On the Beach (TV Movie 2000) Poster

(2000 TV Movie)

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6/10
Imperfect but Impacting
It didn't take me long after 'Highlander' to see that director Russell Mulcahy had struck lucky in creating one of my favourite movies of all time. I've really not been a fan of his, so watching 'On The Beach' was a bit of a strange experience. Thankfully, it was filled with just enough originality and reasons to be liked for me to go the distance with it! Firstly, and most importantly to those looking for a thrill, this is not your movie. It's entirely character driven with a smattering of symbolism and it might be a bit too emotional for the action movie crowd. It's a show with an anti-nuclear message.

That being said, Mulcahy did infinitely more with $10 million than 'Blair Witch Project' did with $15 million in the same year and much of that comes down to the efforts and chemistry of the cast. That is a testament to the effort put into this production, though, as you really have to wonder; random camcorders and camping in the woods cost $5 million more than a submarine, a cast of international actors and a soundtrack? How? Moving on, I've never seen Armand Assante take the lead and now I'm looking to see what of his I can watch next. He was captivating from start to finish, taking up his character's mantle as though he'd been in the navy all his life. As for more tender and emotional scenes, it's quite endearing to watch such a gruff and edgy man portray all that he did. He carries much of the movie, but sometimes it's rushed outcome overshadows him.

Bryan Brown suffers an impatient or rushed cinematographer, not to mention a script that needed reigning in, whereas Rachel Ward and Grant Bowler came across as very natural and understated until it really counts.

As for any action, unfortunately it's the edgier scenes that Mulcahy was better known for that he consistently failed at. It really made me wonder what happened to him as a director because how could he mature as a dramatic director and then becomes so bad at what made him famous? All faults aside (including some horrendous editing), it's still a good effort and after all is said and done, if this TV movie and its culminating scenes don't blow your mind and leave you chilled to the bone, then I fear for the future. I think you have to want the message in order to want the film in this case!
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8/10
Raw Emotion that trumps Original
dansview17 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Seeing the young couple go out with their daughter and their love for one another made me think about how alone I am personally. If I had to go out in this situation, that is exactly how I would want to go..with my spouse and baby on a bed in an embrace. Beautiful.

At first I hated Rachel Ward's character and even her acting, but then I realized that she was real. She admitted that she was a floozy, but that doesn't mean that floozies don't have feelings or the need for genuine companionship. Her acting was actually quite good.

Armand Assante nailed this one. Very intense, real emotion. Loved it.

I think there should have been more if any, mention of the fact that the U.S. is not the bad guy in geopolitics. There was an implied guilt. I guess in this film it was the Chinese. That's fine, but make it clear.

I don't know about many people being from S.F. on the crew. That was just borrowed from the original. How many white guys in the marines are from urban S.F. in modern times? Even the black guy in this one was from the suburbs.

The photography/scenery is spectacular. The movie was a bit too long. They really drew it out, but I was never bored.Yes, there are some sappy love stories, but those exist in real life. If they annoy you in movies, this one will drive you crazy.

The most important scene involved the new rendition of the stopover in Alaska. They changed some things from the original film, but it was great. Armand had a break down and showed real emotion. The Gregory Peck character was very stoic in the first one. Some other commenter mentioned that men of the 50's weren't supposed to show emotion.

The Bryan Brown character was tough to take. I found it hard to believe that an award winning scientist was also a loudmouth playboy, even given the reputation of Australian men. It was like he was the guy from Cocktail again.

One thing that I kept on thinking about was the fact that we are all going to die anyways, with or without nuclear war. But I guess the heaviness was also about the fact that the world was coming to an end. We all wind up getting sick and dieing, so that's no different. Although granted, most of the people in this one were too young to die.

I really felt the desperation of the people when it showed them wanting to take one last look at the ocean or make love one more time, etc. It's so hard to accept death. Like bed time when you're a kid and there's company over, or a good movie on.

This one will stay with me for a long time. Nice job overall. Give it a chance if you like intense drama.
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5/10
There are better alternatives if you are interested in this subject
afcn8 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Have to admit I did not read the book nor did I watch the original movie from 1959.

