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On the Beach [Import]

4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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2 used from CDN$ 47.51


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, Import
  • Language: English
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: Aug. 6 1996
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 6304111398
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Stanley Kramer's 1959 antiwar movie looks like everything Kramer did: subtle as a car wreck but undeniably affecting. Gregory Peck plays a submarine commander looking for survivors in Australia after a nuclear holocaust. Ava Gardner is among them and, somewhat improbably under the circumstances, becomes his love interest. Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins are among the characters awaiting death from the gradual spread of radiation from the north. One might scoff at Kramer's implicit finger-wagging about nuclear politics in this mad, mad, mad, mad world, but it is hard to stop watching this compelling drama all the same. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Blu-ray
Please Note: this is not a review of the film, but a review of the Blu-ray release.

One great film!

BUT, I wish I would have read the reviews on amazon.com about this Kino Lorber Blu-ray release before I bought it. At about the 60 minute mark the audio sound went out of sync with the visual part, by varying degrees, until the end of the film. I found it overall, every annoying to watch. This same issue has been quoted in a number of other reviews on many websites.
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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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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 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: 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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