The director was Irwin Allen, and the cast included Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain, Olivia de Havilland, Ben Johnson, Lee Grant, Patty Duke, Slim Pickens, Bradford Dillman, Fred MacMurray, and Henry Fonda.
Many filmgoers and critics consider this film one of the worst "disaster films" ever made, along with Allen's subsequent films Beyond the Poseidon Adventure and When Time Ran Out (1980). It was one of two disaster films directed solely by the "master of disaster", Irwin Allen (the other being 1979's Beyond the Poseidon Adventure), who had experience directing several movies and many episodes of his TV shows. The film was a notorious box office bomb upon its release in 1978, barely making it two weeks in theaters. Michael Caine himself claims it is the worst film he ever made: "It wasn't just me, Hank Fonda was in it too, but I got the blame for it" he claimed in an interview with Michael Parkinson.
The score was originally released on Warner Bros. Records in 1978 at the same time of the movie, but has since gone out of print. An expanded, remastered score was released in a limited edition by Prometheus Records and contained over forty minutes of previously unreleased material. It has also gone out of print.