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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

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Fred Astaire
10-May-1899 22-Jun-1987 Broadway ballroom dancer
Ava Gardner
24-Dec-1922 25-Jan-1990 The Barefoot Contessa
Gregory Peck
5-Apr-1916 12-Jun-2003 To Kill A Mockingbird
Anthony Perkins
4-Apr-1932 12-Sep-1992 Psycho


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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