Juggernaut (1974 film)
   HOME

TheInfoList




''Juggernaut'' is a 1974 British crime suspense film starring
Richard Harris Richard St John Harris (1 October 1930 – 25 October 2002) was an Irish actor and singer. He appeared on stage and in many films, notably as Frank Machin in ''This Sporting Life ''This Sporting Life'' is a 1963 British kitchen sink drama ...

Richard Harris
,
Omar Sharif Omar Sharif ( ar, عمر الشريف ; born Michael Yusef Dimitri Chalhoub , 10 April 193210 July 2015) was an Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups ...
, and
Anthony Hopkins Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins (born 31 December 1937) is a Welsh actor, director, producer, composer, and painter who holds both British and American citizenship. He is the recipient of multiple accolades, including an Academy Award Th ...

Anthony Hopkins
. The film, which was directed by
Richard Lester Richard Lester Liebman (born January 19, 1932), commonly referred to as Dick Lester, is an American film director based in the United Kingdom. He is best known for directing the Beatles' films ''A Hard Day's Night (film), A Hard Day's Night'' (1 ...

Richard Lester
, was largely shot on location aboard the TS ''Hamburg'' in the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
. It was inspired by real events aboard ''
QE2 ''Queen Elizabeth 2'', often referred to simply as ''QE2'', is a retired British ocean liner An ocean liner is a passenger ship primarily used as a form of transportation across seas or oceans. Liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may ...
'' in May 1972 when
Royal Marine The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is an amphibious Amphibious means able to use either land or water. In particular it may refer to: * ''Amphibious'' (film), a 2010 film * Amphibious aircraft An amphibious aircraft or amphibian is an air ...
s from the
Special Boat Service The Special Boat Service (SBS) is the special forces unit of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early m ...
were parachuted onto the ship because of a bomb hoax. In the film, Richard Harris leads a team of Naval bomb disposal experts sent to disarm several large barrel bombs that have been placed aboard an ocean liner crossing the North Atlantic. Meanwhile, ashore, the police race against time to track down the mysterious bomb maker, who calls himself "Juggernaut" who will for a ransom reveal the information that will disarm the bombs.


Plot

The
ocean liner An ocean liner is a passenger ship primarily used as a form of transportation across seas or oceans. Liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may sometimes be used for other purposes (such as for pleasure cruises or as hospital ships). Cargo ve ...
SS ''Britannic'' is in the middle of a voyage in the
North Atlantic
North Atlantic
with 1200 passengers on board when the shipping line's owner Nicholas Porter in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
receives a telephone call from an unidentified person with an
Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britai ...
accentAccent may refer to: Speech and language * Accent (sociolinguistics), way of pronunciation particular to a speaker or group of speakers * Accent (phonetics), prominence given to a particular syllable in a word, or a word in a phrase ** Pitch accen ...
styling himself as "Juggernaut", who claims to have placed seven drums of high explosives aboard the ship which are timed to explode and sink it at dawn on the following day. He warns that the drums are
booby-trapped A booby trap is a device or setup that is intended to kill, harm, or surprise a human being or an animal. It is triggered by the presence or actions of the victim and sometimes has some form of bait designed to lure the victim towards it. The trap ...
in various ways and that any attempt to move them will result in detonation, and offers that technical instructions in how to render the
bomb A bomb is an explosive weapon that uses the Exothermic process, exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy. Detonations inflict damage principally through ground- and atmosphere-tr ...

bomb
s safe will be given in exchange for a
ransom Ransom is the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort Extortion is the practice of obtaining benefit through coercion Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat is a ''comm ...

ransom
of £500,000. As an indication of his seriousness he then sets off a demonstration attack with a series of small bombs behind the ships funnel, which injure one crewman. Unable to order an evacuation of the ship's passengers via lifeboats due to rough seas, the shipping line's management is inclined to yield to the ransom demand, however British government officials inform the company that if it does so they will withdraw the company's
operating subsidy
operating subsidy
in line with the Government's policy of non-appeasement of
terrorism Terrorism, in its broadest sense, is the use of intentional violence to achieve political aims. The term is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the ...
. Instead, a
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
officer, Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Fallon, leading a bomb-disposal unit, is dispatched, arriving on the scene by air transit and parachuting into the sea, to board the ship and defuse the barrel-bombs before the deadline. Meanwhile, back in London, Supt. McCleod, whose wife and two children happen to be holidaying on board the ship, leads
Scotland Yard Scotland Yard (officially New Scotland Yard) is a metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce ...

