Beginning of the End (1957)

Unrated  |   |  Sci-Fi  |  28 June 1957 (USA)
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Audrey Ames, an enterprising journalist, tries to get the scoop on giant grasshoppers accidentally created at the Illinois State experimental farm. She endeavors to save Chicago, despite a ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Ed Wainwright
Audrey Aimes
Morris Ankrum ...
Gen. John Hanson
Than Wyenn ...
Frank Johnson
Thomas Browne Henry ...
Col. Tom Sturgeon (as Thomas B. Henry)
Richard Benedict ...
Cpl. Mathias
James Seay ...
Capt. James Barton
John Close ...
Maj. Everett
Don C. Harvey ...
Guard at Lab
Larry J. Blake ...
Illinois Highway Patrolman
Eilene Janssen ...
Girl Teenager in Car
Hylton Socher ...
Frank - Soldier
Gen. John T. Short
Douglas Evans ...
Norman Taggart - News Editor
Paul Grant ...
Male Teenager in Car


Audrey Ames, an enterprising journalist, tries to get the scoop on giant grasshoppers accidentally created at the Illinois State experimental farm. She endeavors to save Chicago, despite a military cover-up. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


So Big...we had to coin a new word for it...NEWMENDOUS! See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le début de la fin  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There really is a town called Ludlow, in the right area in Champaign County, IL, and the town Paxton is just north of it in Ford County. They are also near Chanute AFB, where reporter Audrey Aimes (Peggie Castle) was headed at the beginning of the film. See more »


After being turned away at the checkpoint Audrey drives away to sneak some photos. When she stops her car you can see a pair of feet walking in the reflection on her door. See more »


Dr. Ed Wainwright: You can't drop an atom bomb on Chicago!
See more »


Referenced in Ed Wood (1994) See more »


Natural, Natural Baby
Words and Music by Lou Bartel & Harriet Kane
Sung by Lou Bartel & Chorus
An ABC - Paramount Record
See more »

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User Reviews

scarieee movieee (at least when I was nine)
27 October 2005 | by (Kingsport, Tennessee) – See all my reviews

Beginning of the End was one of the scariest movies I ever saw. I saw it at the age of nine at our local first-time A-flick theater, the State. When it ran at the second-run B-flick theater, the Rialto, I dragged my little brother Jeff to see it. He watched it from between the seats. We used to sit up and watch Shock Theater and we knew scary when we saw it.

What a lot of people miss today, is that the popular science magazines at the time "Beginning..." came out were full of speculation about using radiation to enhance crops and livestock, just like the experiments in Peter Grave's agricultural station in the movie. I also remember that Bert Gordon's earlier movie, King Dinosaur, came out after a close approach to earth by an asteroid was in the news. These movies were ripped fresh from the headlines.

Yes, the low budget values are low. There's the ponderous pseudoWagnerian Albert Glasser music Da-DUM-da-da-da-DA-DUM motif for reporter-driving-down-road, cop-driving-down-road, reporter-stopping-at-road-block, etc. We see the mountains of Illinois that look suspiciously like southern California (at least they did not use Bronson Canyon in this one (they didn't did they?).)

Yes, they do use the same stock footage three times for rear projection behind characters "driving" down the road, but, hey, they DO tint the stock footage for the nighttime driving scene.

But the woman reporter, Peggy Castle, is not only a good looker, but a strong woman who is treated as a equal by most of the men, who show her respect. She is a tough cookie like Beverly Garland in It Conquered the World. Not a typical 1950s bimbo or weak sister. I always thought Peggy Castle's character taught Peter Grave's character how to be a man.

And when Morris Ankrum is in uniform, you know however dicey the situation, right and good will triumph in the end. Even in the Beginning of the End.

This movie does have a message: if you park on a lonely road and engage in illicit teenage necking, you will be eaten by giant mutant grasshoppers.

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