Avalanche (1978)

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

A businessman faces the consequences of building his resort near a mountain peak and cutting down too many trees.




David Shelby - Rock Hudson

Caroline Brace - Mia Farrow

Nick Thorne - Robert Forster

Florence Shelby - Jeanette Nolan

Bruce Scott - Rick Moses

Henry McDade - Steve Franken

Mark Elliott - Barry Primus

Tina Elliott - Cathey Paine

Phil Prentiss - Jerry Douglas

Leo the Coach - Tony Carbone

Annette Rivers - Peggy Browne

Cathy Jordan - Pat Egan

TV Director - Joby Baker

Marty Brenner - X Brands

Susan Maxwell - Cindy Luedke

Ed the Pilot - John Cathey

Bruce's Coach - Angelo Lamonea




"The Norwegian Nutcracker" Helgi Helgenberger

"Devilish" Dan de Lion

Jason Ted-Courtney

The Ted-Courtneys




Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

Caroline Brace takes a taxi to the Windom Peak ski resort in Colorado. She is greeted by her former mother in law Florence Shelby who introduces her to Henry McDade. A group of news reporters are interviewing athletes Gary, and Bruce Scott. Bruce is greeted by Annette Rivers and Cathy Jordan while Tina Elliott looks on. Caroline sees David Shelby and waves at him and he runs down to see her. David greets Caroline and his mother and Florence and Henry go off to do work. David takes Caroline to his office and introduces her to Susan Maxwell, his secretary. David admits to Caroline he donated some money to a planning commissioner who is now under investigation. He offers to take her to lunch, but stops to talk to the press when they get to his office. In the skating rink, Cathy Jordan is practicing when she falls down. Her coach Leo runs over to her and reassures her. Meanwhile, Henry McDade and Florence Shelby are riding in a horse drawn sled. He tells her the history of the mountain and how no one had lived in the area since some miners were killed in an avalanche in the 1880's. He also tells her David has put all his savings into building the resort. They walk to where David's chalet is being built, which will give him a view of the entire countryside. Nick Thorne is told by Pauly the salt lick is running low and he promises to bring some more tomorrow. Nick makes a snowball and tosses it onto a snow pile showing too many trees are being cut down.

Bruce Scott is skiing down the mountain when an avalanche occurs, which he survives by jumping onto a tree. Nick, who saw the event tells Bruce he is lucky. In his office, David Shelby is on the phone angrily telling Marty Brenner to get to the resort when Caroline enters his office. She reminds him he promised her lunch and they walk towards the dining room. Nick goes to the resort and tells David he is crazy to cut down all trees, however David brushes off the statement and introduces Nick to Caroline. Nick and David argue on their way to David's office while Caroline leaves and says she will see David at lunch. On their way David is stopped and greeted by Tina Elliott. Phil Prentiss sees David and tells him the details of the snow reports and how the surveys show the area is fine. Phil and Nick then argue about the safety of the resort. Later Nick flirts with Caroline who is swimming in a heated pool and she invites him to the opening dinner party. David goes to talk to Mark Elliott and tells Sammy to get Mark's luggage. He tells him his wife is already at the resort and she will be sitting with Bruce Scott during the opening dinner. During the dinner party Caroline invites Nick to dance which visibly makes David awkward. When Caroline and Nick finish dancing David grabs Caroline and tells her to dance. They start to argue and Caroline tells David he smothers her and then walks off. Caroline sees Nick when he is leaving and she asks if they can go back to his place. That night, Bruce Scott and Annette Rivers are having sex when Tina Elliott goes into his room. She runs screaming out when she sees Bruce and Annette in bed together.

Caroline wakes up and finds a note from Nick telling her he has gone to the firing platform to clear the snow build up. Tina confronts Bruce about sleeping with Annette, and he tosses a glass of milk at her and then takes her out the door. The first sporting event starts with "The Norwegian Nutcracker" Helgi Helgenberger versus "Devilish" Dan de Lion in snowmobile racing. Helgi wins when Dan crashes into a downed snowmobile. Next is a cross country skiing race, followed by ski jumping. Nick fires a few rounds into the side of the mountain to try and get some of the lose snow off. On their flight, Ed the Pilot tells Marty Brenner he can't radio anyone, because they are currently under the minimum reception altitude. Mark Elliott invites Jason Ted-Courtney to go up the slopes with him. On their way to the lodge, Ed crashes the plane into the side of the mountain due to low visibility. An avalanche immediately starts.

The avalanche knocks out the lift station causing the ski lifts to stop. Gary is swallowed by the avalanche along with a group of competitors and spectators. Bruce tries to out ski the avalanche but he is also swallowed up. The avalanche reaches the ice skating rink, killing Cathy Jordan, Leo and the spectators. It then reaches the resort, killing Tina Elliott right before she was going to attempt suicide by taking a bunch of pills. Nick finds Phil trapped under a tree and frees him. Search and rescue crews start to search for survivors. David goes to the resort and Susan tells him about the gas leak and the lack of power. David tells Steve to get working on the back up generator. He then tells Phil to get some dynamite to blast open the side of the resort to free the people trapped inside. Florence tries to dig herself and Henry out using a chair. Caroline arrives and asks David if he is alright. A TV crew arrives and the TV Director sees Mark and Jason stuck on the remnants of their ski chair lift. He tells his crew to start filming the disaster. Annette, while helping in the search, tells Harmon she found Bruce's hat, but it isn't him. Phil and his crew start to dig to reach the people trapped in the resort. Florence collapses and Henry starts to dig out with his hands until David and Phil find him. They take out Florence, but she is unconscious. A rescue worker finds Bruce in the snow. Caroline applies CPR to Florence and she starts to breathe and then Caroline is put on an ambulance and Caroline goes with her. David tells Charlie to take the fire truck to the chair lift as he jumps in. Bruce is finally pulled out, but he is already dead. The fire crew reaches Mark and Jason and open a life net under them. Jason jumps first and is caught successfully. As Mark is about to jump an electrical spark goes across the cables, electrocuting him and he misses the trampoline and falls to his death.

The bodies are put into body bags and put onto a flatbed truck. While driving haphazardly, the ambulance with Florence slides off the road. Caroline is thrown out, however Florence and the driver plummet to their deaths. David climbs down to where Caroline is hanging while Nick hands them down a rope. Caroline and David both manage to make it back up. The National Guard arrives and helps with the evacuation of the wounded. Caroline goes back to the resort and Nick tells her David is doing okay. They both then say bye to each other and Nick leaves. Caroline brings David a bottle of champagne she found in the snow and they open it and have a drink. David admits to Caroline he was responsible for the deaths and Caroline tells him she loves him but she has to leave and she walks out.