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On the Beach


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2 used from CDN$ 34.17

Product Details

  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins, Donna Anderson
  • Directors: Stanley Kramer
  • Writers: John Paxton, Nevil Shute
  • Producers: Stanley Kramer
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: April 1 2003
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304111398
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #857 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Sherman on April 21 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great anti-war film. Very brave for it's era. Not everything has to have explosions and special effects to get the job done. A rare outing for Fred Astaire in a dramatic role. Answers the question as well - under what conditions is it worth surviving ? Strong stuff - horribly overlooked these days. Perhaps only equalled by the film 'Johnny got his gun'.
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Format: Blu-ray
This film hits you like a freight train, and you just can't take your eyes off the screen. The characters are sympathetic - all of them - and you wonder what you'd do in a similar situation. This could have happened when this movie was made. Change the nuclear to climate-change and it could again. With similar eerie, in-your-face ending. This is one of my all time favourite films!
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By Annie on June 8 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one Movie I kept looking for was so pleased to get it, could of don't without the sub lines but enjoyed it all the same, an all time gret.
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Format: DVD
In the days of the Cold War; in the days when there were two super powers in the world; and, in the days when the atomic bomb hung over the heads of the western world we all waited for the day the world would end with radio-activity spreading around the globe. This movie is the story of what that might look like. It is a clasic. It is particularly well done.
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Format: DVD
I know there are some scientific discrepancies and that the sub is actually diesel and not nuclear, but I don't care. I'm not anal enough to have those details detract from a first-rate movie. And this is a first-rate movie! It kept me on the edge of my seat again - and I remember those days in which this film was made. Air raid drills and 'what to do in a nuclear explosion' drills. It WAS scary. This film captures that time, and that fear exactly as I recall it! The cast was super - Peck, Gardner, Astair and Perkins very solid in their role, along with the supporting cast as well. This film takes me back to those days - and reminds me how lucky we were that the film didn't become true. It still could. The musical score is a wonderfully haunting score that takes you right in. Altogether, this film is a triumph of film making and a treasure, then, and now.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons on May 28 2002
Format: DVD
Probably the most haunting of all movie beach scenes is in Stanly Kramer's heavy-handed 1959 anti-nuclear message movie in which a handful of characters await death via drifting radiation -- among them Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner. A lone figure running down an otherwise empty Australian beach -- on what may be a humanless world -- is a hard image to shake. Escaping to the beach does not always guarantee a happy ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon on June 20 2004
Format: DVD
This is the film that for me captures the terror I felt as a child, growing up at the height of the Cold War; it is bleak and intense, with scenes that are forever etched in my mind. It's one of the great films of that era ("Seven Days in May" and "Fail Safe" are others) that I can watch repeatedly, and their power and impact are never diminished.
Based on Nevil Shute's best seller, and brilliantly directed by Stanley Kramer, the use of sound effects combined with Ernest Gold's Oscar nominated score is very effective. Sometimes the simplest noise set against complete silence is ominous, and gives the feeling of the desolation of empty cities.
As time runs out, people try to avoid the "morbid discussion" of what awaits them, and some make the most of those precious days, weeks and months, like the elderly scientist Julian (in an exceptional performance by Fred Astaire), who completes his dream of being a race car driver.
Both strong and tender, Gregory Peck is fabulous as Dwight Towers, the commander of a submarine, who has trouble accepting that he is alive, while his family are victims of the "monstrous war". The woman who falls in love with him is Ava Gardner, who has spent far too much time being consoled by a bottle of brandy. The plot is filled out by Anthony Perkins and Donna Anderson, a young couple facing the fact that their baby has no future.
In the late 50s and early 60s, the scenario in this film was all too real; we face other dangers now, but there was something truly chilling about those Cold War years, and this film vividly brings back the memory of them. Total running time is 134 minutes.
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Format: DVD
An unforgettable movie that is as important and as powerful today as when it was first released.
Shute took his title from a stanza from T S Eliot's The Hollow Men:-
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river...
The tumid (swollen) river is metaphorical, as is the beach, given that Eliot's bleak, desolate landscape is a spiritual one, as in his classic work, The Wasteland.
Shute's movie is utterly compelling all the way through, partly due to the subject matter, helped along by a stunning cast, and very capable production and direction.
The scene in which the Sub arrives in the US to check on the erratic morse signal was actually shot in Australia, as they could not obtain permission to film it in the US.
There was a very creditable 2000 Showtime version with Rachel Ward and Armand Assante, which was truer to the book, although set closer to present time, but the Peck version is still the definitive one.
You cannot top this movie for dramatic content, brilliantly delivered by Peck, Gardner, Perkins and Astaire above all.
Yes, this could still happen, and yes, nuclear deterrence may well have worked so far, but I always remember a line from Bob Dylan's "If God's On Our Side", which goes...
If God's on our side,
He'll stop the next war...
Maybe he did.
Peace y'all.
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