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The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959)

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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 (37) »

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The Most Unusual Story Ever Told!

Genres:

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

On the bookshelf behind the bed in which Ben Thacker is recovering, is a copy of "The Proud Land" by James Lee Bartlow. This is the book supposedly written by Bartlow, played by Dick Powell in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952). See more »

Goofs

Throughout the climactic chase scene between Ralph and Ben, the two are repeatedly shown walking on streets and turning corners onto others many miles away from where they had been a moment before. See more »

Quotes

Benson Thacker: I have nothing against negroes, Ralph.
Ralph Burton: That's white of you.
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Crazy Credits

As the films final credits cuts-in, the film states "The Beginning" rather than "The End". See more »

Connections

Featured in Sing Your Song (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

GOTTA TRAVEL ON
Written by Paul Clayton, Larry Ehrlich, David Lazar, and Tom Six
Sung by Harry Belafonte
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Belafonte on Ferrer's possible racial bias: No, the only thing he has against me is that I'm younger than he is. I can understand that.
27 December 2006 | by (Northern Mariana Islands) – See all my reviews

In the '50s the nuclear holocaust was never far from the popular imagination. This picture is one of many fictional efforts to show what might have happened.

By being trapped in a Pennsylvania mine, Belafonte is one of the very few people on earth (as far as we know from the film, only three) to escape annihilation. He manages to get out of the mine on his own (the first of many plot contrivances), goes to New York City and finds it depopulated, except for Inger Stevens, who eventually comes out of hiding. It's mostly a picture about loneliness. As much as we may resent the jostling masses in our midst, what if they were gone?

Actually, it spurs a fantasy, too. Imagine that you had the pickings of all of New York to yourself, and imagine that you were a handyman who could rig up generators and the like, and imagine that you found a comely woman to keep you company. Could be worse.

But we are asked to ignore too much in the picture, the fact that only one person in all of the city survived, the fact that not a single rotting body is shown on the streets, the fact that the shortwave transmissions Belafonte regularly monitors show that the rest of the world is empty, too (except, eventually, for Mel Ferrer, who was sailing during the nuclear blasts)-- all a bit too much. The film tries too hard to be an allegory when it should have been good, logical science fantasy.

Nevertheless, TWTF&TD is well worth a watch.


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