Screened as TV miniseries, the whole film runs three hours and is way too slow paced to be watched in one go. The subject itself is interesting, yet somewhat spoiled by illogical and unrealistic turns in the plot: A full nuclear exchange between China and US leads to "radiation poisoned winds". While certainly not beneficial for humankind, seems a bit far-fetched and will probably not lead to death within several days, but higher cancer rates or infertility. A biological or chemical hazard would have served the purpose better. And why seems everybody to have suicide capsule with them - Not they guys going on the mission, but obviously the people being caught in surprise as well? And none of the characters really developed to a point (a three hours movie!) I started to care about them.

You are better off watching "The Day After" which is far more realistic. If interested on the subject how a conflict could escalate, give "Countdown to Looking Glass" a try. And if you are interested in "the world is coming to an end"-subject, see "The Last Night".
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10/10
This could happen so easily. Sad, but totally necessary viewing.
Michael Thompson12 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What can I say about this superb production that has not already been said ? The acting was superb, the direction was superb, the sad scenes, particularly at the end with a married couple having put their baby to sleep via injection, take a suicide tablet with a few words to each other, and a kiss, and then they lie on the bed to die, will have grown men weeping.

I am in tears remembering this scene more than any other, as I write.

Some people may find this film depressing, my wife and I just found it very sad, but ultimately a brilliant well put together movie.

This is a long film, you get to know the sailors and everybody else, all good characters from all walks of life.

It boils down to the "powers that be" finally cock it up for all of us, the power mad are no longer in control, what they had control of has gone.

Somehow I don't think it could ever happen, but this films shows human being at their worst, and their best, if it did.

If you watch this movie, have your friends and family round to watch it with you, it will make everybody weep, and provoke discussion.
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1/10
There Is Some Point Here?
wlfgdn29 January 2012
Blame the author of the book I guess but I don't see any point whatsoever to this film. The human race dies in a nuclear war, most presumably in horrid flames, but we see it from the viewpoint of neat and tidy deaths of affluent suburbanites. Three hours to tell you what I could say in a few seconds, if there is a big nuclear war we would all suffer and die. The makers of this film chose to illustrate this point with a slow and tedious bomb of their own. The final moment is the greatest insult of all. The author envisioned the triumph of love over all else, but I see instead the refusal of the protagonist to acknowledge humanity from any motivation short of its' destruction.
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3/10
On the Beach would have been best set in 1960s
Rykucb12729 October 2011
The post nuclear apocalypse scenario Nevil Shute wrote in 1957 would not take place in Australia today. Sometime around 1970, a satellite tracking station known as Pine Gap went online. Pine Gap would definitely be targeted by China if a nuclear exchange would take place between that country and the United States. There would be no need for radiation to seep southward from the Northern Hemisphere.

As for this film, Bryan Brown is obnoxious, the ending with Towers deciding to remain behind with Moira terrible, and for these reasons I can only rate this as fair. On the Beach has a strong message but it is lost in this muddled adaptation of it.
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9/10
More than an excellent movie, a really must see.
Thuru29 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This review have a very small spoiler.

There are many reviews what tells you the story over this movie. I don't. If you want read them, you can check the others.

This movie is a really must see for everybody. Specially government people, people in the militairy defence, terrorists (yes also those people) and all people who want to see a good movie.

If you haven't seen the movie, take your time. Sit back and watch the movie. It have also some very nice details, example the train you see. The movie ends bad. All human get die. A lesson to learn, thats also why this movie a must see.

I prefer this version over the original one because the 2000 version is one hour longer with also of course more details and scenes.
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Poor remake
Royalcourtier15 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This film ought to have been good. It isn't. It is far inferior to the 1959 original.

Some people have said it is an improvement to have Australians playing Australians - and Americans, rather than Americans playing both, as in the 1959 film. I am not convinced that is an improvement. Americans played Australians reasonably convincingly in 1959. I am afraid that the Australians in this film sounded fake - even when playing Australians! The dialogue was phony, and far too contrived. The politics too obvious.

Special effects were very weak, even for a TV movie. The Ferrari crash was unbelievably poorly executed.

All-in-all not a pleasant experience - and that had nothing to do with the subject matter.
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Really bad
abloke36-158-98450113 September 2011
I cannot understand how this movie has managed to get a 6.9 . Have the reviewers actually read Neville Shute's novel ?

I was really looking forward to seeing this 2000 remake because On The Beach is a favourite of mine and have read the novel many times. The 1959 movie really did not do the tale any justice.

However the tone of this movie, its pacing and script are just wrong. Too much time is spent on the sub and little time developing the characters.

Special effects...appalling , corpses that were supposed to be two years old blinking. Did the radiation preserve the bodies ? San Francisco and the golden gate destroyed but Sausalito sparkles in the sun without a broken window.

