Write descriptive essay about Juggernaut movie 1974, write an essay of at least 500 words on Juggernaut, 5 paragraph essay on Juggernaut, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
USA, Spain, UK
Drama, Thriller, Action
IMDB rating:
Richard Lester
Ian Holm as Nicholas Porter
John Stride as Hughes
Caroline Mortimer as Susan McLeod
Jack Watson as Chief Engineer Mallicent
Roy Kinnear as Social Director Curtain
Shirley Knight as Barbara Bannister
Roshan Seth as Azad
Clifton James as Corrigan
David Hemmings as Charlie Braddock
Richard Harris as Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Fallon
Julian Glover as Commander Marder
Freddie Jones as Sidney Buckland
Omar Sharif as Captain Alex Brunel
Anthony Hopkins as Supt. John McLeod
Storyline: Some unknown maniac is threatening a navigation company to blow up one of its luxury transatlantics, the "Britannic", now in high sea with 1200 passengers. He is asking for a £500,000 ransom, otherwise the 7 bombs aboard will explode. An experienced anti-bomb squad is sent to the "Britannic", but although all the bombs are located, a very high skill level will be necessary to dismantle them. Perhaps that task is impossible... Written by Luis Carvacho
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Did you notice?
The film is a suspenseful adventure of a group of experts, who have to disarm several bombs in barrels on a liner. The detonators of the bombs are sophisticated secured against disarming. The experts have a wise working procedure: They all work simultaneously on a bomb and communicate with each other via headset. The most experienced top expert describes each step he does in advance, so that the others can follow. Well, if he makes a mistake - it will be his last. His last message to the others is therefore to avoid the particular step.

I want to concentrate on a logical mistake in the film and a dangerous violation of the working procedure by the top expert himself which are due to add suspense for the viewer. These faults are made by the script to follow the film principle, that the hero does not die, but have to win in the end.

The expert finds a relay, the contacts of which he wants to isolate from each other which he communicates to his partners. But then his friend does this BEFORE him and consequently causes "his" bomb to explode. If they would stick to their usual procedure, the top expert would have to suffer from his mistake.

Even worse is the second blunder: The criminal who planted the bombs is a former colleague of Fallon (the film hero) from war times where they did the same job together. After the police found him, he is connected to Fallon via telephone. The last "fuse" for deactivating the bomb is the decision whether to cut a blue or a red wire. One will deactivate the bomb finally, the other will cause it to go off. Fallon asks him, which he should cut. Knowing that he will kill his war friend, the criminal tells him to cut the (wrong) blue wire. First: Why should he be interested to kill his former friend? Nothing in the film indicates any reason for this. But Fallon seems to suspect something. After some seconds of consideration he then cuts the RED wire WITHOUT telling his friends before. Of course it is the correct wire, which he THEN shouts to his friends.

Now let's think this over: All his friends heard that he should cut the blue wire and consequently must assume that he will do so, because he did not tell them otherwise. If the criminal had NOT lied and Fallon - as he did - cut the red wire, then the bomb would have gone off. But the others, who assumed, he had cut the blue wire, will now cut the red and thus causing all bombs to explode. Why did Fallon violate their working procedure so dangerously?
Thriller? Disaster movie? No, much more.
On the face of it 'Juggernaut' is a fairly small scale nerve-stretcher about an attempt to hold a shipping company to ransom by placing seven very large and very intricately designed bombs in an Atlantic liner. 1200 assorted passengers and crew will go to the bottom if bomb-disposal expert Richard Harris can't outwit the madman responsible for placing the bombs.

So far, so conventional. But compare 'Juggernaut' with another 1974 release, 'The Towering Inferno'. There aren't any macho heroics here: no all-knowing architect and fire-chief to handle the crisis and provide leadership. Nor are there any 'we must never let this happen again' uplifting platitudes at the end.

In 'Juggernaut' we see flawed and desperate people trying to control circumstances over which they have no real power. The company head constantly dithers over paying the ransom or not; the Government representative is a sneering bully who 'won't give in to people like this' (it then turns out the bomber was a Government explosives expert who was given a pitiful reward for a lifetime of courageous work disarming bombs); the bomb-disposal expert has seen death so many times it has lost its meaning for him, it's a human inevitability however it happens, and that's that. Some people feel Roy Kinnear's entertainments officer is a too-obvious attempt at comic relief, but here again we see someone who is supposed to do his best in all circumstances but comes up against the limitations of his personality and is just as afraid as everyone around him.

And the ending? No sense of 'achievement' in having defused the bombs. Good men, friends and colleagues, have been killed. Richard Harris walks alone on deck, smoking his pipe and nursing a drink. What is he thinking? About the men he has lost, or the inevitable next job that may see his own death? Meanwhile, the ship sails on across the eternal sea.

