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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great anti-war film
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'.
Published 3 months ago by Mark Sherman

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars HEAVY HANDED BUT HAUNTING IMAGES
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...
Published on May 28 2002 by Robin Simmons


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great anti-war film, April 21 2014
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This review is from: On the Beach [Import] (DVD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Spell binding and gripping and as subtle as a train wreck. Can't tear myself away., June 12 2014
By 
Amazon Customer (Calgary, Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: On the Beach [Blu-ray] (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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5.0 out of 5 stars On The Beach( Import), June 8 2014
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This review is from: On the Beach [Import] (DVD)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars An Oldie but a Goodie, Feb. 12 2012
By 
Wayne G. Daley (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On the Beach (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely spellbinding. Scared the h_ll out of me, then, and now., Jan. 18 2012
By 
Amazon Customer (Calgary, Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: On the Beach (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
2.0 out of 5 stars HEAVY HANDED BUT HAUNTING IMAGES, May 28 2002
By 
Robin Simmons (Palm Springs area, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On the Beach (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
5.0 out of 5 stars the ultimate Cold War film, June 20 2004
This review is from: On the Beach (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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5.0 out of 5 stars The end of the world as we know it..., June 13 2004
By 
Steven Cain (Temporal Quantum Pocket) - See all my reviews
This review is from: On the Beach (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Still A Good Movie, Feb. 16 2004
By 
This review is from: On the Beach (DVD)
This movie is now a bit dated but it remains one of my favorites.
Some of the scenes in the movie, including the segment where the US submarine Sawfish visits a vacant and dead US west coast to investigate a Morse code signal, are among the finest scenes ever shot in a movie.
The movie involves the Captain (Gregory Peck) and crew of the US submarine Sawfish that finds itself in southern waters near Australia after a nuclear war has wiped out the northern hemisphere. Apparently the radiation levels were high enough to kill everyone in the upper half of the globe quickly. Now the winds are driving the radiation into the southern part of the globe but there are a number of months left to live before the radiation reaches Australia.
The movie is about Captain Dwight Towers (Gregory Peck) who seems unable or unwilling to accept that his wife and family back in the US are dead, along with Ava Gardner - his female companion in the movie - and locals played by Fred Astaire an amateur race car buff, and Anthony Perkins a member of the Australian navy.
It chronicles their months together until the end comes leaving us with vacant scenes of downtown Melbourne, Australia.
A very powerful movie.
Jack in Toronto
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful production on how "it really ends", Jan. 26 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: On the Beach (DVD)
To me, the magnificance of the Nevil Shute "On the Beach" novel, and this movie, is that it is an honest, believeable account of the end of the world as seen by the remaining soon-to-die but maybe not survivors.
There are no heroics, there are no hysterics, there are no scenes of war: people try to cope, adapt, get along, and sometimes have hope in their own way -- often with humor -- but with the stark reality that they are all most likely to die because of man's weapons of self-destruction. Throughout, you're engaged and captivated with the believeable story lines and have to keep reminding yourself that the war is over -- and EVERYBODY lost, until the final scenes, when the effects of the nuclear radiation clouds finally reach Australia.
The movie's synopsis is available elsewhere on Amazon and is essentially accurate, so I won't bother. The cast is incredibly believeable. You'll find you'll establish a rapport with every character, no matter how small. And Fred Astair as the egg-head scientist is outstanding in this, his first dramatic role (and as a kid, I thought he had already died when I first saw the movie). But a remarkable performance that re-ignited his career :-)
Just as an aside, I do think the book and movie had a material effect of presenting the consequences of what was in store if we went to nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
I read the book as a 12-year-old when it was available at the Dallas Public Library. I didn't know there was a movie until several years later. The book was published in 1958; the movie came out in 1959 -- the "On the Beach" stage was set for the future, 1964.
I was a bag boy at a local Kroger's grocery store during the Cuban missile crisis. We were TOTALLY sold out and the shelves were cleared of canned goods, bottled water, batteries, candles, -- you name it -- for stockpiling because of the panic and fear of immediate total nuclear war.
I've heard several accounts that the message presented in "On the Beach" had a highly positive effect to motivate our representatives in government to find a peaceful solution.
I hope politicans everywhere around the world will watch it today.
George in Texas
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On the Beach
On the Beach by Stanley Kramer (DVD - 2003)
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