Worst of all is Dwight Towers and the changed ending. In the novel Moira sits ill behind the wheel, dying from radiation sickness abandoned. In this we have an ending which destroys the whole tone of the original novel.

I do not really like remakes per se but we need a decent director to remake this blockbuster story but one which sticks to the characterisation and tone of the novel.

If the novel needs extending in anyway then that should focus on the ways in which radiation sickness destroys the body. this movie did finally become involving once the sub arrived back in Melbourne but it was a long and dreary wait. 4/10 at best
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10/10
Very good
codeman_nz19 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is simply brilliant. It shows you the futility of war and that the weapons that were made to protect us will eventually destroy us.

The scene at the end of the Holmes family dying together is one of the most heartbreaking scenes I have ever seen. I was in tears by the end of it. It really tugs at your heart and by the end you hope to God that nothing like this ever happens.

If after watching this movie, you think that this could never happen then think again. This scenario is very real and the threat of a nuclear apocalypse hangs over us all every single day. All it takes is for one lunatic politician to push the trigger and then the world will descend into chaos.

If everyone in the world watched this, they would all cry out to rid the world of not only nuclear weapons but all weapons and to stop fighting each other.

A must see.
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9/10
End of the World Scenario
random_sample-549-850337 October 2009
Really thought provoking and pretty depressing as well. This is a movie that all world leaders should be forced to watch at least once per year. A bit long but riveting none the less, well directed and well acted. The scenario was a pleasant change as the bulk of the movie is set in Austrailia as opposed to the US where I live. It is of course an Austrailian film. It was sobering to see the city of San Francisco post apocalypse as well as Alaska where you can always go to drop out and escape your demons. The war itself was over and done with at the very beginning of the movie, leaving the entire 3ish hours to deal with the aftermath. There are human diversions to break up the overwhelming seriousness of the southern hemisphere's impending demise from the radiation cloud making it's way south from the utterly obliterated north. The final solution kits that were being handed out by public health services containing poison, (a syringe for kids and pets and a pill for the grownups) designed to offer a quick death as opposed to suffering through the radiation sickness to meet the same inevitable end pose a moral question. Well worth a look.
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9/10
A powerful statement on the human condition
bayshore-210 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
There have been enough comments on this wonderful film that I will make only a small point.

I saw on the beach this week and saw the original a few days later. Remake is a much better film, IMO.

Even though you know then end is near and people are showing symptoms that make it clear there isn't much time, the second to the last scene is one of the most powerful moments I have observed in film. Perhaps it is because I am the parent of a two year old daughter but that scene conveys a moment humanity has come to that should never be.

I didn't realize the film ran 3 hours because it was so enthralling and alternated so effectively between despair and hope. That is wondrous film making when it is done right.
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An awful adaptation of a great book
white-rhys19 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
On the Beach, a glorious filmic celebration of Nevil Shute's best known 1957 novel of the same name, righting the wrongs of the 1959 version, telling a story of love and disaster played out as the world slowly dies and hope is expelled. I wish I could write these words, instead …

On the Beach is translated into millennium Australia, China and the USA have done the inevitable and bombed each other, the USA have sent their last horse to Australia …. No more plot.

The acting is poor, stiff, unengaged, the soundtrack sounds as if it has been borrowed from the 1959 movie, the colorists got a bit over exited and made a somber film brilliant colour, the vision mixer got exited with his fades and mixes and the cinematographers got exited with their spinning shots. The suspense, the romanticism is missing and replaced by hapless Hollywood stories and lines we have all hearted another time.

In the three hours it has taken to watch this movie I would suggest reading the book, perhaps as a TV mini series it was worthwhile, challenging, high budget but combined into a film it is poor, long and needs to be consigned to the shelf.
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10/10
Excellent
a-j-crofts11 November 2008
When I was a kid (about 10) my late Father used to ask me to get "On the Beach" regularly (well, maybe 3 times a year) when I cycled to the Warwick (UK) library to get my own kids books. Never understood his fascination with it. When I moved to Finland, 40 years later, one of my "hobbies" is ferreting through the local 'Salvation Army' shop, and the book was unbelievably there, paperback, in English. HUH??. €0.10!!! When I read it, and wept buckets, I understood why. I ordered both the 1959 and the 2000 version DVD's from Amazon. 2000 version vastly superior.

