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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 2,843 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 64 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
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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

Bill Maguire quotes Dante Alighieri's poem "Divine Comedy": "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." See more »

Goofs

The first time Bill visits Jeannie at her apartment, the camera is set outside the building looking in through the two windows. They cross the room to the window furthest from the door. In the next shot the camera is inside the apartment but Bill and Jeannie are at the wrong window. See more »

Quotes

[Bill asks Peter what is bothering him]
Bill Maguire: It's the kid, isn't it?
Peter Stenning: You ought to see the way they're bringing him up, Bill. It'll be the right prep school next. And then the right boarding school. And by the time they finish with him, he'll be a right bowler-hatted, who's-for-tennis, toffee-nosed gent, but he won't be MY son.
Bill Maguire: Oh, I don't know. That bad blood of yours is bound to come out.
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 »

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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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