Scotland Yard
's investigation against the clock to capture the criminal master-bomber. After an attempt to drill a hole into one of the barrel-bombs fails, setting it off and damaging the ship, Fallon decides to split up his team with each man working simultaneously on each of the remaining devices at different points around the ship, Fallon going first with each stage of the defusing operation and informing his men of each move by radio link, with the aim that if he fails and his bomb explodes, his men will know what went wrong and continue the process onwards, with his second in command taking up the lead, until the devices are disarmed. However, if two more bombs go off, the ship will sink. Fallon proceeds to disarm the bomb he is working on, apparently successfully, with his men following each step. However, it contains a hidden secondary mechanism and one of his men, close friend Charlie Braddock, accidentally triggers it, resulting in his death when it explodes, causing further damage to the ship. A distraught Fallon abandons the operation and tells the ship's captain, Alex Brunel, to advise the shipping line to pay the ransom to avoid any more carnage. However, when negotiations with Juggernaut break down (in part because Juggernaut sees the trap police set for him when he goes to collect the ransom) Fallon is ordered by the captain to continue disarming the remaining bombs. Meanwhile, an extensive police search back in London captures the bomber posing as Juggernaut, who is revealed to be an embittered former British military bomb-disposal officer, Sidney Buckland. When told of the news, Fallon, still working on disabling the bombs, reveals that Buckland had trained him and once saved his life, and insists that Buckland be put in contact with him. Buckland/Juggernaut is escorted to the police situation room. By this time Fallon has worked out the important details of the bombs, but has no way of knowing which of two options (cutting a red or blue wire) will disable the bombs, and if he chooses the wrong one it will detonate them. Time is running out and dawn is fast approaching. Fallon and Juggernaut have a brief conversation, and, because of their former comradeship, Juggernaut agrees to tell Fallon how to safely disarm the bombs. Juggernaut gives the instruction to ‘cut the blue wire’ over audio. After a silence, Juggernaut repeats the instruction more fervently. Fallon, sensing he is being lied to, does the opposite of what he is told, cutting the red wire instead, and in so doing is successful in disabling the bomb. The rest of the bomb-disposal unit swiftly follow Fallon's example, and the ship and its passengers are saved.


Cast

*
Richard Harris Richard St John Harris (1 October 1930 – 25 October 2002) was an Irish actor and singer. He appeared on stage and in many films, notably as Frank Machin in ''This Sporting Life ''This Sporting Life'' is a 1963 British kitchen sink drama ...

Richard Harris
as Lieutenant Commander Anthony Fallon *
Omar Sharif Omar Sharif ( ar, عمر الشريف ; born Michael Yusef Dimitri Chalhoub , 10 April 193210 July 2015) was an Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups ...
as Captain Alex Brunel *
David Hemmings David Edward Leslie Hemmings (18 November 1941 – 3 December 2003) was an English actor, director, producer, and singer-songwriter. He co-founded the Hemdale Film Corporation in 1967. Considered an icon of the Swinging London pop scene, Hemm ...
as Charlie Braddock *
Anthony Hopkins Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins (born 31 December 1937) is a Welsh actor, director, producer, composer, and painter who holds both British and American citizenship. He is the recipient of multiple accolades, including an Academy Award Th ...

Anthony Hopkins
as Superintendent John McLeod *
Shirley Knight Shirley Knight Hopkins (July 5, 1936 – April 22, 2020) was an American actress who appeared in more than 50 feature films, television films, television series, and Broadway Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (disambiguation) ...
as Barbara Bannister *
Ian Holm Sir Ian Holm Cuthbert (12 September 193119 June 2020), known as Ian Holm, was an English actor. Beginning his career on the British stage as a standout member of the Royal Shakespeare Company The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is a major ...

