- 1 hr 59 min
In 1977, the movie Rollercoaster took audiences on a thrilling ride of suspense and terror, starring George Segal, Timothy Bottoms, and Richard Widmark. Directed by James Goldstone, the film follows a madman who sabotages rollercoasters at various amusement parks across the United States, forcing authorities to track down and stop him before he can cause more carnage. The film opens with a large amusement park in Virginia, where a rollercoaster malfunction causes a horrific crash, killing several riders. Suspicion falls on young Harry Calder (played by Segal), who designed the coaster, and who discovers that someone had tampered with the ride's safety systems. Soon, another rollercoaster incident occurs in California, and Harry realizes that there is a serial saboteur on the loose. As Harry works with federal agent Hoyt (Widmark) to track down the culprit, more rollercoasters across the country are targeted, and the stakes escalate. Terrorist mastermind and former hippie Younger (played by Bottoms) becomes a prime suspect, and as Harry and Hoyt close in on him, they find themselves in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. What follows is a gripping thriller that leverages the inherent excitement and fear of rollercoasters to create tension and suspense. The film features several thrilling on-ride sequences, shot from the perspective of the coaster cars, that give the viewer a visceral sense of the danger and excitement of these rides. At the same time, the film explores the psychological underpinnings of the madman's motivations, including his desire for revenge and the thrill of causing chaos and destruction. In addition to the rollercoaster sequences, the film features strong performances from its lead actors. Segal brings a sense of determination and urgency to his character, who must clear his name and stop the saboteur before he can strike again. Widmark, as the grizzled federal agent, injects a sense of world-weariness and cynicism into the film, making his character's desperation to stop the saboteur all the more poignant. Bottoms, meanwhile, brings an edgy and unpredictable energy to his portrayal of Younger, the counterculture criminal mastermind. The film portrays Younger as a complex character, driven by a mix of idealism and nihilism, who feels betrayed by the world and seeks to lash out against it in any way he can. Overall, Rollercoaster is a well-crafted and engaging thriller that uses the unique environment of amusement parks and rollercoasters to deliver pulse-pounding suspense. With strong performances from its cast and several thrilling set pieces, the film remains a classic of the genre, and a testament to the enduring appeal of the rollercoaster ride.