IMDb > Beginning of the End (1957)
Beginning of the End
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Beginning of the End (1957) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
3.4/10   1,604 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Fred Freiberger (screenplay) and
Lester Gorn (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Beginning of the End on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 June 1957 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Filmed in New Horrorscope! See more »
Plot:
Audrey Ames, an enterprising journalist, tries to get the scoop on giant grasshoppers accidentally created at the Illinois State experimental farm... See more » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Big Bug Classic See more (42 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Peter Graves ... Dr. Ed Wainwright

Peggie Castle ... 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

Frank Wilcox ... Gen. John T. Short
Douglas Evans ... Norman Taggart - News Editor
Paul Grant ... Male Teenager in Car
Richard Emory ... Lieutenant
Hank Patterson ... Dave
Steve Warren ... Soldier at Observation Post #3
Frank Connor ... Soldier at Observation Post #1
Don Eitner ... Soldier at Observation Post #2
Rayford Barnes ... Chuck - National Guard Corporal
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kirk Alyn ... B-52 Pilot (uncredited)
Bill Baldwin ... TV Announcer (uncredited)
Frank Chase ... Helicopter Pilot (uncredited)
Patricia Dean ... Red Cross Representative (uncredited)
James Douglas ... Army Sentry (uncredited)
Paul Frees ... Helicopter Pilot (voice) (uncredited)
Lyle Latell ... Police Lt. MacKenzie (uncredited)
Dennis Moore ... Police Dispatcher (uncredited)
Zon Murray ... National Guard Sergeant (uncredited)
Alan Reynolds ... Insecticide Man (uncredited)
Ralph Sanford ... Extra beside Red Cross Representative (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Col. Hill (uncredited)
Alan Wells ... Headquarters Sergeant (uncredited)
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Directed by
Bert I. Gordon 
 
Writing credits
Fred Freiberger (screenplay) and
Lester Gorn (screenplay)

Produced by
Bert I. Gordon .... producer
 
Original Music by
Albert Glasser 
 
Cinematography by
Jack A. Marta (director of photography) (as Jack Marta)
 
Film Editing by
Aaron Stell 
 
Art Direction by
Walter E. Keller  (as Walter Keller)
 
Makeup Department
Steve Drumm .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Melville Shyer .... assistant director
Wilson Shyer .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
James Harris .... property master
George Milo .... set dresser
Duncan 'Dean' Parkin .... stagehand (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
George J. Eppich .... sound effects editor
Douglas Stewart .... sound effects editor
Dick Tyler Sr. .... sound mixer (as Richard E. Tyler)
 
Special Effects by
Bert I. Gordon .... special technical effects
Flora M. Gordon .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Austin Herrick .... chief set electrician (as Austin Herick)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Albert Glasser .... conductor
Morrie McNaughton .... music editor (as Morris K. McNaughton)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
76 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
200 grasshoppers were used for the film. During the filming, they began to cannibalize one another, so by the time the last shots were done, only a dozen were left.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Audrey is caught taking photos of Ludlow by the soldier there is no flashbulb in the camera but when it is returned to her at the checkpoint a bulb can be seen.See more »
Quotes:
Dr. Ed Wainwright:You can't drop an atom bomb on Chicago!See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Natural, Natural BabySee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Big Bug Classic, 22 May 2005
Author: Tom Fowler (tom.fowler@sbcglobal.net) from Overland Park, KS

This is one of the most enjoyable of the 1950s "big bug" movies. Filmed in 1957, in the middle of my favorite sci-fi era, this film enjoys a better than average cast than you would expect for B science fiction.

People begin to disappear in the surrounding communities outside Chicago. Photographer/journalist Audrey Aimes, portrayed by the lovely Peggy Castle, stops to visit Dr. Wainwright, the Dept. of Agriculture scientist who has used radiation on his plants to make them larger, only to discover that grasshoppers have feasted on them, thus making an army of giant sized locusts. This sounds pretty lame by today's standards but this was standard fare for 1950s science fiction, in the days when we were scared to death of having a nuclear weapon dropped on us and being taken over "from within."

After the discovery of what has happened and why, the rest of the story deals with what to do before the grasshoppers destroy Chicago. Fortunately for all, this did not happen. I won't give the ending away be will provide a hint: View 1963's Day of the Triffids.

Reviewers have not been kind to this film and perhaps rightfully so. However, within the context of the preposterous story and extremely limited budget, its not so bad. Beginning of the End starred Peter Graves, a sci-fi regular of that time in his pre-Mission: Impossible days and whose brother, James Arness, was riding high as Marshall Dillon in television's Gunsmoke. (You may recall that Arness starred in 1954's Them!, about huge ants terrorizing Los Angeles. This was the film that started the big bug craze). Peggy Castle was cool and calm as the female lead and was a forerunner of sorts to today's' strong woman in action films. And, this was yet another film of many whereas Morris Ankrum played a military general.

Special effects were not too good even for that era and are downright atrocious by the standards of today. We see grasshoppers walking upon photos of various places in Chicago and the super imposed shots are of very poor quality. The storyline stretches even the keenest imagination, as we are led to believe that Chicago can be 100% evacuated within 24 hours, and this with thousands of homeless refugees from the outlying communities camping out in the inner city!

Even so, Beginning of the End possesses the low budget charm that subsequent eras have not been able to duplicate. This is one of those films that is fun to watch and is the sole reason one should do so. Saturday night late is the best time. I like to view it alone and recall a far simpler time in my life and our world at large. At least, the times seemed simpler. Perhaps they were not and that may be what films such as these were all about.

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