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Juggernaut
Year:
1974
Country:
USA, Spain, UK
Genre:
Drama, Thriller, Action
IMDB rating:
6.6
Director:
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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Reviews
Delightfully British foray into the 70's disaster thriller genre
A vengeful terrorist calling himself Juggernaut (slyly played by Freddie Jones) plants seven explosive devices on the ocean liner HMS Britannic and demands a huge ransom in exchange for the information needed to dismantle said bombs. It's up to grouchy demolitions expert Fallon (Richard Harris in superior surly form) to save the day before time runs out.

Director Richard Lester keeps the gripping story moving at a brisk pace, builds plenty of nerve-wracking suspense, makes excellent use of the creaky and sprawling ship, and tops everything off with a wickedly funny sense of fiercely mocking and subversive sardonic humor. The crafty script by Richard Alan Simmons refreshingly eschews cheap thrills and broad macho heroics in favor of a more starkly realistic approach in which even the protagonists are allowed to be flawed and fallible human beings who are decidedly less than noble and prone to error (for example, Fallon does his job more out of a feeling of scruffy obstinate pride than because it's the so-called "right thing to do").

The bang-up acting by the ace cast keeps this film humming: Omar Sharif as the dissolute and ineffectual Captain Alan Brunel, David Hemmings as Fallon's easygoing partner Charlie Braddock, Anthony Hopkins as determined copper John McLeod, Ian Holm as worried executive Nicholas Porter, Shirley Knight as Brunel's pesky mistress Barbara Bannister, Clifton James as huffy politician Corrigan, and Jack Watson as hard-nosed Chief Engineer Mallicent. Roy Kinnear provides hilarious comic relief as jolly, but bumbling social director Curtain, who tries desperately to uphold morale among the passengers in the absolute worst of circumstances. A real solid and satisfying left of field entry in the 70's disaster cycle.
2017-06-03
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.
2004-12-22
Sorta interesting but...
For the most part, the bomb disposal and the attempt to discover the bomber was moderately interesting, if a bit disjointed. Richard Harris performed adequately, but, of course, he was playing himself. Omar Sharif was wasted as the captain, most of the other adults had no reason for being there, and there were the two requisite "adorable" children thrown in for God knows what. The children's mother never knew or cared where her darlings were; I can only assume that they were the children of the producer, thrown into the picture as an act of good will. The entire film dragged for the middle hour, trying to establish some chemistry between the players and failing utterly, before finally producing one short burst of excitement, then petering out entirely.

If you like Richard Harris, then, by all means, watch this. If not, don't waste your time.
2009-10-23
Some suspense, but not enough
When the disaster film craze started to brew up in Hollywood in the early 1970s, the British decided to jump on the bandwagon and make one of their own, that being this film. But it was a huge flop at the box office. It doesn't take long into watching it to figure out why. The first half of the movie is for the most part really boring; it's slow-moving, lacks tension, has weakly constructed characters, and there is no real action. The second half is a little more successful - there is a little tension and suspense brewed. But it's too little and too late. What this movie really needed (among other things) was a few bona fide ACTION sequences to keep the tension high and make the movie appear that it was MOVING. Too many British films that have tried to ape American action films have simply forgotten to deliver when it comes to action and instead become talky gabfests. Incidentally, more than ten years after this movie was made, an episode of the American TV show "MacGyver" blatantly ripped off this movie. Despite being a rip-off, I remember that episode being better (and shorter) than "Juggernaut".
2015-06-25
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.
2001-06-11
Amazing cast!
How about this cast, huh? Anthony Hopkins, Richard Harris, David Hemmings, Ian Holm, and Omar Sharif, all at the top of their game, in this thrilling adventure. It's a touch dated (I think the bomber only asks for a million pounds), but well-paced and well-made. Great stuff!
2003-12-28
Interesting thriller
As if in reply to Irwin Allen's disaster movies Richard Lester comes up with "Juggernaut" -- a taut thriller which evokes the atmosphere in seventies UK. Bombs have been planted on a cruise liner by the sinister sounding 'Juggernaut'.Omar Sharif is the ship's captain, Anthony Hopkins is the land bound policeman whose wife and children happen to be on board, Richard Harris and David Hemmings as bomb disposal experts flown by Hercules transporter plane to the ship to disarm the devices. The race against time to find 'Juggernaut' is nerve jangling.Alan Plater's dialogue is witty and lightens the thoroughly grim premise.Richard Harris as Fallon and David Hemmings as Charlie are an excellent double act in the sense when things are tense their easy banter takes the edge off the situation until.....! For me the best scene in the film is land based and it concerns Anthony Hopkins's policeman visiting Major O'Neill whom he interrogates.An uncredited Cyril Cusack literally chills the blood -- his unconcern is palpable-- he is a monster looking forward to his bedtime chocolate!
2007-03-12
Taut, Suspenseful Thriller
Juggernaut is a well done action / disaster thriller which combines some good performances with great direction and scripting. An extortionist calling himself Juggernaut has planted several bombs aboard the ocean liner Britannic and is threatening to sink the liner in heavy seas if he is not paid off. The film follows an official from the cruise company, a naval bomb defuser, and London police officials as they attempt to prevent a catastrophe.

What sets Juggernaut apart from a thousand other 'mad bomber' films is that to a large extent it approaches the threat from an official, even technical perspective. Rather than a maverick cop chasing the psychopath around the ship, we get highly suspenseful scenes of professionals trying to defuse bombs. The film plays up the difficulty of defusing a booby-trapped bomb, taking it beyond the film cliché of simply cutting the right wire. The heroes have to get through a variety of hidden snares within the devices before they even get to the wires. Indeed, the sub-plot involving the cruise official serves to remind us that this is not just a 'technical exercise,' that there really are lives at stake.

