7.2/10
3,553
68 user 64 critic

The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

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

Director:

Writers:

(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After an unusual meteor shower leaves most of the human population blind, a merchant navy officer must find a way to conquer tall, aggressive plants which are feeding on people and animals.

Directors: Steve Sekely, Freddie Francis
Stars: Nicole Maurey, Howard Keel, Janette Scott
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a spaceship lands on the moon, it is hailed as a new accomplishment, before it becomes clear that a Victorian party completed the journey in 1899, leading investigators to that mission's last survivor.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Edward Judd, Martha Hyer, Lionel Jeffries
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
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As a new star and planet hurtle toward a doomed Earth, a small group of survivalists frantically work to complete the rocket which will take them to their new home.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The European Space Exploration Council sends two astronauts to explore a planet similar to the Earth but located on the opposite side of the sun.

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Roy Thinnes, Ian Hendry, Patrick Wymark
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The tragic story of two sisters whose lives are disrupted by two men. Amidst a landscape of rural hardship and a community consumed with superstition, events unfurl which threaten their sibling bond.

Director: Andrew Kotting
Stars: Rebecca Palmer, Shane Attwooll, Demelza Randall
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Aliens come to Earth seeking scientists to help them in their war.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Jeff Morrow, Faith Domergue, Rex Reason
Underground (1928)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A working-class love story set in and around the London Underground of the 1920s. Two men - gentle Bill and brash Bert - meet and are attracted to the same woman on the same day at the same... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Brian Aherne, Elissa Landi, Cyril McLaglen
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jeannie Craig
...
Bill Maguire
...
Peter Stenning
...
'Jacko' Jackson - Night Editor
Bernard Braden ...
'Dave' Davis - News Editor
Reginald Beckwith ...
Harry
Gene Anderson ...
May
...
Angela
Arthur Christiansen ...
'Jeff' Jefferson - Editor
...
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 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:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Towards the end, Stenning is driving to Genie's apartment, when he stops to talk to a policeman, who is played by Michael Caine, in an early role. See more »

Goofs

Miss Evans picks up the phone in Jefferson's office and tells Jefferson "Professor Chakovski (sp?) is on the phone." Then a slightly different-sounding dubbed-in woman's voice says "just a minute, please," but Evans' mouth doesn't move. (Approximately 42:30.) 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

Featured in Godzilla (1977) 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

 
Supreme film-making
3 July 2006 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

What an absolutely devastating movie! I am still completely engrossed in it, and it has been a while since I took the DVD out of the player.

Was any science fiction movie ever more ambitious than this one? The staggering opening, tinted in reddish yellow and brilliantly composed in widescreen, looks like Tarkovsky and Lars von Trier, and has the same dry wasteland quality to it. Callous and unpublicized nuclear tests by both the Soviet Union and the US have upset the environment, causing record-breaking heat waves, floods, cyclones, eclipses, and what not, and we gradually find out that Earth has tilted and is hurtling towards the Sun where, in four months' time, the universe will savor "the delightful smell of charcoaled mankind", as put by a cynical newspaperman. The largest nuclear bomb ever made will now be detonated in Siberia, and no one knows what will happen now ... The environmentalist discourse seems extremely contemporary to us today.

Now, how to make intelligent, thoughtful entertainment out of that pulp?! Leave it to writer-director Val Guest who more than rose to the task. He put a heartbroken, newly divorced and slightly alcoholized reporter in the center, working for the London Daily News. He tries, with his science editor and surrogate father, to delve into what went wrong and who is responsible, and he falls in love with a switchboard girl with a cleavage. All this to keep the movie grounded, the drama realistic. All of this naturalistic drama is cross-edited with stock newsreel footage of natural disasters, and it works. It works supremely well, and you are sucked into the action, as the end of the world approaches.

All the actors are brilliant, not least Edward Judd as the main reporter, cynical, witty, vulnerable.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?