(As an aside, delete if irrelevant - My Father also had a fascination with the song, "Waltzing Matilda". Never understood why, till I read the lyrics. Then I did. He served in the Somme, you see. This week is kinda appropriate.)
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5/10
Too long & too many technical errors
manxman8027 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Both the original book, the first movie and this one ignore (probably for dramatic effect) the real effects of fallout and the movement of weather from northern hemisphere to southern hemisphere.

In the real world fallout decays using a rule of 7/10. If you had a lethal radiation dose of 1000 rads one hour after detonation then 7 hours later the dose is down to 100 rads. 49 hours later down to 10 rads etc. It seems that a decreasing dose of 5-10 rads per day is survivable..not pleasant and with horrific genetic problems etc..but people would live. Also the air itself isn't radioactive its the dust carried in it. In the case of the Alaska mission by the sub, 2 years after the event the radiation would have been minimal. Also there isn't that much mixing between northern and southern weather systems. That much radiation would never reach Australia in the first place.

Enough comments here on wooden acting...there should be a prize given for the worst American accent. The showing of 2 year old bodies was also strictly for daytime TV viewers..they assuredly don't look like the corpse of the unfortunate girl in the TV station with the famous solar powered laptop...The submarine used was apparently square in shape in some scenes..entirely studio based with stock photography used for outside views..would have been nice if the same class of sub had been used in all the shots. I counted at least 3 different vessels used.

Some scenes worked but the hour or so of TV soap setting the relationship triangles was just tedious. Some scenes did work. The original book and movie were noted for how passively people accepted their fate. No riots, no social breakdown. Everybody just quietly went home to die. In this one we had riots, social mayhem etc.

The endings of the characters were a mixed bag. Some worked, some were out of character. Scenes that did work were very very strong. The father walking around his house for the last time, carefully turning off the power before joining his wife to inject their baby girl with cyanide and them both drinking down the suicide pills, powerful powerful stuff.

The final scene in both book and first movie works well. Moira, already dying of radiation sickness either sitting or standing by her car watching the submarine leave to be sunk out at sea and asking Dwight Towers 'If you are already on your way..then wait for me..' In this movie she was hale and hearty with what looked like a picnic in a basket. odd sort of scene. this leads onto captain Towers abandoning his command in their ultimate 'hour of need' is completely OTT. A captain would never do that.

So a real mixed bag but worth a view.
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6/10
Original Is Usually Best.
screenman29 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Well, we're on the beach again. And the first question that comes to my mind is - why?

What was so very wrong with Kramer's 1961 original that the whole thing needed re-jigging?

Here, we have Armand Assante replacing Gregory Peck as submarine commander Dwight Towers. Someone called Rachel Ward steps into Ava Gardner's shoes as Tower's love interest. And preposterously over-the-top Brian Brown - who got his big break in 'Murder By FX' - makes a determined but completely failed attempt to supplant Fred Astaire as the scientist. Various other B-movie nonentities cling fast to their ancillary parts.

I'm sounding a little scathing, I know; when in truth this is a very competent little movie in its own right. It just happens to be inferior to its original of nearly 50 years vintage in almost every respect. And that's the point. Modernisation does not necessarily mean improvement.

What does it add? Well, the first think to notice is photography in colour, instead of black-and-white. And I don't like it. For me; as a child, the cold war was represented in B&W. Not just on the movie screen but on television at home. Newsreels were always monochrome, and that is how my generation largely remembers that stark, terrifying period of history. Think of any cold-war movie, and you'll know what I mean. Moreover the social and political philosophy was also black-and-white: capitalist or communist, east or west, enemy or friend, right or wrong. There was no middle ground.

Secondly, and obviously; in the intervening time, special-effects have advanced in leaps and bounds. Here we get to see some of the nuclear destruction that was denied us in Kramer's slightly flawed masterpiece. It's breathtaking stuff. But does it advance the story? Not one jot. Does it make for a better, more shocking, more convincing experience? I think not. To me, those still, silent, deserted streets viewed from a distance in the original, spoke volumes. What both these movies demonstrate is the complete irrelevence of special effects compared to a good story well told, whilst at the same time, modern movies' almost-addicted dependence upon them to carry the day.

Then, we get to see the onset of radiation sickness. And once again it's more graphic in its presentation, with some good, hearty honking. But do we need it?

