HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
   
 
  On The Beach We'll All Go Together When We Go
Year: 1959
Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins, Donna Anderson, John Tate, Harp McGuire, Lola Brooks, Ken Wayne, Guy Doleman, Richard Meikle, John Meillon, Joe McCormick, Lou Vernon, Kevin Brennan
Genre: Drama, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: It is the future year of 1964 and there has occurred a disaster on an unimaginable scale. World War Three broke out, devastating the Northern Hemisphere and now the poisonous radiation from the fallout is gradually making its way south. Practically the only people left alive in the World are in Australia, where the U.S. Navy Submarine Sawfish is arriving in Melbourne, captained by Commander Dwight Towers (Gregory Peck). He is planning a mission to North America, and asks Australian Lieutenant Peter Holmes (Anthony Perkins) to accompany him. Peter agrees but is afraid he will get back after the radiation has hit Melbourne and never see his wife Mary (Donna Anderson) and their baby again. However, there's a signal emanating from the East Coast of the U.S.A. - could there hope?

Nope, not here there couldn't. This restrained yet sorrowful end of the world epic was scripted by John Paxton from Nevil Shute's novel and takes a considered, non-hysterical look at the way its ordinary characters face the final curtain on a massive scale. Producer and director Stanley Kramer, known for his deeply felt liberalism, found his film greeted with controversy, with some saying it was an appeasement not only to dangerous pacifists but to the Communists in the Soviet Union as well. But On the Beach is not a film that rolls over and dies without complaint, it takes its message of there being no winners in nuclear war very seriously.

Patently the work of film makers who thought, "We can't just let our world leaders blow ourselves to Kingdom Come!", one downside of such a sombre, important subject is that any of the more personal human drama looks nothing short of trivial, and Kramer's submissive characters do little to change that. Every so often a character, such as Fred Astaire's embittered scientist Julian Osborne, will make an impassioned speech about the injustice of the situation, only to settle back into doleful moping. And it works the other way, too, with any burst of lightheartedness, Peck and tentative new love Moira Davidson (Ava Gardner) by the seaside for example, immediately swamped in the all-pervasive depression.

Mary is in denial about the approaching extinction, despite Peter's efforts to make her face up to it, and Dwight is in denial too, still not wanting to believe that his wife and two children have died in their American home. So the mysterious signal is something he must investigate, and after one scientist posits the theory that the weather system in the North may have dampened the effects of the fallout in a shorter space of time than first anticipated, it's all the excuse Dwight needs to set sail for the U.S.A. Taking Peter and the increasingly alcoholic Julian with him, they end up at San Francisco, finding the streets predictably deserted. But where is the signal coming from?

Everyone takes the news that they're all going to die with sighing acceptance, but the dread is always present. As the cast struggle with accents, Gardner and Perkins hardly bothering to sound Australian, and looking ashen faced, it's the smaller moments that grow large in the encroaching silence. Dwight hearing the singing of "Waltzing Matilda" (which you'd think was the only Austrailan song ever written according to this) and realising the apt signifcance of the final verse, or Peter searching high and low for a doctor to give him three suicide pills. Only the car race, which sees vehicles flying off the track and exploding in fatal crashes because the drivers don't care about living anymore, exposes the rage that you'd expect the remaining survivors to feel. Well meaning and respectful, On the Beach is too concerned with a regretful shake of the head, and doesn't provide any answers about how to avoid the situation it finds, but it has a understated, haunting quality that's difficult to deny. Music by Ernest Gold.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5628 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: