Juggernaut (1974)

PG | 109 mins | Drama | 1974

Director:

Richard Lester

Producer:

Richard De Koker

Cinematographer:

Gerry Fisher

Editor:

Antony Gibbs

Production Designer:

Terence Marsh

Production Company:

Gambit/Two Roads Production Co.
Full page view
HISTORY

Actor Roy Kinnear's character, "Social Director, Mr. Curtain" is misspelled in the end credits as "Mr. Curain."
       An 11 Oct 1972 Var news item announced that Richard Alan Simmons negotiated a deal with United Artists Corp. to film his script Juggernaut after working several years as a producer-writer. However, Simmons received no credit on the film. A 6 Dec 1973 DV brief reported that Bryan Forbes, who was assigned to direct, quit the project and was replaced by Don Medford. According to a 5 Feb 1974 HR report, Medford dropped out of the film “for personal reasons.”
       Though a 21 Jan 1974 HR news item announced that actors Oliver Reed and Omar Sharif joined the cast, Reed did not appear in the film.
       A 20 Aug 1974 HR brief stated that United Artists was planning the “most intensive national television ad campaign in the company’s history” to promote Juggernaut , to be launched 7 Sep 1974 in advance of the film’s 25 Sep 1974 release. Airing during ten “prime time network shows,” the advertisements were intended to reach 150,000,000 houses. ... More Less

Actor Roy Kinnear's character, "Social Director, Mr. Curtain" is misspelled in the end credits as "Mr. Curain."
       An 11 Oct 1972 Var news item announced that Richard Alan Simmons negotiated a deal with United Artists Corp. to film his script Juggernaut after working several years as a producer-writer. However, Simmons received no credit on the film. A 6 Dec 1973 DV brief reported that Bryan Forbes, who was assigned to direct, quit the project and was replaced by Don Medford. According to a 5 Feb 1974 HR report, Medford dropped out of the film “for personal reasons.”
       Though a 21 Jan 1974 HR news item announced that actors Oliver Reed and Omar Sharif joined the cast, Reed did not appear in the film.
       A 20 Aug 1974 HR brief stated that United Artists was planning the “most intensive national television ad campaign in the company’s history” to promote Juggernaut , to be launched 7 Sep 1974 in advance of the film’s 25 Sep 1974 release. Airing during ten “prime time network shows,” the advertisements were intended to reach 150,000,000 houses.
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Sep 1974
p. 4726.
Daily Variety
6 Dec 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 1974
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 1974
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 1974
p. 3, 5.
Los Angeles Times
27 Sep 1974
Section IV, p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Oct 1974
p. 36.
New York Times
28 Sep 1974.
---
Newsweek
7 Oct 1974
p. 95.
Time
21 Oct 1974
p. 4.
Variety
11 Oct 1972.
---
Variety
18 Sep 1974
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
David V. Picker presents
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Unit mgr
1st asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Addl dial by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit photog
Aerial photog
Cam op
Gaffer
Stills photog
Filmed with
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Const mgr
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus comp
SOUND
Sd rec
Dubbing ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Continuity
Tech adv
Casting dir
Unit pub
Gaming machines
DETAILS
Release Date:
1974
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 27 September 1974
Production Date:
19 February--late April 1974
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists Corp.
Copyright Date:
11 September 1974
Copyright Number:
LP43888
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
De Luxe
Duration(in mins):
109
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, Spain, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
23927
SYNOPSIS

At an English seaport, police superintendent John McCleod waves goodbye to his wife, Susan, and children, David and Nancy, as they leave for the United States on the cruise ship Britannic . Later, the ship’s First Officer, Hollingsworth, delivers a letter to Captain Brunel in his chambers. After he introduces Hollingsworth to his girlfriend, Barbara Banister, Brunel calls Mallicent, the ship’s chief engineer, about malfunctioning gyroscopes. Barbara reads a weather report and Brunel confirms that impending winds will cause rough conditions. At home, Nicholas Porter, managing director of the Sovereign cruise ship line, receives a call from a man who identifies himself as “Juggernaut” and says that seven explosive devices containing Amatol have been placed aboard the Britannic , timed to explode shortly after dawn. He explains that the bombs are contained in seven green, fifty-gallon, steel drums dispersed throughout the ship and booby-trapped to explode if they are moved. Juggernaut demands £500,000 to disarm the bombs. To prove the threat is real, Juggernaut announces that three small explosions will soon take place. At a museum, bomb expert, Lieutenant Commander Anthony Fallon, casually defuses a timed explosive device. Charlie Braddock, a colleague, informs Fallon that they are needed on the Britannic . In his office, Porter discusses the bomb threat with police and government officials, including McCleod, who admits his family is aboard the ship. Porter reports that the initial explosions caused one injury and only minor damage to the ship. Commander Marder tells Porter that Fallon and his team are on their way. Hughes, a government agent, asks Porter how he plans to respond. Porter says he will ... +


