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William Phipps , Susan Douglas Rubes , Arch Oboler    DVD

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Product Description


Sony Pictures’ "Martini Movies" series, of which Five is one, consists of films clearly intended to be laughed at, not with; indeed, watching this 1951 turkey is like a Mystery Science Theater screening, except that you supply your own commentary. But give writer-director Arch Oboler credit for coming up with one of the earliest entries in the post-nuclear apocalypse genre. In this "story about the day after tomorrow," the titular five have survived the radioactive fallout that has effectively wiped out the rest of humanity and somehow ended up in the same place (Malibu, California; the shooting took place at Oboler’s home, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright). The five quickly become four, as an elderly banker succumbs to radiation sickness. That leaves a pregnant woman (Susan Douglas), a "philosopher" (William Phipps), an "explorer" (James Anderson), and a guy who was accompanying the banker; and since the latter is African-American and this is the early '50s, that means it’s up to the other two men, one a practical hard worker and the other a nonchalant layabout, to battle it out to see who’ll become Adam to the woman’s Eve. Not a whole lot happens in this "cheap honky-tonk of a world"--tensions mount; grass grows; they dance to a Strauss waltz--but there’s plenty of philosophizing about the new order and some reminiscing about the old one, most of it ludicrously melodramatic and pseudo-profound. Clearly this stuff is best apprehended with the help of a cocktail or two, and we are helpfully provided with two martini recipes to guide us through. Cheers! --Sam Graham

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first post-nuclear film March 2 2009
By Robert C. Cumbow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD transfer looks worlds better than previous VHS versions, but is still marred by problems that go back to the condition of the master print. But it's an excellent reminder that Arch Oboler was ahead of the pack in so many respects. Here he is, creating the first film about the survivors of a world-devastating nuclear exchange, establishing the language and tone--and setting the bar--for many films that followed. For all its apparent simplicity, FIVE contains complex characterizations and uncompromising moments of confrontation and narrative development, as well as some unforgettable images.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First post nuke film Feb. 5 2009
By D. Lockin - Published on Amazon.com
The official review about this film is correct it is the first post nuke film that i know of. I do not have this copy of the movie but I do have a bad copy made from an old film.

The movie is exactly how I remember it from the first time I say it on TV over 30 years ago maybe close to 40 years. It is about a group of 5 people who gather in Arch Oboler's house (yes it was filmed in his Frank Loyld Wright house).

This movie will disappoint all of the five year old's out there because it is a slow moving introspective picture about the 5 who try and to some degree fail to live together in this house. The movie was made at a time when action was not the only prerequisite for a movie. There are no explosions and no real scenes of mass destruction and of course it is in black and white, so there is another reason for the 5 year old's to not like it. There are 4 men and one pregnant woman at the beginning and at the end it is more of and Adam and Eve beginning.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the first films to tackle this subject Jan. 2 2010
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
The subject of this film may seem commonplace - the world destroyed by nuclear holocaust, one woman and several men the only survivors, - but it was the first to tackle this subject matter, and it does it very well. This one does have one interesting catch - the woman survivor is pregnant.

I'm usually on top of new classic releases, but this one escaped my attention until DVD Savant named it the top disc of 2009. I hadn't seen it since the third grade - Thanskgiving 1966 - and it made quite an impression on me at the time, so I thought I'd purchase it and see if it lived up to my memories. It did and then some. I can't really share any details of the story without giving anything away, except perhaps the character of the survivors. The woman is understandably obsessed with returning to the city and finding out for sure if her husband is dead or alive. Of the four men one is disqualified as a suitor because of his age, and another is disqualified because, after all, this is 1951 and he is African American and the woman is white. Of the two actually eligible suitors by 1951 standards, one is a brutish slob and the other is thoughtful and forward thinking, setting up a Cain and Abel dynamic between the two.

The film audio and video quality are excellent. From 2000 - 2005 Sony put out some of the more technically challenged classic film discs I've seen, but in the last three or four years they've really turned things around. Highly recommended for fans of 1950's sci-fi.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a sleeper to watch! March 25 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I accidentally ran across this film on one of the Roku channels. I had never heard of it and thought I would give it a shot. I was not disappointed. It's an apocalyptic film without the zombies and gore--just the struggles of five people thrown together. It deals with the good and evil of mankind and focuses upon the relationships built by these five individuals. If you're into zombies and plagues, then stay away! But if you like solid drama based upon character development, then this is a movies you should see. I liked it enough to purchase my own copy!Five
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great film mistaken for cheese! Jan. 11 2010
By Thomas E. Stazer - Published on Amazon.com
A low budget marvel that is worth sticking through for some truly terrifying, brave scenes. More radio play than movie, it IS talky - really, what are you GONNA do after the end of the world BUT talk? Unless you're battling mutants or some other cliche, talk is what the survivors would do, so - DUH! It's worth noting that this film is probably the first to deal with an apocalypse that is not a flight of fancy; it is only since the creation of the Atom bomb that the end of the world seems TRULY possible, even likely, and it's profound impact on the American psyche is showcased here... Shameful that this striking, original film is being treated like Plan 9 From Outer Space, marketed as So Bad It's Good If You're Drunk. So a film landmark is kicked to the curb while truly awful films are hailed as cinematic triumphs and given deluxe 3 disc special editions. Five accomplishes more, with almost no budget budget, than Michael Bay has with all his billions.

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