On the Beach


Action / Drama / Romance / Sci-Fi


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August 19, 2014 at 01:57 AM



Gregory Peck as Cmdr. Dwight Lionel Towers, USS Sawfish
Fred Astaire as Julian Osborne
Ava Gardner as Moira Davidson
Anthony Perkins as Lt. Peter Holmes - Royal Australian Navy
1.95 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 14 min
P/S 0 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Phil Kafcaloudes 10 / 10

Perfectly paced and well acted, it keeps melodrama minimised

In an era (1959) and on a topic (nuclear war) that usually demands melodrama, "On the Beach" resists. In fact, the all-star principal cast and director Stanley Kramer seem to treat the topic as a stage play, focussing on the individual. And that is how such a story should be treated. Life on the northern hemisphere has been destroyed a defence mistake by one of the (then) two superpowers. Gregory Peck's nuclear-powered submarine was submerged at the time (they stayed under water for a hell of a long time in those days). The sub heads for Melbourne, Australia, which is one of the only places in the world not yet affected by radiation. But the radiation will come, and this is where the truth of the piece comes out.

The inhabitants of 'the end of the world' go through what you would expect: denial, anger, clinging to the thinnest hope, and finally, resignation. As I said at the start, this is clearly a story about the individual. Kramer knows this, and the cast of Ava Gardner, Tony Perkins, John Meillon and Fred Astaire play it with a reality that is all too rare. Even recent films like Final Impact fail to deliver on this count. The real joy of the film is the pacing, which gives the cast the chance to play it like it should be played. Astaire proves he is an actor, and only once slips into his raised eyebrow 'top hat and tails' mode. It is a well thought out movie without the Hollywood ending, but such is the art of Kramer that the ending is a good resolution, not just a funeral. The camera work is exceptional throughout, starting with the continuous shots in Peck's submarine. I don't know about the Waltzing Matilda music at the start, however. But it does work later in the piece, and makes it worthy of the Academy Award nomination it received.

Reviewed by angelsunchained 10 / 10

A Great Movie

On The Beach was made in 1959 and it's still a fantastic movie some 46 years later. As great as all the performances are, the photography and the script are as out-standing.

The only drawback to this black & white classic is the hauntingly depressing nature of the film. Death is never easy to explore and it's done here tastefully, gritty, and realistically. Gregory Peck shines in this controversial role. Ava Gardner gives her finest performance. Fred Astaire is incredible in this serious role. However, the film was stolen by the pre-Psycho Anthoney Perkins and newcomer Donna Anderson as a doomed young couple with a new baby. The ending of On The Beach is one of the most depressing in screen history, still this is a must see for any fan of any of the actors or the legendary Stanly Kramer.

Reviewed by hfelknor 10 / 10

A great Tour de Force by a fine cast, interpreting a great story

I watched this movie in a USAF chow hall on the island of Makung in the China Strait with about 20 other airman. The year was 1960. We were stationed there on a missile site. Our targets were 7 Chinese missile sites. Their target was us.

I was 22 years old and immortal.

Until I watched this movie.

When the movie ended, I will never forget the fact that no one moved for perhaps 10 minutes. There was just the bright, blank screen and the sound of the end of the film going around and around. Thiketa-thicketa-thicketa................... No one ever said a word about what we had just seen.

We, or at least I, never forgot this movie. As said earlier, it was more than scary. It was sad.

It seems strange now, 40 some years later, to be telling people that you really should watch this film and watch the masters at work, with a script that is chilling. And you know what? We still haven't outlived the possibility...........

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