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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


New thrills! New shocks! New terror! 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?


The National Guardsmen wear the insignia of the U.S. 33rd Infantry Division, which is indeed the designated unit of the Illinois National Guard. The soldiers in Chicago wear the insignia of the U.S. Fifth Army, which at the time was headquartered in Chicago, where the film takes place. 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 »


Gen. John T. Short: Dr. Wainright, you're a scientist, you know what grasshoppers can do. I'm a soldier, I know what guns can do.
See more »


Featured in The Movie Orgy (1968) See more »


Natural, Natural Baby
Words and Music by Lou Bartel & Harriet Kane
Sung by Lou Bartel & Chorus
An ABC - Paramount Record
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User Reviews

(you may be...) Begging for the End
14 September 2006 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

Thank you Bert I Gordon for making films which nobody else (except maybe Roger Corman) would dare to make, and for making them so definitively that no one would ever dare to remake them.

The Beginning of the End actually has a promising beginning. It follows Audrey Aimes (Castle) a young woman reporter who runs into a military roadblock and begins snooping around by introducing herself to the operation's CO, who happens to have read some of her wartime coverage and is willing to cooperate to a point. Weird and inexplicable happenings have been reported in a nearby town (site of the roadblock). In fact, we discover, the entire town has been wiped out. When Audrey finally gets to briefly tour the site, we are shown some footage of tornado devastation which is supposed to be the result. Then she meets Peter Graves (playing Peter Graves playing an entomologist working with radioactive plants). there is a decent enough amount of back-story, and the characters are all likable and interesting, but then theatrical disaster strikes - in the form of a totally ludicrous plot.

Two words - giant grasshoppers. And they are split-screened (poorly) into stock footage or scraps from some heavily edited war movie. I .... just can't go ... on.

As the absurdities continue to unfold, you will be impressed by the absolute seriousness with which the cast portrays their characters, and positively blown away by the enormously long cinematographic (un)dramatic pauses as we watch hordes of soldiers marching by in different directions with nothing going on around them, giant out-of-focus grasshoppers climbing up postcards of skyscrapers and sometimes slipping on the glossy surface, and 1-2 minute-long fixed frame shots of cars approaching from miles away.

I love giant monster movies, but this is definitely not one of the better ones. Still, it's harmless, more intelligent than the average sex comedy and more relevant than the usual political campaign.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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