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Five (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | October 1951 (USA)
The world is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. Only five Americans survive, including a pregnant woman, a neo-Nazi, a black man and a bank clerk.

Director:

Writers:

(story, screenplay and dialogue), (dialogue)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Michael
...
Roseanne (as Susan Douglas)
...
Eric
Charles Lampkin ...
Charles
Earl Lee ...
Mr. Barnstaple
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Storyline

Five people are miraculously spared when the fall-out from a super-atomic bomb eventually kills all of the rest of humanity on earth. They are Roseanne Rogers, a pregnant woman who was in an X-ray room; Michael, a sensitive young poet and philosopher; Charles, a black man; Mr. Barnstaple, a banker; and Eric, a cosmopolitan Alpinist who was saved from the radio-active dust because he was climbing Mt. Everest at the time of the explosion and fall-out. Eventually, they all wind up in a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house on a California mountaintop. There is a lot of symbolism, especially with the mountain climber, who represents decadent and alien fascism and the banker who brings greed and arrogance to this new Eden on Earth. Soon, only two are left. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

ONE WOMAN... FOUR MEN... and no one else on earth! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

5ive  »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to TCM's Robert Osborne, this is the first feature film to depict the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. See more »

Goofs

When looking at the soap box powder in the store, the name of the soap is "Atomic Suds" but when the box is tilted by the actor you can clearly see the box top reads "Tide". See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Roseanne: I want to help you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Balls of Fire! (1989) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Little seen, little remembered, but still a landmark
21 January 2003 | by (Minneapolis) – See all my reviews

Post-nuclear-war dramas centering on a small group of survivors now constitute an entire genre in science-fiction films. All of them, in some way or another, can be traced back to this seminal film from 1951 in which five people deal with the possibility they are the only human beings left alive on the planet.

While most of the later movies exploited this possibility for B-movie thrills, "Five" adopts a quiet, contemplative tone which some may find dull but which thoughtful viewers are more likely to find, for want of a better word, haunting. There is something about this movie which gets under the skin and which lurks in the corners of the mind long after it's over.

Especially memorable is the trip to the city made by two of the survivors. The images of skeletons sitting in cars and buses still have an impact with their silent, disturbing, even horrifying beauty.

Some of the musical score now seems obtrusive and the dialog tends, at times, toward the pretentious -- perhaps a lingering effect from Arch Oboler's radio background -- but this low-budget, no-name, black-and-white production remains a landmark film which richly deserves to be rediscovered and honored.


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