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The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

 -  Drama | Sci-Fi | Romance  -  May 1962 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,595 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 43 critic

When the USA and Russia test atomic bombs at the same time, it knocks the Earth out its orbit and sends it spiraling toward the Sun.

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Title: The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jeannie Craig
...
Bill Maguire
Edward Judd ...
Peter Stenning
...
'Jacko' Jackson - Night Editor
Bernard Braden ...
'Dave' Davis - News Editor
Reginald Beckwith ...
Harry
Gene Anderson ...
May
Renée Asherson ...
Angela
Arthur Christiansen ...
'Jeff' Jefferson - Editor
Austin Trevor ...
Sir John Kelly
Edward Underdown ...
Dick Sanderson
Ian Ellis ...
Michael Stenning
Edit

Storyline

Hysterical panic has engulfed the world after the United States and the Soviet Union simultaneously detonate nuclear devices and have caused the orbit of the Earth to alter, sending it hurtling towards the sun. Written by Fernando <diamond@argenet.com.ar>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The INCREDIBLE becomes Real! The IMPOSSIBLE becomes Fact! The UNBELIEVABLE becomes True! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

...e la Terra prese fuoco  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(with tinted sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes of the "Met Office" were filmed both outside and inside the Ministry of Defence Main Building in Whitehall. This access was remarkable. Those interiors were little changed until refurbishment of MOD after 2000. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, several people in North London contract "typhus" from contaminated water. Evidently the script confused "typhus" and "typhoid fever." Typhus is spread by parasites, such as fleas or mites; not contaminated water. Typhoid fever can be spread by contaminated food or water. See more »

Quotes

Bill Maguire: [reading a newswire] There's a chap in Leeds says he can extract water from the atmosphere. Oh, as you were, he's been certified.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no end credits whatsoever (not even a "The End" caption); merely a fade to black. See more »

Connections

References Annie Get Your Gun (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Light Cavalry Overture
(uncredited)
Written by Franz von Suppé
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Earth is doomed
16 February 2005 | by (Derby, England) – See all my reviews

I have seen The Day the Earth Caught Fire several times and is one of the best sci-fi movies of the 1960's.

Reporters at the Daily Express in London make the startling discovery that the Earth has been knocked of its axis and is heading towards the sun. This has been caused by too much nuclear testing. As a result, freak and unusual weather conditions are happening round the world, including hotter than normal temperatures in the UK, cyclones, freak fog caused by the heat, blizzards and tornado's. The River Thames is drying up too and water is put on ration. To stop the Earth's journey towards the sun, the USA and Russia explode the biggest nuclear bombs to date and if it that doesn't work, Earth is certainly doomed... Through all of this, one of the reporters falls in love.

The scenes of the streets of London deserted, the fog and the dried up Thames are very eerie. This movie doesn't have much background music, but it isn't needed as the atmosphere is haunting enough.

The cast includes sci-fi regular Edward Judd (First Men In the Moon, Island Of Terror), Janet Munro (The Crawling Eye) as his love interest and Leo McKern (Rumpole Of the Bailey), Michael Goodliffe (A Night To Remember) and Bernard Braden. Look out for Michael Caine as a policeman towards the end. You certainly cannot mistake that voice.

This movie is a must see. Fantastic.

Rating: 4 and a half stars out of 5.


24 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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