Times
27 May 1977
p. 24.
New York Times
26 May 1977
p. 22.
Variety
8 Jun 1977
p. 26.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An Edward L. Montoro Production of
A William Girdler Film
A Film Ventures International Release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d unit cam asst
2d unit cam asst
2d unit cam asst
Still photog
Gaffer
Gaffer's best boy
Key grip
Key grip's best boy
Photog eff
Photog eff
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Casting
Animals furnished and trained by
Animals furnished and trained by
Scr supv
2d unit scr supv
Dial coach
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Addl animals owned and trained by
Addl animals owned and trained by
Addl animals owned and trained by
Addl animals owned and trained by
Addl animals owned and trained by
Transportation chief
Tech coord
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Color by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Pink Pyjamas," a campfire song, probably sung by the actors. They did not use the song's usual melody, "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic," words by Julia Ward Howe, using the melody of the Civil War marching song, "John Brown's Body."
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Something Is Out There
Release Date:
25 May 1977
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 25 May 1977
Physical Properties:
Sound
Filmed in Todd-AO 35®
Color
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

At Murphy’s Hotel in an alpine village, Steve Buckner prepares to board a dozen hikers into two helicopters to fly up the mountain to Sugar Meadow, where they will begin a days-long nature hike. Local ranger Chico Tucker privately tells Steve that there have been all kinds of accidents lately and maybe this hike isn’t a good idea, but Steve refuses to call it off. Later that day, after a brisk trek, the hikers rest on several large rocks. Professor MacGregor takes photographs of eagles and hawks. Frank and Mandy Young confess that they are taking this hike to pull together their shaky marriage. An older woman, Shirley Goodwyn, admits that she’s only there because her son, Johnny, wanted to come, and already she wishes she had stayed home in Beverly Hills. Paul Jenson is an advertising executive with an angry, derisive sense of humor. Bob and Beth are teenagers in love. Roy Moore is a former professional football player sidelined by cancer. Terry Marsh is a television reporter. The steadiest person among them is Daniel Santee, an American Indian. During a rest stop, Daniel stands apart from the others, studying the surroundings. Finally, he wonders out loud why everything is so quiet. Other than the wind and the caws from predatory birds, the hills are silent. Jenson, who calls Daniels “Kemo Sabe,” says there’s nothing to worry about, but several birds, including an owl and a hawk, land next to Johnny, scaring the boy and his mother. Steve and Daniel say they have never seen birds act like that before. In the restaurant of Murphy’s Hotel, Ranger Tucker sits down with his friend Burt, the local sheriff, and ... +


