On the Beach (17-Dec-1959)|
Director: Stanley Kramer
Writer: John Paxton
From novel: On the Beach by Nevil Shute
Keywords: Drama, Nuclear War, Submarine, Australia
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Review by mumford (posted on 24-Mar-2008)
So what if the Yanks (Astaire, Gardner and Perkins) Aussie accents are horrid or non existant, this is still a very powerful and disturbing film. I never quite got that there was never any damage from the explosions but the deserted streets etc. make for a powerful image. The world is approaching its end due to fallout and the last area to be poisoned is Australia. A US sub docks there to cooperate with local naval officals. The captain is Gregory Peck (never better) and he interacts with the locals. He is greeted by his "chaperone" Ava Gardner. Peck and Gardner were lifelong friends from the 40's and it shows. Their scenes together are wonderful. Fred Astaire and Tony Perkins are also fine. Life is continuing at a normal pace in Australia until the dread begins to set in. Peck leaves since his crew wants to return home and as the sub sails out of the harbour, Ava Gardner is alone on a hill realizing she faces death alone. Very powerful stuff. Just brilliant and heartbreaking. One of the best of 59 and woefully overlooked. If you are not moved by this film you don't have a pulse.
Review by anonymous (posted on 5-Jul-2005)
There are many films (bad films)
about what the world would be like after a nuclear attack, but this
film takes the prize. The human toll is no holds bared and there is a
creepy acceptance of the impending fallout genecide looming over the
Australian public (the last to go) in the last days. Gregory Peck gives
the best performance of his career, as the naive "ugly" American
submarine commander who sends his crew to the last holdout. Ava
Gardner, Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins all give A efforts in this
doom and gloom tragedy, which could happen to us at anytime.
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