MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,806 this week

The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Romance  |  May 1962 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,912 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 65 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.

Director:

Writers:

(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 23 Aug 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 21 Feb 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 20 Jan 2014
 
a list of 21 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Day the Earth Caught Fire.
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When he is crossed in love, grocers assistant Norman Puckle joins the Navy, where he is recruited to man the first British rocket.

Director: Robert Asher
Stars: Norman Wisdom, Ian Hunter, David Lodge
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When John Harris's daughter is badly injured in an boating accident, the hospital tells him that she will need an urgent blood transfusion. Due to his religious beliefs Harris refuses ... See full summary »

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Michael Craig, Patrick McGoohan, Janet Munro
Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Professor Quatermass, trying to gather support for his Lunar colonisation project, is intrigued by mysterious traces that have been showing up.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sidney James
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A dying scientist pushes forward his project to tap through to the Earth's magma layer, with results that threaten to destroy the Earth as we know it.

Director: Andrew Marton
Stars: Dana Andrews, Janette Scott, Kieron Moore
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A missile, launched by the team led by Prof. Quatermass, lands in the English countryside. Of the three members of the crew, two have mysteriously disappeared. The third one, barely alive, ... See full summary »

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Jack Warner, Margia Dean
Sci-Fi | Mystery | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Radioactive mud-like creature terrorizes a Scottish village during the 1950's.

Directors: Joseph Losey, Leslie Norman
Stars: Dean Jagger, Edward Chapman, Leo McKern
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A series of decapitations on a Swiss mountainside appear to be connected to a mysterious radioactive cloud.

Director: Quentin Lawrence
Stars: Forrest Tucker, Laurence Payne, Jennifer Jayne
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Director: Gordon Flemyng
Stars: Yvonne Buckingham, Michael Caine, Michael Coles
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An English professor decides that there are too many useless people in the world and invents a gas that will kill them off. But first they'll at least have a good laugh.

Director: Don Chaffey
Stars: Leo McKern, Janet Munro, Maxine Audley
Room 43 (1958)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Cabdriver Constantine falls for French girl mixed up with white slave ring, eventually helps to liberate her.

Director: Alvin Rakoff
Stars: Diana Dors, Herbert Lom, Eddie Constantine
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A German agent in Libya is allowed to get back to Rommel with false information.

Director: John Llewellyn Moxey
Stars: James Robertson Justice, Adrian Hoven, Niall MacGinnis
Operation Fantail (TV Movie 1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Gerald Wiltshire
Stars: Leslie Bates, Douglas Blackwell, Paul Bogdan
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

At around 1:30, near the end of the movie, Bill Maguire quotes the first two lines of the 1826 poem "Casabianca" by British poet Felicia Dorothea Hemans: "The boy stood on the burning deck/Whence all but he had fled". See more »

Goofs

We see a copy of the "New York Daily Record" - but a later edition of the "Daily Mail" is dated to June. (The Express detailing water rationing plans is dated Friday July 27th 1962.) See more »

Quotes

[Peter decides to stop in at the Press Office, after telling Jeannie that he had better things to do. He finds her cleaning what looks like a mimeograph machine, and they each have no idea who the other one is]
Jeannie Craig: Oh, hullo. Have you come to fix this?
Peter Stenning: Well, I hadn't, but for you, why not?
Jeannie Craig: [embarrassed] Oh, I'm sorry, they'd said they'd send someone. Can I help you? Nearly everyone's gone home.
Peter Stenning: Yeah, I'd like a copy of tonight's official line-ups.
Jeannie Craig: Tonight's what?
Peter Stenning: Uh, the official releases.
Jeannie Craig: Oh! Those ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Godzilla (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Timeless, compelling sci-fi drama
28 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After more than forty years, this film is still a milestone in the science fiction genre. In its day, it was years ahead of its time. It had characters that acted like real people, instead of like John Agar and Lori Nelson. It contained a clearly implied sexual relationship between the two main characters, in an era when filmmakers were still routinely depicting even married couples as sleeping in separate beds. It was filled with shocking insinuations that the government is not all-wise and benevolent, that science doesn't really have all the answers, that the military is capable of blunders that put new meaning into the phrase "friendly fire," and that all may not be well, after all.

The film's greatest strength is in its understated, matter-of-fact presentation of the characters' various reactions to the relentlessly deteriorating situation. The performances are consistently honest and compelling, from the principal players down to the smallest walk-on parts. The award-winning script by Wolf Mankowitz is at times almost too clever for its own good. If there is one criticism that may be leveled against it, it is that most real people are not that consistently witty. Occasionally they are at a loss for words. Occasionally they say things that are lame, stupid, and altogether inappropriate. And this is the one element that was pretty much absent from the dialogue.

In an age when movies are being strangled to death by their own special effects, and character development often does not extend beyond the crudest bodily functions and four-letter expletives, it is genuinely refreshing to return to a film such as this one. Not only does it not rely on visual effects to tell its story, it is really so little dependent on the visual that it could have been equally successful as a radio drama (a forgotten art form nowadays), and might very well have caused an even greater panic than Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds."


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
One of the great finishses to a movie davebesag
After the second bombs david_colbourne
sexy philipshepp
This will probably annoy a few people but.... dgm82
Cinema and TV Versions Foley_Artist
Peace symbol? saginaw1
Discuss The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?