MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 5,894 this week

The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

 -  Drama | Sci-Fi | Romance  -  May 1962 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,579 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 42 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

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 27 Jun 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 23 Aug 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 22 Sep 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 23 Mar 2013
 
a list of 49 titles
created 7 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 7.2/10

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 | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

William Douglas Street is bored with his life. Working for his father is getting to him, his wife wants more money, and he's had enough. His solution is to re-invent himself. He becomes a ... See full summary »

Director: Wendell B. Harris Jr.
Stars: Wendell B. Harris Jr., Timothy Alvaro, Dave Barber
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A family of four leaves Los Angeles for a camping trip just before a nuclear bomb destroys the city. As lawlessness prevails, the father must fight to keep his family alive.

Director: Ray Milland
Stars: Ray Milland, Jean Hagen, Frankie Avalon
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Ranald MacDougall
Stars: Harry Belafonte, Inger Stevens, Mel Ferrer
Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A shower of meteorites produces a glow that blinds anyone that looks at it. As it was such a beautiful sight, most people were watching, and as a consequence, 99% of the population go blind... See full summary »

Directors: Steve Sekely, Freddie Francis
Stars: Nicole Maurey, Howard Keel, Janette Scott
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
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
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An abused autistic boy is the sole witness to the kidnapping of a teenage heiress.

Director: Guerdon Trueblood
Stars: Tiffany Bolling, Ben Piazza, Susan Sennett
Five (1951)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The world is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. Only five Americans survive, including a pregnant woman, a neo-Nazi, a black man and a bank clerk.

Director: Arch Oboler
Stars: William Phipps, Susan Douglas Rubes, James Anderson
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 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:

 »
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 about 45:20 into the movie the actress portraying Jeannie Craig (Janet Munro) steps from the shower and wraps herself in a towel. The image in the mirror at the right of the screen reflects her nude breasts. This movie was shown here in America in the early sixties. Although that type of scene was common in Europe; one wonders if the American censors deleted that portion of the movie. See more »

Goofs

Only the extreme left-hand side of Peter Stenning's article "If you find your TV set has developed a nasty measle rash" is about sunspots, as per the dialogue. The remainder is a review of a newly-released book on jazz, referencing John Dankworth and Benny Green. See more »

Quotes

Bill Maguire: [Maguire is on the phone to the editor after a pile of letters about nuclear tests is dumped on his desk] What am I supposed to do with these protest letters?
[pause]
Bill Maguire: Thank you very much but there are seventeen hundred of them.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Matinee (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Camptown Races
(uncredited)
Composed by Stephen Foster
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."


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
One of the great finishses to a movie davebesag
sexy philipshepp
After the second bombs david_colbourne
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:
?