Ian Holm
as Nicholas Porter *
Clifton James George Clifton James (May 29, 1920 – April 15, 2017) was an American actor, best known for his roles as a prison floorwalker in ''Cool Hand Luke'' (1967), List of James Bond allies#Sheriff J.W. Pepper, Sheriff J.W. Pepper alongside Roger ...
as Corrigan *
Roy Kinnear Roy is a masculine given name and a family surname with varied origin. In Anglo-NormanAnglo-Norman may refer to: *Anglo-Normans The Anglo-Normans ( nrf, Anglo-Normaunds, ang, Engel-Norðmandisca) were the medieval ruling class in England, c ...
as Ship's Social Director Curtain *
Caroline Mortimer Caroline Mortimer (born Caroline Dimont; 12 March 1942 – 20 September 2020) was a British actress. Caroline Mortimer was the daughter of the novelist Penelope Mortimer from her first marriage to the journalist Charles Dimont and the step-daughter ...
as Susan McLeod * Mark Burns as Hollingsworth *
John Stride John Edward Stride (11 July 1936 – 20 April 2018) was an English actor best known for his television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by ...
as Hughes *
Freddie Jones Frederick Charles Jones''Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916-2005.''; at ancestry.com (12 September 1927 – 9 July 2019) was an English actor who had an extensive career in television, theatre and cinema productions for a ...
as Sidney Buckland *
Julian Glover Julian Wyatt Glover (born 27 March 1935) is an English classical actor with many stage, television and film roles since commencing his career in the 1950s. He is a recipient of the Laurence Olivier Award The Laurence Olivier Awards, or si ...
as Commander Marder *
Cyril Cusack Cyril James Cusack (26 November 1910 – 7 October 1993) was an Irish people, Irish actor. He appeared in numerous films and television productions in a career lasting more than 70 years. In 2020, he was listed at number 14 on ''The Irish Times ...
as O'Neil (uncredited) *
Michael Hordern Sir Michael Murray Hordern Commander of the Order of the British Empire, CBE (3 October 19112 May 1995)Morley, Sheridan"Hordern, Michael Murray (1911–1995)" ''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'', Oxford University Press, 2004, online ...
as Baker (uncredited) * Jack Watson as Chief Engineer Mallicent *
Roshan Seth Roshan Seth OBE The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order of knights typically founded during or inspired by ...
as Azad *
Kenneth Colley Kenneth Colley (born 7 December 1937) is an English film and television actor whose career spans 50 years. He came to wider prominence through his role as Admiral Piett in the ''Star Wars'' films ''The Empire Strikes Back'' (1980) and ''Return ...
as Detective Brown *
Kenneth Cope Kenneth Charles Cope (born 14 April 1931) is a retired English actor and scriptwriter. He is best known for his roles as Marty Hopkirk ''Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)'' is a British private detective A private investigator (often abbr ...
as Bridgeman *
John Bindon John Dennis Arthur Bindon (4 October 1943 – 10 October 1993) was an English actor and bodyguard A bodyguard (or close protection officer/operative) is a type of , government officer, or who protects a person or a group of people - usua ...
as Driscoll *
Ben Aris Benjamin Patrick Aris (16 March 1937 – 4 September 2003) was an England, English actor who was best known for his parts in ''Hi-de-Hi!'' and ''To the Manor Born'', and was also very active on stage. He was often cast as an eccentric, uppe ...
as The Walker *
Tom Chadbon Tom Chadbon (born 27 February 1946, in Luton) is an England, English actor who has spent much of his career appearing on British television. Although principally a character actor, he has occasionally had leading or recurring roles. Chadbon sta ...
as Juggernaut's contact * Gareth Thomas as Liverpool Joiner *
Simon MacCorkindale Simon Charles Pendered MacCorkindale (12 February 1952 – 14 October 2010) was a British actor, film director, writer and producer. He spent much of his childhood moving around due to his father serving as an Officer with the Royal Air Force. Po ...
as No.1 helmsman * Andrew Bradford as Jim Hardy, 3rd Officer * Paul Antrim as Digby * Adam Bridges as David McCleod * Rebecca Bridge as Nancy McCleod * Michael Egan as Mr Fowlers * Freddie Fletcher as 2nd Radio Officer * Terence Hillyer as Menzies * Barnaby Holme as Christopher Porter * Kristine Howarth as Mrs Buckland * Victor Lucas as detective *
Paul Luty Paul Graham Luty (5 May 1932 – 12 January 1985) was an English wrestler who later became a film and television actor. In 1973 Luty played window cleaner, Bert Henshaw on ''Coronation Street ''Coronation Street'' is a British soap o ...
as clerk * David Purcell as 1st detective *
Eric Mason Eric Mason (12 February 1927 - 7 June 2010) was a British actor. His television credits include: ''Z-Cars'', ''Dixon of Dock Green'', ''Doctor Who'', ''Bergerac (TV series), Bergerac'', ''Sea of Souls'', ''Auf Wiedersehen, Pet'', ''Minder (TV serie ...
as 2nd detective *
Michael Melia Michael Melia (born 1945) is a British actor An actor is a person who portrays a character Character(s) may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Character'' (novel), a 1936 Dutch novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk * ''Cha ...
as navigator *
Doris Nolan Doris Nolan (July 14, 1916 – July 29, 1998) was an American actress best known for her Broadway roles and her appearance in the 1938 movie ''Holiday (1938 film), Holiday''. She appeared in plays and films during the 1930s and 1940s. Later s ...
as Mrs Corrigan * Colin Thatcher as Henning


Production


Development

Richard Alan Simmons' script was inspired by a real life bomb threat against the ''
Queen Elizabeth 2 ''Queen Elizabeth 2'', often referred to simply as ''QE2'', is a retired British ocean liner converted into a floating hotel. Originally built for the Cunard Line, ''Queen Elizabeth 2'' was operated by Cunard as both a transatlantic liner and ...