'Juggernaut' is well-acted and well-scripted (with dialogue by Alan Plater). Dick Lester's direction is less top-heavy with stylistic touches than usual, and he has a particularly deft touch in giving the viewer a sense of isolation and claustrophobia as the bombs are dismantled. This film can act as a piece of Sunday-afternoon escapism or something more thought-provoking. Highly recommended.
Wonderful Disaster Movie
Richard Lester doing a disaster movie? Isn't he the guy who had the Beatles dancing in a field? Isn't he the guy who, almost at the same time as this flick, had Michael York, Richard Chamberlain and Oliver Reed camping it up as Musketeers? Who had Phil Silvers and Zero Mostel doing Beatles antics in ancient Rome? Spike Milligan's "Bed-Sitting Room" where distinguished actors like Ralph Richardson mutate into household furniture? Richard Lester's movies are usually lots of disjointed fun, whether it's Beatles or Musketeers. When DVD came out his "THREE/FOUR MUSKETEERS" was the first movie I bought. I always considered myself a David Lean sort of guy but Richard Lester movies were the ones I kept racking up and watching over and over.

But why not a Richard Lester disaster flick? The Beatles movies "Hard Day's Night" and "Help"; "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"; "The Three/Four Musketeers" were all fun, which is what movies should be about. Right? And disaster movies are just silly adventure stories. Inexplicably popular in the '70s their numbers included the likes of (in various movies) grim-jawed Charlton Heston and Burt Lancaster; Jack Lemmon and Jimmy Stewart; Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine; Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden and--Fred Astaire? Everyone who was anyone muscled his way onto a disaster movie (and sometimes anyone who was no one: Charro?) It was the Beatles field sequence in the air. It was the Talbot Munday/Stephen Spielberg adventure serial in less than two hours.

In "Juggernaut" Lester is assisted by an A-1 cast including (but not limited to) Ian Holm, Freddie Jones, Richard Harris, Anthony Hopkinds, David Hemmings, Julian Glover, Roy Kinnear and, as the Captain, Omar Sharif (shades of David Lean!), title character in then then-box-office champ "Doctor Zhivago." Plot: someone has placed bombs on the "Love Boat." Never mind how, these details hardly matter in the best disaster movies. This movie takes place between shipboard and the police/government/shipowners. And shooting between them is famous (and living) bomb defuser Richard Harris.

Problem: disaster movies' bread and butter is wondering who will live and who will die. Lester's style is distancing. Never mind. Focusing on command on the ship and the good guys ashore, Lester brings us many tense moments with Harris jammed in the middle, wondering whether to cut the red wire or the blue wire.

Problem: Lester's style is dated. The most avaunt-garde directors, trying to break through the stolid movie-as-we-know-it, look the most dated today (cf. the different versions of "The Thomas Crowne Affair"). But it's because Lester eschews the mock-heroics typical of disaster movies and the oh-gee-who's-gonna-die question in the air that Lester's film stands up better than most disaster-fodder. His movie rises above the usual nonsense by being super-normal (Ian Holm with his lousy kids at home, for instance; or the realistic feeling with the police; or roy Kinnear's hopelessly jolly cruise-director).

Barely noticed on its release, Lester's "Juggernaut" has, like the best disaster movies, stood the test of time (apart from those neckties and wide lapels, guys. Yes,it's the '70s. But we're spared too many cloying shots of children in danger; warning: there's a few).

It's too bad Lester seems to have lost his nerve after Roy Kinnear's unfortunate death on the set of "Return of the Musketeers." Then again, Lester may simply have been so much a man of his time, the 90s til now had no home for him. But like his best movies (skip "Petunia") Lester's movies are timely-timeless fun.
An enjoyable watch
It is New Years' Eve and six bombs are found on-board passenger cruiser BRITTANIC, below and above sea level. The anonymous perpetrator demands 500,000 pounds (a suspiciously low sum even in 1974.) Facing choppy seas and 'force 8 winds,' the crew are unable to unload passengers into life-rafts or rescue vessels, and so a team of bomb-disposal experts are flown in.

JUGGERNAUT is a well-paced film and can boast an all-star cast. Richard Harris plays the chief expert as a world-weary drinker who been in the job too long and faced imminent death so many times that he has lost all pretence for morality. David Hemmings has a smaller role as his assistant. A younger - but still grey haired - Anthony Hopkins heads the landside manhunt for the bomber. Ian Holm puts in a lovely performance as the compassionate head of the shipping company, who insists upon paying the ransom, even as the hard-on-terrorists British government threatens to withdraw its generous tax subsidies. Michael Hordern has a cameo, as too does Julian Glover. Rounding off the cast is an understated Roy Kinnear who plays the bumbling cruise director, offering hapless pleasantries to the passengers as well as falling short of a comfort after the bombs presence on board are revealed.

This is a very British film - these is little swearing, no resolute American hero, sandwiches are the meal of choice -offered to the bomb experts and the passengers - who are told relatively early of the threat - take the news with surprising grace, the British upper-lip prevailing over the typical Hollywood hysterier or sentimentality
Well, it had *me* on the edge of my seat
A very effective thriller which should not be lumped in with other so-called disaster movies of the same era, "Juggernaut" benefits from intelligent writing, realistic acting and the overriding sense of humour that director Richard Lester brings to all of his films. Well-cast with such Lester stalwarts as Richard Harris, Ian Holm, Michael Hordern, Ben Aris and Kenneth Colley (who is not the only future Imperial officer present -- Julian Glover also has a role as the representative of the Royal Navy), special mention should be given to Roy Kinnear, whose role as the Britannic's social director was seemingly tailor-made for his talents.

