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On the Beach (1959)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  17 December 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 8,741 users  
Reviews: 152 user | 37 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.



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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 December 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La hora final  »

Box Office


$2,900,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The only US Nuclear submarine with the hull number 623 was the SSBN Nathan Hale, a ballistic missile submarine. See more »


When the Sawfish departs on its final voyage, the safety handlines and stanchions are still in place. They would have been removed as part of the rig-for-sea procedure, if for no other reason than they could break loose and foul the stern planes, rudder or props. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

and Introducing Donna Anderson See more »


Featured in The Rotten Tomatoes Show: Watchmen/Shuttle/12 (2009) See more »


Stand up Stand Up for Jesus
Words by George Duffield Jr.
Music by George J. Webb
See more »

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User Reviews

Gives new meaning to the word 'shudder'
26 September 2002 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I made the mistake of watching this film at 11 pm, in a theater with only 4 other people. We were scattered about...and alone. I have seldom wanted to be in a group as much as I did that night. I almost got up and went to sit in a row with one of the 4. Directing? Brilliant. Cinematography? Brilliant. The cast? Exceptional. Ava Gardner (still beautiful), Gregory Peck, Fred Astair and Anthony Perkins are inspired. I have always wanted to go to Australia. Many years later I got the chance. As the coast of Sydney came into view I started to cry...and didn't know why? Then I realized, I was 'hearing' Waltzing Matilda and remembering.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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