Finally, there is the love triangle thing. And that too is needlessly more graphic and hysterical in a way that detracts from the constrained and understated original. Frankly; it's unbelievable. To see this Rachel Ward character strutting about amongst men as though sexual desire were still the biggest story in town, and all of them in turn fawning over her, as if the universal thought of imminent hideous extinction could be completely eclipsed by the sight of a well-figured slut, is just too ludicrous to countenance. And if that were not enough, we have the Dwight Towers' character becoming petulantly jealous over this woman's sexual dalliance with the Professor, despite the fact they're all going to be dead in a week anyway. So how in hell can it matter? Might as well go for a threesome.

If there had been no Neville Shute novel, and if there had been no previous movie; this would have been the standard-bearer for the cinematic portrayal of nuclear extinction. And it would have been - and is - reasonably good. However, there was a novel and that was extremely good. And there was an earlier movie which both maintained an adequate fidelity to that novel and was quite excellent. Which brings me back to the original question: If you can't improve upon the original - why bother trying to replicate it?

Well; I guess you can read the book. And I guess you can watch both of the movies. I have, and my comments are here. Decide for yourselves.

Perhaps in the end, each is a movie of its time, and reflects the social mores of its generation.
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1/10
Really awful rethink.
grickards55-14 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Quite frankly, I think that this television rethinking of Nevil Shute's superb, and very moving book is, for the most part, awful. The screenplay has, more or less, jettisoned all the tragic components, and appealing characters of Mr Shute's great novel, in favour of bringing the story up to date, so much so, that the producers might as well have commissioned an original story and screenplay. The 1959 version was, for the most part, much more faithful to the original novel than this sorry effort. 'Truth to tell, neither version does justice to the book, although at least Stanley Kramer's version tries it's best to capture the dignity and quiet heroism of the ordinary characters facing a tragic consequence. The only thing in favour of this rethink is that the facts are brought up to date and we are shown how the mob would react to the end of the world but, apart from that, I will stick to the original film version, despite nearly being driven to distraction with umpteen variations of a theme on Waltzing Matilda, and the terrible miscasting of Ava Gardner. And talking of miscasting, this TV version has more than it's fair share of that; Armand Assante, who has as much charm as the holocaust he is involved in, Rachel Ward who seems all at sea with her part and, like Miss Gardner, is totally wrong for the part of Moira and, surprisingly, the usually excellent Bryan Brown is another casualty of the miscasting department. A1, however, are the brilliant special effects; the scene of a devastated San Francisco makes one's jaw drop, the nuclear dust like falling snow, and the dead victims are the only memorable moments, and as for the end, ugh!!!! The scriptwriters should have been shot for writing such dross and slop, the ending in the book is much more powerful. Maybe one day someone will make a remake that does full justice to a magnificent novel that is just as timely today as it was in the late 1950's.
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10/10
EXCELLENT film!!! You will never forget it.
upscale-222 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This film is truly remarkable. The acting is wonderful, and the realistic portrayal of the end of humanity will affect you like no other film. The scenes of a destroyed and melted San Francisco and its Golden Gate Bridge in pieces will horrify anyone who has ever lived or visited there. This is a must watch for everyone, especially those who would like to stop the spread of nuclear armaments all over our planet. Buy this film, and keep a copy in your archives. Better yet, tell your congressmen and all politicians to see this film. Hopefully, it will help this horror from ever happening to the world in real life. You will truly never forget this film.
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1/10
An Awful Remake and an Insult to Nevil Shute
LeeRoss120 August 2007
It is incredible how the novel by Nevil Shute has been corrupted and all power sapped from it's message. Subtlety, character, and the sense of hopelessness and horror are replaced by incredibly bad acting (sometimes just downright weird acting), questionable special effects, lots of corpses, and a plot that simply lacks sense. The novel still haunts me, the original film devastated me and gave me nightmares. This production was simply irritating, unnecessarily long, and populated by people I just could not care about. The issue of suicide seems to ignored completely and replaced by a passivity that's odd in the extreme. I suggest a reading of the Shute masterpiece and a viewing of the original film (seen in the context of the times, when nuclear war was all to real a threat and left many of us with nightmares about the horrible possibility.) This film is a travesty and a morbid curiosity at best. It lacks the powerful message and empathy of the intent of the author and producer of the source material.
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8/10
Interesting remake
hybridsun20 August 2007
I watched this film last night, and enjoyed it very much. Making comparisons with the classic 1959 Stanley Kramer film is unfair however. Film making has progressed much since the late 1950s- and the Stark, black & white very understated 1959 film remains a classic for its time and forever.

