On the Beach (1959)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi


On the Beach (1959) Poster

After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.


7.2/10
10,998

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  • On the Beach (1959)
  • Ava Gardner in On the Beach (1959)
  • Gregory Peck and Anthony Perkins in On the Beach (1959)
  • Gregory Peck and Stanley Kramer in On the Beach (1959)
  • Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner in On the Beach (1959)
  • Ava Gardner and Stanley Kramer in On the Beach (1959)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


20 May 1999 | rupie
8
| a great human drama
The Cold War aspects of this movie may be a bit dated, but for those of us of a certain age it is a reminder of the fears we lived under at that time. In retrospect, it may be that Julian was wrong: it may have indeed been the very presence of these terrible weapons that prevented a third world war.

In any case, that aspect of the story never overshadows the movie's underlying theme, which is, rather, how each of us views the sum of our lives as our mortal end approaches. Are we alone? Have we connected with anyone? Have we failed? Have we loved? Have we been loved?

Color would have been all wrong for this essentially b&w story. Superb performances from Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and the pre-Norman Bates Anthony Perkins. A fine bit as well by John Tate as the old admiral("to a blind, blind world").

A mere cold-war nuclear destruction movie would leave one merely frightened at the end. The fact that this movie leaves you with an almost unbearable feeling of terrible sadness is a testament to the human power of Nevil Shute's book, as well as to the fine script and Kramer's superb direction.

One of the most depressing movies ever made, but a truly great one.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Philip R. Davey, author of the book "When Hollywood Came to Melbourne: The Story of the Making of Stanley Kramer's 'On The Beach'", director Stanley Kramer experienced many problems with the thousands of bathers who stood in shoulder-deep water to watch the proceedings, and who applauded the cast after each take. Their enthusiasm was gratifying in this respect if not in others, such as when thousands of people began crowding forward to get a closer look at Ava Gardner, they repeatedly moved into camera range, thus necessitating many frustrating retakes.


Quotes

Dwight Towers: Prepare to surface.


Goofs

At the Holmes' party, Dwight asks Moira about Julian, saying, "I take it that he's English and that he's here on some kind of scientific job", and later on, during the sub's cruise, Julian tells Peter he'd been in San Francisco "once on the way down", presumably from England. All this makes it appear that Julian has not been in Australia long and had not intended to stay before the war broke out. But why then does he appear to be friends of long standing with so many people (such as the party guests), not to mention his having had an apparently long-ended love affair with Moira?


Crazy Credits

The following acknowledgment appears in the opening credits: "We acknowledge with appreciation the assistance given by the Royal Australian Navy and, in particular, by the officers and men of H.M.A.S. Melbourne and H.M.S. Andrew."


Soundtracks

Stand up Stand Up for Jesus
(uncredited)
Words by
George Duffield Jr.
Music by George J. Webb

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

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