At an English seaport, police superintendent John McCleod waves goodbye to his wife, Susan, and children, David and Nancy, as they leave for the United States on the cruise ship Britannic . Later, the ship’s First Officer, Hollingsworth, delivers a letter to Captain Brunel in his chambers. After he introduces Hollingsworth to his girlfriend, Barbara Banister, Brunel calls Mallicent, the ship’s chief engineer, about malfunctioning gyroscopes. Barbara reads a weather report and Brunel confirms that impending winds will cause rough conditions. At home, Nicholas Porter, managing director of the Sovereign cruise ship line, receives a call from a man who identifies himself as “Juggernaut” and says that seven explosive devices containing Amatol have been placed aboard the Britannic , timed to explode shortly after dawn. He explains that the bombs are contained in seven green, fifty-gallon, steel drums dispersed throughout the ship and booby-trapped to explode if they are moved. Juggernaut demands £500,000 to disarm the bombs. To prove the threat is real, Juggernaut announces that three small explosions will soon take place. At a museum, bomb expert, Lieutenant Commander Anthony Fallon, casually defuses a timed explosive device. Charlie Braddock, a colleague, informs Fallon that they are needed on the Britannic . In his office, Porter discusses the bomb threat with police and government officials, including McCleod, who admits his family is aboard the ship. Porter reports that the initial explosions caused one injury and only minor damage to the ship. Commander Marder tells Porter that Fallon and his team are on their way. Hughes, a government agent, asks Porter how he plans to respond. Porter says he will follow Juggernaut’s instructions and pay the requested sum. Hughes rejects the plan, explaining that the government’s strategy is to “resist extortion by terror.” Juggernaut calls and McCleod rushes to a car outside while agents at a special operations center trace the call. Juggernaut instructs Porter to look for two plaid suitcases marked with the initials “D.J.S.” at the lost and found counter of Waterloo train station. Inside one is a key to a locker at the West London Airport. After the suitcases are packed with £500,000, an associate will pick them up from the locker. Juggernaut warns Porter that if his associate is followed, the Britannic will be sunk. McCleod arrives at a building to which agents traced Juggernaut’s call and finds two abandoned phones rigged to re-route call tracing. On the ship, an American passenger, Mr. Corrigan, asks the Third Officer, Jim Hardy, why they are traveling in circles, suspecting the ship officials of hiding something. Also suspicious, Barbara asks Azad, a waiter, why the crew members seem nervous. On deck, David reads a book about ships and watches as a small red flag is raised. He tells Nancy the flag indicates their ship is carrying explosives. Brunel orders Hollingsworth to captain a small boat out to sea where Fallon’s team will jump into the ocean from a plane. Over the phone, Porter admits to Brunel that, at the urging of Hughes, he has not yet paid Juggernaut. Outfitted in wet suits and flippers, the bomb squad parachute into the water as Britannica passengers watch. When Hollingsworth’s small boat is thrown by a large wave, one of his seamen falls overboard. Several members of Fallon’s team swim to the cruise ship and struggle to climb rope ladders to the main deck as wind and waves batter them. One man falls off a ladder and waves carry him away. Once on board, Fallon introduces himself to Hardy. Brunel makes an announcement to the passengers, alerting them of the bomb threat. Mr. Curtain, the Social Director, follows Brunel with an announcement that the evening’s fancy dress ball has not been cancelled. Below deck, Fallon listens to one of the steel drums with a sound device. In an interrogation room, McCleod meets with O’Neill, a prisoner who may have information on Juggernaut but refuses to talk. Fallon meets with Brunel and confirms that if all the bombs go off at once, the ship will sink. Brunel dislikes Fallon’s lax attitude, but Fallon informs him that, until dawn, the ship belongs to him. Soon after, Charlie and Fallon carefully drill a hole into one of the drums. At the same time, David roams the ship alone. When Azad finds him in a corridor, he attempts to lead the boy away but they become trapped near a drum moments before it explodes. At the Waterloo station, two agents pick up Juggernaut’s plaid suitcases and find the locker key inside. Detective Skinner, a colleague of McCleod’s, speaks to a suspect named Buckland, who recounts that he spent the day with a neighbor and, later, in the garden. At the special operations center, Porter learns that two seamen and a member of Fallon’s bomb squad drowned. In addition, a recent explosion killed another squad member and Azad. McCleod tells Porter to pay Juggernaut. Marder informs Porter that Fallon and Charlie will work separately on two bombs, communicating via radio. Frustrated, Porter insists he must pay Juggernaut and leaves. Over the phone, McCleod talks to his son who excitedly reports he was almost blown up by a bomb. Brunel, along with the detectives at the special operations center, listen to Fallon and Charlie’s conversation as they work on two drums. Meanwhile, at the ball, Barbara speaks to Curtain, who admits he is scared. Below deck, Fallon carefully unscrews bolts and removes a face plate on his drum. He turns off the light and looks through infrared goggles to avoid tripping any light-sensitive triggers. Bracing himself, Charlie listens to Fallon announce his moves. Inside the drum, Fallon finds a light-sensitive photoelectric cell and cuts its wires so he can turn the lights back on. Looking at a moving tape inside the drum, he comments that Juggernaut is clever. Charlie follows Fallon’s lead and removes the photoelectric cell from his bomb. Fallon then cuts several colored wires and instructs Charlie to do the same. As they carefully insert plastic slips inside the drums, Charlie’s bomb explodes, and a partition of the ship begins to fill with water. McCleod and fellow detectives observe Juggernaut’s contact picking up the suitcases from the airport and checking onto a flight to Dublin. However, the bags are too heavy, and the agent tells him he must pay £14.50. Juggernaut’s contact apologizes that he has no money and slowly walks away, leaving the bags at the ticketing counter. McCleod shouts for agents to arrest him. From a payphone, Buckland calls Porter, and, speaking as Juggernaut, cancels negotiations. At the airport, McCleod, Brown and Skinner question Juggernaut’s contact, who says he never saw the man who hired him. Brunel finds Fallon drinking in his office. Fallon takes responsibility for the explosion that killed Charlie and reprimands Brunel for not paying Juggernaut. The captain relays the message that Juggernaut has terminated negotiations. Ignoring Brunel’s orders to get back to work, Fallon tells the captain to launch his lifeboats, but Brunel claims the passengers wouldn’t survive on smaller vessels given the treacherous weather conditions. Fallon leaves the office, telling his squad to get back to work. Examining the bomb again, Fallon sees a tiny wire that Charlie must have tripped with his plastic strip. After carefully removing the wire with a shaky hand, Fallon spots a counter running towards the back of the drum. When he cuts the tape, a loud bell rings. Angry, Fallon announces that Juggernaut planted the bell for comedic effect. Fallon removes a circuit board and finds a message behind it, reading, “Sorry – better luck next time.” Fallon orders paint remover to every bomb station. At the same time, Brunel instructs Mallicent to cut the ship’s engines. Fallon believes the real entrance to the bomb will be on the side, so he and his men chip paint off of the drums . When Fallon suggests to the special operations team that Juggernaut made a similar bomb in Germany, McCleod argues that their suspect’s accent is English. Fallon states that he worked on a team with Sid Buckland, the suspect whom Skinner questioned earlier, to defuse the German bomb, and detectives return to Buckland’s home for more questioning. There, Skinner finds a brochure for the Britannic upstairs, and the detectives apprehend him. Entering the drum through the side, Fallon finds the main fuse and expresses fear that he may trigger the bomb as he moves forward. Brunel orders all passengers to stand by the lifeboats. Fallon demands to speak with Buckland over the radio, but Marder tells him there is no more time and orders the bomb squad to evacuate. Fallon insists he and his team will stay until their job is done. Marder finds Buckland, who is complaining to detectives about the paltry pension he received after years of government service. Agreeing to speak to his former colleague, Buckland tells Fallon he has three minutes to cut the correct wire. Fallon says he is frightened, attempting to gain Buckland’s sympathy. After Buckland tells him to cut the blue wire, Fallon cuts the red wire and defuses the bomb. He instructs the rest of the squad to cut the red wires on the remaining drums. That morning, passengers rejoice and the small red flag is lowered on the ship. Fallon walks out to the deck and smokes his pipe. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.