Furthermore, the film does not succumb to the temptation to overplay its villain or make him a flamboyant maniac. Despite his code name serving as the title of the film, Juggernaut does not figure that prominently in the plot. When he does turn up, the performance is quite understated, particularly when compared to the head of the bomb squad. (Only Richard Harris would think that downing a bottle of scotch is good preparation for defusing a bomb.) Indeed, one can argue that the bombs themselves serve as the primary antagonist of the film with their fiendish designs.

The acting in the film is quite good overall, even if the characters aren't always that well fleshed out. Richard Harris does a good job as the film's overall protagonist, lending him a sense of mordant humor that keeps him from becoming a stale action hero. Omar Sharif also does a good job as the ship's captain, even though his character is largely one note.

Juggernaut does have some weak points. At times, the investigation back in London is given short shrift, so that it is difficult to follow. Furthermore, there are one or two scenes contrived for dramatic effect that take away from the film's realism. In particular, one scene where a young child gets access to a restricted area of the ship strains credibility. Still, the film definitely stands as a minor classic in its genre.
2012-01-03
Mr Freddie Jones,the best movie psychopath ever?
Mr R.Lester,darling of the 1960s,tries his hand at the disaster genre with "Juggernaut",a straightforward commercial piece with no artistic pretensions whatsoever.There is no tricksy editing,no zip pans,no speeded up action,none of his usual clever - clever accoutrements covering up a lack of substance,just a back - to - basics plot about a man who has planted a number of bombs on an ocean liner. This man is played by the great Mr Freddie Jones and it is the best portrayal of a psychopath I have ever seen in the movies.Forget the ludicrously overpraised Dr Lecter,"Juggernaut" is the madman's madman. Clever,conscience - free,ruthless,indistinguishable from the common herd,"Juggernaut" is a million miles from the showboating of Sir A. Hopkins and infinitely more dangerous as a result. Mr Jones gives the role a quiet confidence;it is a masterclass in emotional detachment and studied indifference. In contrast Mr Richard Harris - his former protégé in Bomb Disposal - starts out over the top and ends up out of sight as stage Oirishman Fallon,a man with a merry quip for every situation.He and his team of Jolly Jack Tars are parachuted onto the liner (losing one on the way who is last seen floating happily away on his back for all the world like a holidaymaker on a Lilo)to make the bombs safe. Rather cleverly Mr Lester creates suspense where none exists because it is blindingly obvious from the start that the liner isn't going to blow up and sink below the waves with nary a survivor. It would be fair to say I am not Mr Lester's greatest fan,but the sequences where Mr Harris - irritating though he is - slowly works his way round the booby traps hidden in the bomb are finely done. For no good reason I could think of Mr Omar Sharif plays the ship's captain.Mr Anthony Hopkins,before he became a national institution, is the cop tasked with feeling "Juggernaut"s collar.He is assisted by a number of actors who are clearly destined to end up in "The Sweeney",especially the episodes where they stand round breath steaming in the freezing cold waiting for the wheel to come off.... Mr Hopkins' wife and children are on board the liner,but he copes manfully with this extra burden and "Juggernaut" is well and truly nicked relatively early on so he can carry on a cat and mouse game with the Authorities.There are three token womens parts but mainly this is a blokes' movie,with plenty of tough love between Fallon and his lads and the stiff upper - lipped chaps at the Admiralty. There were many newspaper stories of on - board orgies involving the extras when the movie was released but there is precious little sign of life amongst any of them on screen,the whole tacky not quite top grade atmosphere of the sub - Cunard Atlantic crossings of the time is exactly captured. I enjoyed this movie.It came as a pleasant surprise that Mr Lester - when he isn't showing off appallingly - is more than capable of making a good old - fashioned entertainment movie with just that little bit of an edge.
2007-11-18
The Britannic Adventure
In the middle of the Atlantic, the ocean liner "Britannic" receives some terrifying news. A soft-spoken criminal calling himself "Juggernaut" claims to have placed seven bombs on board the ship. If he doesn't get 500,000 pounds, "Juggernaut" will blow the ship to bits, instantaneously throwing 1,200 passengers into a watery grave. Due to bad weather, rescue and evacuation are impossible. Also, British authorities don't want to reward extortionists. Instead, bomb-dismantling expert Richard Harris (as Anthony Fallon) and his pink sweater-clad companion David Hemmings (as Charlie Braddock) are contacted. They parachute down and try to disassemble the bombs...

The script keeps several of the key characters in "Juggernaut" at a distance, making it slow to engage. This is especially true of the lower eye-shadowed leading role played by Mr. Harris. He appears willing to take the deadly mission, suffers what we assume is a great personal loss, gets violently drunk and carries on steadfastly. Through it all, his characterization remains sketchy. Co-starring ship's captain Omar Sharif (as Alex Brunel) is only slightly better off. At least, he's given an affair. More interesting are the more minor roles; they are nicely performed, written by Richard Alan Simmons and directed by Richard Lester. From the beginning, you hope and expect there to be some clever addiction to the basic bomber extortionist plot; there is, but it manages to be as distant and disappointing as the main characters.

****** Juggernaut (1974-09-25) Richard Lester ~ Richard Harris, Omar Sharif, David Hemmings, Anthony Hopkins
2015-05-24
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