MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 304 this week

On the Beach (1959)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  17 December 1959 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 8,463 users  
Reviews: 150 user | 36 critic

After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 41 titles
created 18 Jun 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 04 Nov 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 23 Dec 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 22 Mar 2014
 
a list of 30 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "On the Beach" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: On the Beach (1959)

On the Beach (1959) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of On the Beach.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Father Rivard is a priest in a small, economically depressed coal mining town. Working on what he thinks is a "controversial" work, he lives with the brutal lives of his poor parishioners, ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Kathleen Quinlan, Maureen Stapleton
R.P.M. (1970)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

R.P.M. stands for (political) revolutions per minute. Anthony Quinn plays a liberal college professor at a west coast college during the hedy days of campus activism in the late 1960s. ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Ann-Margret, Gary Lockwood
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An ego-driven, aspiring physician, intolerant of the weaknesses of others, especially those closest to him, comes to grips with his own imperfections.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of social misfits band together and run away from summer camp. Along the way, they take up a crusade to save penned in buffaloes from a rifle club's slaughter.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Bill Mumy, Barry Robins, Miles Chapin
Comedy | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

It's oil boom time in Oklahoma and Lena Doyle, a hard-bitten, cyncial feminist has a fight on her hands: the big oil companies don't like the fact that she's working a potentially ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: George C. Scott, Faye Dunaway, John Mills
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The story in this movie deals with the perseverance of Spaniards to take back their country from the French who have conquered Spain under Napoleon as he marched over Europe. A huge cannon,... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

During WWII in Italy, a wine producing village hide a million bottles from the Germans

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Anna Magnani, Virna Lisi
Night People (1954)
Adventure | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Post WWII yarn about a young GI abducted by the Soviets in West Berlin and hauled off to the East. His recovery gets complicated as Colonel Steve Van Dyke (Peck) tries to sort out the ... See full summary »

Director: Nunnally Johnson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Broderick Crawford, Anita Björk
The Killers (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
Ship of Fools (1965)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

1933: An ocean liner belonging to a second-rate German company is making a twenty-six day voyage from Veracruz, Mexico to Bremerhaven, Germany. Along the way it will stop in Cuba to pick up... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, José Ferrer
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Tucker is a chronic underachiever and a loser. A Vietnam war veteran who just can't seem to keep out of trouble, in the years since his discharge. The only thing he got out of the war was ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Gene Hackman, Candice Bergen, Richard Widmark
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Directors: Lee Bernhardi, Stanley Kramer
Stars: Allan Arbus, Herschel Bernardi, Barbara Colby
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
John Tate ...
Harp McGuire ...
Lola Brooks ...
Ken Wayne ...
...
Richard Meikle ...
...
Joe McCormick ...
Lou Vernon ...
Kevin Brennan ...
Edit

Storyline

In 1964, atomic war wipes out humanity in the northern hemisphere; one American submarine finds temporary safe haven in Australia, where life-as-usual covers growing despair. In denial about the loss of his wife and children in the holocaust, American Captain Towers meets careworn but gorgeous Moira Davidson, who begins to fall for him. The sub returns after reconnaissance a month (or less) before the end; will Towers and Moira find comfort with each other? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Hora Final  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,900,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The U.S. Department of Defense and the United States Navy declined to cooperate in the production of this film, including access to a nuclear-powered submarine, which forced the film production to use a non-nuclear, diesel-electric Royal Navy submarine, HMS Andrew (RN submarines were based in Australia until 1967 when the RAN commissioned its own submarines). See more »

Goofs

Lt Sunderstrom enters the oil refinery and walks past a sign warning away trespassers. Although the setting was supposed to be San Diego, the warning sign uses the British/Australian spelling of the word "AUTHORISED" rather than the American spelling "AUTHORIZED", which gives away that an Australian refinery stood in for an American one. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dwight Towers: Prepare to surface.
See more »

Crazy Credits

and Introducing Donna Anderson See more »

Connections

Referenced in There's Always Vanilla (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Onward, Christian Soldiers
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by Sabine Baring-Gould
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Perfectly paced and well acted, it keeps melodrama minimised
4 May 2000 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

In an era (1959) and on a topic (nuclear war) that usually demands melodrama, "On the Beach" resists. In fact, the all-star principal cast and director Stanley Kramer seem to treat the topic as a stage play, focussing on the individual. And that is how such a story should be treated. Life on the northern hemisphere has been destroyed a defence mistake by one of the (then) two superpowers. Gregory Peck's nuclear-powered submarine was submerged at the time (they stayed under water for a hell of a long time in those days). The sub heads for Melbourne, Australia, which is one of the only places in the world not yet affected by radiation. But the radiation will come, and this is where the truth of the piece comes out.

The inhabitants of 'the end of the world' go through what you would expect: denial, anger, clinging to the thinnest hope, and finally, resignation. As I said at the start, this is clearly a story about the individual. Kramer knows this, and the cast of Ava Gardner, Tony Perkins, John Meillon and Fred Astaire play it with a reality that is all too rare. Even recent films like Final Impact fail to deliver on this count. The real joy of the film is the pacing, which gives the cast the chance to play it like it should be played. Astaire proves he is an actor, and only once slips into his raised eyebrow 'top hat and tails' mode. It is a well thought out movie without the Hollywood ending, but such is the art of Kramer that the ending is a good resolution, not just a funeral. The camera work is exceptional throughout, starting with the continuous shots in Peck's submarine. I don't know about the Waltzing Matilda music at the start, however. But it does work later in the piece, and makes it worthy of the Academy Award nomination it received.


61 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Doomsday Movies VelvetVoice
Not Really a Good Version of the Book... ConDeuce
Sexuality and homosexuality in the film bchace
Blu Ray? Melon_Blando
Question about energy fuel NutzieFagin
Parallels with active Seniors' EOL (End of Life) circumstances Bob Pr.
Discuss On the Beach (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page