All told, this is a veddy English film with a veddy English sensibility. See it for the cynical sense of humour, but also be prepared to get caught up in the suspense.
Review of film "Juggernaut"
This movie is an all time classic. It is one of those films where the suspense keeps you on the edge of your chair right up to the last part of the film. It is about a expert who makes bombs as he enjoys taking people's lives. ( Freddie Jones). 7 Bombs that are encased in steel drums have been placed aboard the Atlantic cruiseliner "Britannic." These bombs have many booby traps set within them and the government and police call in a team of Bomb Disposal experts which is headed up by Fallon. (Richard Harris) and his counterpart Charlie Braddock, (David Hemmings)

A MUST see film with suspense around every corner.
Surprisingly Good!
This could have been a REALLY BAD film. But it wasn't. For a 70s flick, it was surprisingly good, complete with 70s technology. Guess how they relayed messages from ship to shore! (You'll have to see it to believe it.) Just shows you how far we've come.

Richard Harris was in good form, as were the rest of the cast. Aside from some extra footage of really bad ship side 1970s entertainment (which, admittedly, the director clearly knew was bad), there is very little to criticize in this film.

Well done, suspenseful, with some excellent performances.

The 1970s film genre has been saved. Almost.
In honor of the ill-fated Roy Kinnear
The plot of JUGGERNAUT is similar to other films, such as Frank Sinatra's earlier ASSAULT ON A QUEEN (wherein his group threaten to torpedo the Queen Mary unless a ransom is paid). Here the great ship H.M.S. Britannic (what an ill-fated name for a great liner: the real "Britannic" was the larger sister ship of the "Olympic" and "Titanic" and sunk by hitting a mine in the Aegian off the isle of Cos in 1916) is booby-trapped by a man who is demanding a large ransom or he'll sink the ship with his bombs and kill it's passengers and crew. While the police (Anthony Hopkins) seek the extortionist, they send a bomb deactivation expert (Richard Harris) and his crew of assistants (led by David Hemming) to find and defuse the booby traps (one or two are exploded - the extortionist wants to show he means what he says - before they can start). The Captain of the ship (Omar Shariff) has to maintain calm among the 1,200 passengers and crew, and is depending on one man to do this - his cruise director (Roy Kinnear). The film bills up several very good suspense moments, even killing off one of the characters in an explosion. And it builds to a close call climax that grips the audience. Certainly this is one of the best suspense thrillers.

Which takes me to the one performance I like best in it. In his career, tubby, bald Roy Kinnear usually played comic parts. Even when he popped up as a villain in a series (like some episodes of THE AVENGERS, or like the film SHERLOCK HOLMES' SMARTER BROTHER), he is so confused and inept that he ends up making the viewers feel for him. In the Sherlock Holmes film, in a fight with Gene Wilder, Kinnear is kicked in the groin with a huge wooden boot from a shoe store). He ends up on the street trying to hail a hansom cab and yelling "Taxi" with a soprano voice! But only here, in JUGGERNAUT, was he able to find a role that let him expand a bit. He has to keep up the morale of 1,000 people who may die soon. He will die with them if that happens. And in a sweet scene he admits to a woman (Shirley Knight) the real fear and cowardice he feels but has to hide. It is a wonderful moment of subtle acting, and Kinnear never repeated it. The closest to it was in the film THE HILL where he breaks down during a punishment detail in a stockade. But this time he was a total innocent type.

Roy Kinnear never had much of a chance to build on this. He was dead within a couple of years in a freak horse accident during the filming of THE FOUR MUSKETEERS, which his friend the director Richard Lester dedicated to his memory. He fell off a horse in a sequence and fractured his pelvis, bleeding to death within a few hours. A tragic end for a gifted comic actor, who at least once showed his dramatic potential in a good performance in JUGGERNAUT.
Decent suspenser without fanfare and bunting.
Not to say there are no thrills in this 1974 British offering for the jumbled genres of action and disaster so prevalent in this particular decade, because there are more than enough for it to warrant entry into both genres. Although the sum of its parts is a simple Good Vs Evil axis the film has the bonus {and important trait} of characters that are thoroughly believable, be it Richard Harris's stoic Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Fallon, or Roy Kinnear's Social Director Curtain, both men poles apart on a social level but crucially; both men that exist in the real world.

The film follows a predictable format of character building because the type of film demands it, if people are going to be in peril then we want to care about them, or at the very least know about them. Juggernaut does this very well, so that when the second half of the film kicks in, when the brave bomb disposal guys are putting life and limb on the line, the film has our undivided attention. It's then a case of hold your breath as the tension rises, and it's all played out with some delightful dialogue from the lead players in the film. This is good honest film making in a much criticised genre and it certainly is worth a look at least once for those interested in quality suspense without the end of the world being at stake. 7/10
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