The Night the World Exploded (1957)

Not Rated  |   |  Sci-Fi  |  June 1957 (USA)
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Dr. Conway has perfected a machine which he believes will predict earthquakes, and has determined that one will strike California within 24 hours. He and his patron, Dr. Morton, attempt to ... See full summary »


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Complete credited cast:
Laura 'Hutch' Hutchinson
William Leslie ...
Dr. David Conway
Dr. Ellis Morton (as Tris Coffin)
Raymond Greenleaf ...
Gov. Chaney
Charles Evans ...
Gen. Bortes
Frank J. Scannell ...
Sheriff Quinn (as Frank Scannell)
General's Aide
Fred Coby ...
Ranger Brown
Paul Savage ...
Ranger Kirk
Terry Frost ...
Chief Rescue Worker


Dr. Conway has perfected a machine which he believes will predict earthquakes, and has determined that one will strike California within 24 hours. He and his patron, Dr. Morton, attempt to convince the Governor but he cannot bring himself to declare an emergency when there is no proof the machine works - which, within 24 hours, it is proven to do. More significantly, Conway is getting readings which indicate a series of additional, pending quakes around the world, which also begin to occur; and more still seem to be on the way. With his assistant "Hutch", to whose love for him he seems oblivious, Conway takes his equipment to the deepest point of Carlsbad Caverns, in hopes that being closer to the center of the earth will help discern the cause of the earthquake epidemic. It does, when they inadvertently discover a new element which lies dormant in watery pools deep within the earth but, when in contact with air, becomes violently explosive. Forces unknown appear to be pushing this ... Written by Rich Wannen <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Super-quake tilts the earth!




Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A noite em que o mundo explodiu  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1957, Columbia Pictures theatrically distributed this film on a double bill with The Giant Claw (1957). See more »


When the "element 112" sample exploded inside the small globe, it was immediately and obviously followed by a blast from explosives buried in the ground under the globe. See more »


Dr. David Conway: We better do more than hope, gentlemen. We better pray!
See more »

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User Reviews

Serviceable B Movie
12 April 2014 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Dr David Conway shows his assistant Laura " Hutch " Hutchinson a new machine that predicts Earthquakes . This machine predicts a large quake is about to hit California in 24 hours and it does . Things go from bad to worse as a series of violent quakes tilt the world of its axis by three degrees and Dr Conway finds its caused by a new found element called " one twelve " which is a highly unstable element that expands and explodes when it becomes dry

This is nothing more than a sci-fi B movie and viewed for what it is it isn't at all bad . It's done in a documentary type way and a massive non prize for guessing this is due to the practicalities of not having a big budget rather than any stylistic imagination of director Fred Sears who does managed to make the most of what little he's got and everything races along at a tight , brisk pace . What tends to bring things is that there is a romantic subplot between Conway and his assistant Hutch who is supposed to be a ballsy independent female but as soon as there's the slightest sign of danger turns in to a blubbering girly girl in need of rescue by the male lead . Considering the period it was made in where the world was split in to two superpower camps both of whom viewed each other with mutual suspicion it's nice to see a film where the international scientific community put aside the politics of the state and work together . Some people might be put off by the lack of outlandish plot devices like aliens and the science never seems entirely credible but I've seen a lot of SF B movies from this era and this is far from being one of the worst

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