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Irwin Allen's Cave In!


Irwin Allen's Cave In!

Television Movie

Year: 1979

Director: George Fenady

US Premiere: 19 June 1983

An Irwin Allen Production in association with Warner Bros Television
Copyright 1979 Warner Bros Inc.

Plot Summary

A police chase ends with the officer being captured and held hostage by an escaped convict, Tom Arlen (James Olson). Near by at Five Mile Caverns, rangers are checking for rain water seeping into the caverns where tours are held. A cave in injures a workman and Gene Pearson (Dennis Cole) believes tours should be suspended, but Walt Clark (Lonny Chapman) reminds him that state senators are due to visit to inspect the caves. They decide to close the North Fork section of the caverns where the fall occurred.

As visitors assemble for a private tour, Senator Kate Lassiter (Susan Sullivan) arrives and is an old friend of Gene Pearson's. She wants to inspect all areas including the closed off North Fork. Gene takes the visitors on their tour. Kate meantime gets trapped following a second cave in at the North Fork entrance. She finds she is not alone as convict Tom Arlen has found his way into the caves. Gene hears Kate's cries for help and manages to rescue her and Tom, helping them to climb up the "chimney" to the 'Opera Hall' area where the people on the tour are waiting for him. A major rock fall in the 'Opera Hall' traps the tour party.

The story follows their trek to get out of the caves. Each character has flashbacks to the recent past. Professor Soames has problems relating to his daughter Anne (Sheila Larken) whilst Joe Johnson (Leslie Nielsen) has been suspended from the police force following the death of his partner Ray. Kate thinks back three years to when she and Gene were due to marry. Will there be a happy ending?


Dennis Cole - Ranger Gene Pearson
Susan Sullivan - Senator Kate Lassiter
Ray Milland - Professor Harrison Soames
Leslie Nielsen - Joseph 'Joe' Johnson
Julie Sommars - Liz Johnson
James Olson - Tom Arlen
Lonny Chapman - Walt Clark
Sheila Larken - Anne Soames
Ivan Bonar - Doctor at the Prison
David Westberg - Larry Manson
Todd Martin - Herb, Officer at Joe's inquest
Joseph Della Sorte - George Cooper
William Bryant - Ranger Jack Miller
Joel Chitwood - Lloyd Arlen
Michael Masters - Raymond 'Ray' Long Jr.

Production Crew

Producer - Irwin Allen
Director of Photography - John Nickolaus, A.S.C.
Writer - Norman Katkov
Director - George Fenady
Production Executive - Arthur Weiss
Art Director - Duane Alt
Film Editor - Dick Wormell, A.C.E.
Unit Production Manager - William L. Young
First Assistant Director - Edward E. Vaughan
Second Assistant Director - Cathy Kinsock
Post Production Supervisor - George E. Swink
Music - Richard La Salle
Sound Effects Editors - Joe Von Stroheim, M.P.S.E., Gene Eliot, M.P.S.E., Allan R. Potter
Music Editor - Donald Harris
Executive Assistant to Producer - Art Volpert
Publicity - Tony Habeeb
Casting - Jack Baur
Costume Design - Paul Zastupnevich, C.D.G.
Stunt Coordinator - Paul Knuckles
Assistant Art Director - Phil Bennett
Set Decorator - Jim Hassinger
Property - Jack E. Ackerman
Sound Mixer - Don Rush
Make-up Artist - Dan Greenway
Hair Stylist - Dorothia Long


  • Joseph Della Sorte also starred in Irwin Allen's The Night the Bridge Fell Down.
  • William Bryant appeared in City Beneath the Sea in 1971.
  • Lonny Chapman was also in Hanging by a Thread and When Time Ran Out.
  • David Westberg was a Nautilus crewman in The Return of Captain Nemo.
  • Cave In! was produced in 1979, but in fact held back from release in the US until 1983. The Night the Bridge Fell Down was also delayed until 1983.
  • First broadcast in the US on Sunday 19 June 1983 (9-11pm Eastern Time) under the headline NBC Sunday Night at the Movies. However, it was first shown in the UK on Saturday 12th April 1980 on BBC1 at 6.40pm.
  • Professor Harrison Soames (Ray Milland) describes how to differentiate stalactites and stalagmites using their original Greek translations. Who said an Irwin Allen movie couldn't also be educational?


Cave In! Blu-Ray


Released on 12th September 2023 (in the US) is the blu-ray set Irwin Allen: Master of Disaster Collection featuring 7 television and theatrical release movies. The set features the following movies: The Poseidon Adventure, When Time Ran Out, Fire, Flood, Cave-In, Hanging by a Thread, and The Night the Bridge Fell Down.

Irwin Allen: Master of Disaster Collection Blu-Ray Set

Irwin Allen: Master of Disaster Collection Blu-Ray set at Amazon US (#ad)

Irwin Allen: Master of Disaster Collection Blu-Ray set at Amazon UK (#ad)

Cave In! DVD

Cave In! DVD

Cave In! DVD at Amazon (#ad)