At Murphy’s Hotel in an alpine village, Steve Buckner prepares to board a dozen hikers into two helicopters to fly up the mountain to Sugar Meadow, where they will begin a days-long nature hike. Local ranger Chico Tucker privately tells Steve that there have been all kinds of accidents lately and maybe this hike isn’t a good idea, but Steve refuses to call it off. Later that day, after a brisk trek, the hikers rest on several large rocks. Professor MacGregor takes photographs of eagles and hawks. Frank and Mandy Young confess that they are taking this hike to pull together their shaky marriage. An older woman, Shirley Goodwyn, admits that she’s only there because her son, Johnny, wanted to come, and already she wishes she had stayed home in Beverly Hills. Paul Jenson is an advertising executive with an angry, derisive sense of humor. Bob and Beth are teenagers in love. Roy Moore is a former professional football player sidelined by cancer. Terry Marsh is a television reporter. The steadiest person among them is Daniel Santee, an American Indian. During a rest stop, Daniel stands apart from the others, studying the surroundings. Finally, he wonders out loud why everything is so quiet. Other than the wind and the caws from predatory birds, the hills are silent. Jenson, who calls Daniels “Kemo Sabe,” says there’s nothing to worry about, but several birds, including an owl and a hawk, land next to Johnny, scaring the boy and his mother. Steve and Daniel say they have never seen birds act like that before. In the restaurant of Murphy’s Hotel, Ranger Tucker sits down with his friend Burt, the local sheriff, and tells him there’s been a spate of rattlesnake bites. At that moment a reporter on the television set over the bar says a White House bulletin is claiming that chemical waste released into the atmosphere has dangerously depleted the ozone layer, which protects all life from the sun’s radiation. Tucker admits that the sun has been “peculiar” lately, but dismisses the report as “ozone crap.” On the mountain, the hikers stumble upon a camp where a fire is burning and coffee cups are ready to be filled, but nobody is around. Steve says the campers will soon be back. He leads the hikers to a nearby spot to bed down for the night. They build a fire, and while several of the hikers sing campfire songs, Daniel pulls Steve aside to tell him that something strange is going on in the woods. Steve asks him not to say anything to panic the others. The two decide to take turns standing guard. That night, as Terry wonders why the other campers haven’t returned, several wolves attack Mandy in her sleeping bag. The campers chase them off, but Mandy’s hand has been badly bitten and she needs to get to a hospital. At daybreak, Mandy and Frank leave the others and hike to a nearby ranger tower to call for a helicopter, but birds gather in the trees and circle overhead. Suddenly, hawks swoop down and attack her, and before Frank can chase them off, Mandy falls over a cliff to her death. Meanwhile, as the rest of the hikers continue down the mountain, Johnny picks up snatches of radio reports about an ozone emergency. When Johnny alarms the other hikers, Shirley shouts at him and accidentally knocks his radio into a creek. When the hikers reach a spot where food has been left for them, the boxes have been ripped apart by raiding animals and nothing is left. Jenson, challenging Steve’s competence, says the group should stay there and wait for a helicopter to return, but Steve insists on pushing on down the mountain. Meanwhile, Frank is wading through a creek when he finds a little girl standing on the bank. Frank asks the girl where her parents are, but she is in shock and doesn’t react to him until a hawk swoops down and makes her scream. Frank picks her up and carries her. Late that night, Ranger Tucker is awakened by the telephone. Burt tells him the National Guard is in town to evacuate everybody above 5,000 feet. As Tucker hangs up, he hears something rattling and gnawing. He turns on the kitchen light, finds the room empty, and gets a plate of chicken out of the refrigerator. But as Tucker goes into a drawer for a knife, some rats jump onto the table. Tucker tries to stab them, but a couple of rats leap on him and tear his face. Tucker runs upstairs to wake his wife, Rita. They hurry outside and get into their car before several vicious dogs can bite them. At the camp, after wolves attack the hikers again and injure Daniel, Jenson says he’s going to walk back up the mountain to the ranger tower, which is closer than the village, and talks Shirley, Johnny, Bob and Beth into going with him. The others continue down the mountain. That night, as lightning flashes and rain pours, Jenson becomes violent. He calls Shirley a “Beverly Hills bitch” and threatens to toss Johnny off a cliff. Bob and Beth realize they’ve made a mistake by coming with Jenson, but before they can leave, Jenson kills Bob with a blow from his walking stick and drags Beth away from Shirley and Johnny. While Jenson tries to rape the teenager, however, a bear kills him. Shirley and Johnny grab Beth and run away. In the morning, after a night of walking, Frank and the little girl arrive in the village where they started, but everything is quiet. Houses are empty. When Frank opens the door of an abandoned truck, a dead man falls out with fang marks on his face. Outside Murphy’s Hotel, a mad dog attacks them. Frank puts the girl inside a vehicle and grabs a hammer from a toolbox. Frank tells her he’s going to make a run for his car not far away, and no matter what happens she must stay where she is until he returns. As soon as Frank reaches his car and opens the passenger door, several snakes inside attack and kill him. Meanwhile, Shirley, Johnny and Beth take sanctuary in a helicopter whose pilot has been killed by a pack of dogs. When they wake up hours later, everything is quiet and the dogs are all dead. As Johnny and Shirley step out of the copter, they hear another helicopter coming and wave their hands as it approaches. Meanwhile, Steve’s group is attacked by a pack of dogs at a camp of dilapidated cabins. Professor MacGregor and Roy, badly mauled as they struggle with the dogs, yell for Steve, Terry and Daniel to run. The three hurry down to the nearby creek and push a raft into the water, but as they push off, the dogs leap onto the raft, forcing Steve, Terry and Daniel overboard. The three hang on as a current catches the raft and pulls it downstream through rapids. In town, four men in hazardous-material suits approach Murphy’s Hotel. Dead birds and animals lay everywhere, killed by the radiation that drove them crazy. They see the little girl hiding inside a car and rescue her. Not far away, Steve, Terry and Daniel are sleeping on the drifting raft when they hear voices and a distant siren. Looking up, they see a dozen people standing on a bridge, welcoming them back to the normal world. +

GENRE
Sub-genre:
Animal, Disaster, Environmental


Subject
Subject (Major):

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.