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 »
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 <RichWannen@worldnet.att.net>
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:
[Laura has frozen with fear, descending the ladder into the cavern]
I'm coming up to help you!
Laura 'Hutch' Hutchinson:
Dr. David Conway:
Wouldn't you know a woman would pull a stunt like this? You're all scientists until there's the slightest bit of danger, then you fold up! Want your mommy and daddy?
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This science-fiction film has pretty much been forgotten because director Fred F. Sears and producer Sam Katzman would follow it up with THE GIANT CLAW, which of course would find a major cult following. This film here has a couple scientists trying to discover the cause for a recent outbreak of earthquakes that are causing major destruction around the world. With the help of a machine, the two realize that the really big one is coming and they must come up with a way to stop it. THE NIGHT THE WORLD EXPLODED runs a quick 64-minutes and is pretty entertaining throughout but at the same time there's just no way for the film to tackle all the important issues brought up in it and especially with such a small budget. The budget is without question one of the smallest I've seen from a Katzman production and there's really no evidence that any money was spent on this thing. Right from the start we're greeted with non-stop stock footage, which shows the destruction of the earthquakes, the mass problems that followed and even the flooding. All of these things have an impact on the story and when we cut away to the stock footage it's just so obvious and it does take away from what you're seeing. I will give the filmmakers a lot of credit for coming up with a pretty good explanation as to why the earthquakes are happening and what it's going to take to stop them. The film is mostly dialogue driven so extra credit has to go to the fact that it really never gets boring. Yes, some of the scenes are dragged out a bit but not to the point where you get bored. Kathryn Grant and William Leslie play the leads and offer up fine performances. If you're looking for a film with ground-breaking effects then you're certainly not going to find it here but fans of the 50's sci-fi should be mildly entertained.
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