On the Beach

1959

Action / Drama / Romance / Sci-Fi

36
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 74%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 70%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 9881

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

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
1080p
1.95 GB
1920*1080
English
Approved
23.976 fps
2hr 14 min
P/S 3 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Robert D. Ruplenas 8 / 10

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.

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.

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