Queen Elizabeth 2
'' in 1972, which resulted in Special forces (one SAS, two from the Special Boat Squadron and a Welsh bomb disposal expert of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps) being parachuted into the Atlantic to board and search the liner, as dramatized in the film. The film was the second in what was meant to be a 13-film slate produced by David V. Picker after he resigned as head of production for United Artists (the first was '' Lenny''). It was made by his company, Two Roads. United Artists would distribute. In November 1973 it was announced
Bryan Forbes Bryan Forbes CBE The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order of knights typically founded during or inspired ...
was to direct, with Simmons producing and Richard Harris to star, with the film going to start in January 1974.
Bryan Forbes Bryan Forbes CBE The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order of knights typically founded during or inspired ...
left the project, however, as did his replacement, Don Taylor. Picker then turned to Richard Lester, with whom he had made a number of films at United Artists, notably ''A Hard Day's Night''. Lester was finishing work on the ''Musketeers'' films in Spain when he got a call from
Denis O'Dell
Denis O'Dell
saying "We just fired our second director and I've got a Russian ship and we've got to leave on 18 February. Will you take it on?" On taking over the film, Lester completely rewrote the
script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing system, based on a repertoire of specific elements or symbols, or that repertoire * Script (styles of handwriting) * Script (Unicode), historical and modern scripts as organis ...
with writer
Alan Plater Alan Frederick Plater (15 April 1935 – 25 June 2010) was an English playwright and screenwriter, who worked extensively in British television Regular television broadcasts in the United Kingdom started in 1936 as a public service which w ...
. Omar Sharif, Richard Harris and David Hemmings were already cast; Lester cast the rest. He wound up filming three weeks after his original call. "I think if I'd sat carefully and thought about it I wouldn't have done it," said Lester later. "It was very exciting. And I think that energy of getting it right carried it through. It was a wonderful experience, great fun." The film's writer/producer,
Richard Alan SimmonsRichard Alan Simmons (October 11, 1924 – November 13, 2004) was a Canadian-American screenwriter. Simmons was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. After the war, he graduated from the Uni ...
, was so unhappy with the reworked script that he had himself credited as Richard DeKoker on the finished film.


Filming

Filming took place in March and April 1974. The film was shot mainly aboard the real
cruise ship Cruise ships are large passenger ship A passenger ship is a merchant ship whose primary function is to carry passengers on the sea. The category does not include cargo ship, cargo vessels which have accommodations for limited numbers of pas ...

cruise ship
TS ''Hamburg''. The German vessel had recently been sold to the Soviet Union, Soviet Black Sea Shipping Company and renamed TS ''Maxim Gorkiy''. Before the Soviet Union, Soviets began operating the ship for paying passengers, the British production company Chartering (shipping), chartered the ship. Advertisements were run in British papers, soliciting extras who would take a lengthy cruise in the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
for free, but with the knowledge that the ship would actually seek out the worst possible weather, as the story demanded seas too rough for the Lifeboat (shipboard), lifeboats to be lowered, trapping the passengers on board. They received 2,500 applicants and had to select 250. Weather was bad; Ian Holm did not go on location but says he heard "reports of horrible storms off Iceland and everybody getting drunk to deal with it. The story was the bar closed only between seven and seven-thirty in the morning." The ship's charter was negotiated at a set rate in February 1974, while oil prices were continuously skyrocketing due to the still-ongoing 1973 oil crisis. As a result, the Soviets, who paid the vessel's operating costs during filming, ended up losing money on the deal. Lester says the film was scheduled for ten weeks and completed in six. Some interior filming was completed on stages at Pinewood Studios. Location shooting was also done in and around London. A room at St Thomas' Hospital in Lambeth overlooking the River Thames doubled as the office of the Managing Director of the shipping line. The movie marked the film debut of Simon Macorkindale.


Reception


Critical

The ''New York Times'' called it "a movie without any style and without any characters." Stanley Kauffmann of The New Republic wrote- 'Juggernaut missed the boat, but its editing and photography were in themselves thrilling'. Pauline Kael said: "The only disaster picture that has redeemed the genre is Richard Lester’s 'Juggernaut,' which kidded the threadbare pants off the same clichés that the other pictures still try to make work." ''Juggernaut'' holds an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on six reviews.


Box Office

Lester thought the film was hurt by the fact people thought it was a disaster movie when "that wasn't what it was at all."Soderbergh p 117


Home media

The 2005 UK DVD release used the alternate title ''Terror on the Britannic''. The film was released on Blu Ray by Kino International (company), Kino Lorber on 9 September 2014.


References


Notes

*


External links

* * {{Authority control 1974 films 1970s crime thriller films 1970s disaster films British crime thriller films British disaster films British films English-language films Films directed by Richard Lester Films set in London Films set in the Atlantic Ocean Films set on ships Films shot at Pinewood Studios Seafaring films United Artists films Films scored by Ken Thorne