Movies In Focus

1977’s ROLLERCOASTER Is A Hidden Gem

Released in 1977, James Goldstone’s Rollercoaster is an excellent thriller with a wonderful world-weary performance from George Segal. Often erroneously lumped-in with the disaster movie cycle of the 1970s, the film sees Timothy Bottoms mysteriously causing havoc at theme parks around the US.

There’s a lot of Die Hard on display, with Segal’s rumpled safety inspector making a tremendous everyman for the audience to get behind as Bottom’s terrorist takes the fun out of funland. Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda and a young Helen Hunt round-out the cast, but it’s Segal who delivers the goods. An under-rated performer, Segal never quite achieved the career he deserved but he did okay, I suppose. 

Released by Universal Pictures in Sensaround in June 1977, Rollercoaster never really stood a chance at the box office in the wake of George Lucas’ Star Wars. 

Rollercoaster is tense, well composed and worth seeking out – check out the trailer. 

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