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The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959)

 -  Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi  -  20 May 1959 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,539 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 14 critic

Ralph Burton is a miner who is trapped for several days as a result of a cave-in. When he finally manages to dig himself out, he realizes that all of mankind seems to have been destroyed in... See full summary »

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Title: The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959)

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Storyline

Ralph Burton is a miner who is trapped for several days as a result of a cave-in. When he finally manages to dig himself out, he realizes that all of mankind seems to have been destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. He travels to New York City only to find it deserted. Making a life for himself there, he is flabbergasted to eventually find Sarah Crandall, who also managed to survive. Together, they form a close friendship until the arrival of Benson Thacker who has managed to pilot his small boat into the city's harbor. At this point the tensions rise between the three, particularly between Thacker, who is white and Burton, who is black. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

trapped | miner | cave in | harbor | boat | See All (22) »

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The Most Unusual Story Ever Told!

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Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

20 May 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The End of the World  »

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Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Ralph marks his route to New York City on the map, he starts at a point in the center of Pennsylvania. There is no real town of Chatsburg in PA, but there is a town near his starting point called "Bellefonte" (the character Ralph Burton in the movie is played by Harry Belafonte). See more »

Goofs

After Ralph comes ashore in lower Manhattan, amid scenes of him wandering around the vicinity of Wall Street, a shot looking up at him from street level shows the Empire State Building towering above him. The Empire State Building is approximately five miles north of where Ralph had been shown standing. See more »

Quotes

Benson Thacker: I have nothing against negroes, Ralph.
Ralph Burton: That's white of you.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Out of this World Super Shock Show (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

FIFTEEN
Written by Alan Greene and Robert Nemiroff
Sung by Harry Belafonte
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The black...the white...and the blond...
17 July 2003 | by (U.S.) – See all my reviews

Harry Belafonte emerges from a mine after an accident and discovers that the world is deserted, except for Inger Stevens and Mel Ferrer.

Some kind of nuclear war has taken place and there are few survivors. No dead bodies, no rotting corpses. No physical body traces of any kind.

Some people have said that Ferrer played a bigot in this film, but I didn't see much of that at all since the main conflict between Belafonte and Ferrer is based more on lust than anything else.

But since this is 1959, we can't show interracial love onscreen because many parts of the country would wind up banning the film, so MGM and Belafonte keep the lust toned down and mostly implied. The viewer should just look at it in the context of the times that it was made in, and not try to apply 2003 standards to something filmed over 40 years ago.

The deserted lower Manhattan streets including Times Square look pretty cool. They must have filmed them on an early Sunday morning in order to keep any traffic disruption to a minimum.

And the ending resorts to a preachy "The Beginning" stamped across the screen as the three of them walk down a deserted Manhattan street. I guess only goodwill comes next, huh?

If you want to see a better "end of the world" flick from the same period, then check out the Arch Oboler's rarely-seen FIVE (1951) or Stanley Kramer's ON THE BEACH, made during the same year as this one. I thought they were done better.

5 out of 10 for clearing out New York in time.


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