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 ...
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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 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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Kathyrn Grant and William Leslie try to prevent the world from exploding!
I'm a fan of science fiction, including the 50s variety. I watched "The Night the World Exploded" in a clean widescreen print, and that is a plus.
This picture has a number of assets. There is excellent stock footage of disasters that are nicely integrated into the film. There is Kathyrn Grant, who plays a woman determined to be as active in risky endeavors as any male. Tris Coffin and Raymond Greenleaf provide competent b-movie support. The script comes up to sci-fi standards in attempting to make the events plausible. There are some good scenes of the cause of the disaster, which is a new element that combines with nitrogen when dry, creating an explosive material.
It's a reasonably entertaining show for us sci-fi fans, even if the script at times seems cobbled together or slows down too much, even if the lead actor (Leslie) seems too ill at ease, even if there seems to be very little chemistry between him and Grant, and even if the picture has to work at generating suspense.
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