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The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

Unrated | | Drama, Sci-Fi, Romance | May 1962 (USA)
When the USA and Russia unwittingly test atomic bombs at the same time, it alters the nutation (axis of rotation) of the Earth.

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Writers:

(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by)
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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
...
Angela
Arthur Christiansen ...
'Jeff' Jefferson - Editor
Austin Trevor ...
Sir John Kelly
Edward Underdown ...
Dick Sanderson
Ian Ellis ...
Michael Stenning
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Storyline

Hysterical panic has engulfed the world after the United States and the Soviet Union simultaneously detonate nuclear devices causing a change to the nutation (axis of rotation) of the Earth. Written by Fernando <diamond@argenet.com.ar>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE PICTURE THAT GIVES YOU A FRONT SEAT TO THE MOST JOLTING EVENTS OF TOMORROW...TODAY! (original U.S. print ad - all caps) 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:

The Day the Earth Caught Fire  »

Box Office

Budget:

£200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(with tinted sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Towards the end, Stenning is driving to Genie's apartment when he stops to talk to a policeman - none other than Michael Caine in a very early role. 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

[Jeannie is working as a telephone operator; this is the first time she's talking with Peter Stenning]
Peter Stenning: Look, just tell Mr. Holroyd!
[aside to Leo]
Peter Stenning: This girl's a bigger threat than radiation!
Jeannie Craig: I heard that remark.
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
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User Reviews

 
long afternoon of earth
23 May 2006 | by (Rain City, Pacific Northwest) – See all my reviews

The late great VAL GUEST did a spot on job with this terrific doomsday thriller. Guest worked as a newspaper man during his early years and he gets the details of the journalism business just right.It is this characteristic that helps ground the film in a believable reality;the science is a bit wonky but who cares? This film has got some excellent performances, especially from Leo McKern and (in his 1st and only acting job) real life newspaper king Aurthur Christiensen (who I think gives a marvelous performance--i was surprised to hear Guest comment that he had a difficult time memorizing his lines) The main character played by Edward Judd is a bit of an irritating jerk--sunk in self pity and equipped with a series of annoying one-liners that are designed to show everyone how "hip" and "edgy" he is, but he just comes across as unlikable. The SPFX are not too shabby considering the miniscule budget. The DVD version of this film has an excellent commentary by Mr Guest who provides a lot of interesting information. The very first shots of this movie--with Edward Judd plodding thru an empty sun-blasted London to his newspaper offices downtown--is still a benchmark for low budget ingenuity and it is really a treat to seeTHE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE with the original red-tinted bookends; I first saw this film in the early 90's on VHS and even without them it was impressive--butit looks even better with the colored gels! THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE will remain one of the best apocalyptic films ever made.Its an enduring testament to the talent of VAL GUEST,who has recently shuffled off this mortal coil... may he rest in peace.


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