IMDb > On the Beach (1959)
On the Beach
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On the Beach (1959) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
7.3/10   9,767 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Paxton (screenplay)
Nevil Shute (novel)
View company contact information for On the Beach on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 December 1959 (USA) See more »
The Biggest Story Of our Time! See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A great Tour de Force by a fine cast, interpreting a great story See more (157 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gregory Peck ... Cmdr. Dwight Lionel Towers, USS Sawfish

Ava Gardner ... Moira Davidson

Fred Astaire ... Julian Osborne

Anthony Perkins ... Lt. Peter Holmes - Royal Australian Navy

Donna Anderson ... Mary Holmes
John Tate ... Adm. Bridie

Harp McGuire ... Lt. Sunderstrom (ashore in San Diego)
Lola Brooks ... Lt. Hosgood (Bridie's secretary)
Ken Wayne ... Lt. Benson

Guy Doleman ... Lt. Cmdr. Farrel
Richard Meikle ... Davis

John Meillon ... Ralph Swain (ashore in San Francisco)
Joe McCormick ... Ackerman (radiation sickness)
Lou Vernon ... Bill Davidson (Moira's father)
Kevin Brennan ... Dr. King (radiation diagnosis)
Basil Buller-Murphy ... Sir Douglas Froude (club)
John Casson ... Salvation Army captain
Paddy Moran ... Stevens (club wine steward)
Grant Taylor ... Morgan (Holmes party)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harvey Adams ... Sykes (State Fisheries & Game Dept.) (uncredited)
Peter Ashton ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Jim Barrett ... Chrysler - Moira's Outfit (uncredited)
Ken Baumgartner ... Bit Part (uncredited)

Jack Boyer ... Bit Part (uncredited)
C. Harding Brown ... Dykers - Billiards at Club (uncredited)
Norman Cook ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Colin Crane ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Gerry Duggan ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Keith Eden ... Dr. Fletcher (uncredited)
Lucian Endicott ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Stuart Finch ... Jones - Radio Operator (uncredited)
Paddy Fitzallen ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Ronald Fortt ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Cyril Gardner ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Frank Gatliff ... Radio Officer (uncredited)
Katherine Hill ... Jennifer Holmes (uncredited)
Collins Hilton ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Brian James ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Joseph Jenkins ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Delos Jewkes ... Solo for Waltzing Matilda (voice) (uncredited)
Graham Kennedy ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Audine Leith ... Betty (uncredited)
Paul Maloney ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Ray Marshall ... Bit Part (uncredited)
John Morgan ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Peter O'Shaughnessy ... Jorgensen Associate (uncredited)
Rita Pauncefort ... Elderly Woman at Holmes Party (uncredited)
Carey Paul Peck ... Boy (uncredited)
Elwyn Peers ... Bit Part (uncredited)
John Royle ... Senior Officer (uncredited)
Jerry Ian Seals ... Fogarty - Sonar Operator (uncredited)
Al Thomas ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Mario Vecchi ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Peter Williams ... Prof. Jorgensen (uncredited)
Hugh Wills ... Bit Part (uncredited)

Directed by
Stanley Kramer 
Writing credits
John Paxton (screenplay)

Nevil Shute (novel)

Produced by
Stanley Kramer .... producer
Original Music by
Ernest Gold 
Cinematography by
Giuseppe Rotunno 
Film Editing by
Frederic Knudtson 
Production Design by
Rudolph Sternad 
Art Direction by
Fernando Carrere 
Makeup Department
John O'Gorman .... makeup artist
Frank Prehoda .... makeup artist
Jane Shugrue .... hair stylist
Production Management
Clem Beauchamp .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ivan Volkman .... assistant director
Art Department
Art Cole .... property master
Sound Department
Walter Elliott .... sound effects
Hans Wetzel .... sound engineer
Special Effects by
Lee Zavitz .... special effects
Carey Loftin .... stunt double: Fred Astaire (uncredited)
Carey Loftin .... stunts (uncredited)
Harvey Parry .... stunts (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Daniel L. Fapp .... photographer: auto race (as Daniel Fapp)
Allen Grice .... chief gaffer
Martin Kashuk .... assistant company grip
Morris Rosen .... company grip
Ross Wood .... camera operator
Robert Wright .... camera operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joe King .... wardrobe
Eva Friend .... wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Other crew
Sam Freedle .... script supervisor
Charles A. Lockwood .... technical advisor (as Vice-Admiral Charles A. Lockwood U.S.N. [RET.])
A.A. Norris-Smith .... liaison: Royal Australian Navy (as Lt. Commander A.A. Norris-Smith)
Bill Hunter .... swimming double (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
134 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Canada:PG (video rating) | Germany:16 | Norway:16 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (2004) | USA:Approved (PCA #19372)

Did You Know?

The Hollywood premiere was attended by many celebrities, including some of the film's stars. The New York premiere was attended by Mayor Robert F. Wagner. The London premiere was attended by Yakov Malik, Soviet Ambassador to the U.K. Ava Gardner attended the Rome premiere. The Japanese Royal Family attended the Tokyo premiere. Swedish King Gustaf VI Adolf attended the Stockholm premiere. The Melbourne premiere was attended by Premier of Victoria Henry Bolte. Premieres were held simultaneously in 20 cities on six continents.See more »
Continuity: When Moira picks up Dwight at the railroad station, she refers to her horse as a "mare". But as Dwight backs the horse up, he calls it "boy".See more »
[first lines]
Dwight Towers:Prepare to surface.
See more »
Stand up Stand Up for JesusSee more »


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216 out of 232 people found the following review useful.
A great Tour de Force by a fine cast, interpreting a great story, 13 April 2006
Author: hfelknor from United States

I watched this movie in a USAF chow hall on the island of Makung in the China Strait with about 20 other airman. The year was 1960. We were stationed there on a missile site. Our targets were 7 Chinese missile sites. Their target was us.

I was 22 years old and immortal.

Until I watched this movie.

When the movie ended, I will never forget the fact that no one moved for perhaps 10 minutes. There was just the bright, blank screen and the sound of the end of the film going around and around. Thiketa-thicketa-thicketa................... No one ever said a word about what we had just seen.

We, or at least I, never forgot this movie. As said earlier, it was more than scary. It was sad.

It seems strange now, 40 some years later, to be telling people that you really should watch this film and watch the masters at work, with a script that is chilling. And you know what? We still haven't outlived the possibility...........

Was the above review useful to you?
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