This 2000 update is a wee too long- but it keeps your interest most of the time.

The color photography is lush and well done This film certainly takes into account contemporary society's change in 40 plus years, both socially and technologically- The films last hour is exceedingly depressing-even more then the first film. Grant Bowler is incredible in this film, and is as good as Anthony Perkins in the original- and Jackie McKenzie also does a great job as his wife.

Worth watching because it updates Shutes Novel and the original film effectively.
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10/10
Utterly heartbreaking look at the end of the world...with some humor...
zillabob19 August 2007
This Australian production was aired as a 4 hour film in the US on some cable networks. It should have gotten a wider viewing. It's tremendous. Based on Neville Shute's novel of nuclear Armageddon, it's got a lot of Aussie humor as well as some stark images, and it's far more graphic(people throwing up with radiation sickness) than the original film. It drives home the point-or pointlessness-of nuclear war far more than anything like The Day After done here. All of these films wound up being a little nostalgic of a time when we worried about nuclear war.( Now, thanks to Bush and his idiot cronies, we're worrying again, because he's effectively re-created the feeling of the Cold War by provoking war, and recently Russia, again to a more defensive stance. One wonders if these people could watch a film like this and it would make a difference. Bush and his minority of right wing-nut religious supporters sadly want "Armageddon" because to them, they're going to some afterlife and, it in turn creates-to them-a "Biblical" prophecy fulfilled-rant over). The film has stand-out performances from Armand Assante, Byran Brown and Rachel Ward, and without giving away spoilers(you know the general story) it's griping and graphic in spots, pulling no punches on the effect that impending nuclear radiation has on a society. Brown has some fun throw-away lines, and in one case he "steals" some art from the national gallery, only to realize, everyone else is...what's the point, who will survive to enjoy it.
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8/10
See both versions (and read the novel)
tom_amity14 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
It seems that a review of this teleplay is inevitably going to take the form of a comparison with the 1959 film of which it's a remake!

So let me start out by saying: I don't agree with some of the reviewers at this site, who say it's a simple case of the remake being superior to the original, period. Both versions have their high points and both versions misadapt this or that detail from Nevil Shute's novel. If you have the time, the two versions are best seen in succession. And by all means read the novel.

The most glaring fault of both versions are their violation of the character of Commander Towers, especially on the occasion of his fishing trip with Moira, the lady he has been companionating with during his Australian mission. Novelist Shute's submarine captain remains faithful to his wife, even though she's obviously dead along with everybody else in the northern hemisphere, and he registers himself and Moira in separate rooms at the fishing lodge. Why does he feel this way? Because he chooses to believe his wife is still alive, along with his family, in their cozy Connecticut home which is in reality an uninhabitable wilderness of radioactive crud. Moira, a somewhat vulnerable woman in need of affection, is somewhat hurt, but she respects Towers' feelings. And thanks to Shute's way of telling the story, we know that without his irrational belief that he's "going home when all this is over", the commander would not be such a source of strength to his crew and to the Australians he's lending his services to. Neurotic as his belief may seem, it's sensible because it works. And he's not pretending, he believes it--even when he finally takes his sub out to sink her with all hands, he brings along the presents he bought for his family in Connecticut. And he sure as anything isn't going to cheat on his wife.

But the director of the 1959 version, Stanley Kramer, stupidly insisted that the film must "have some sex" and that no viewer would find Towers' restraint believable. Consequently, the film makes it clear that Towers and Moira do consummate their relationship. Gregory Peck argued with Kramer, and told him how wrong he was, but to no avail. Consequently, novelist Shute hated the film, and we too should hate this particular violation of Shute's concept. Particularly because the 2000 version made the same change, by default.

The merit of the 2000 version is that it goes much more deeply into the characters and their motivations. It also updates the story, and I think Shute would approve of that, because the danger of nuclear Armageddon is actually much greater nowadays than it was in 1959, due to the increasing proliferation of these weapons, the instability of the world situation, and the irrationally warlike nature of the present U.S. leadership. The updating of the story helps to underscore the fact that the nuclear danger has increased.

** spoiler ahead **

But the more recent TV version also contains extra badness, of which the most glaring example is the change in the ending. There is after all a reason why Shute's story must end with Moira standing at the headland, watching the submarine disappear into the mists for the last time, unable to share her last moments with her companion: "This is the way the world ends." I can't imagine why a conclusion so poignant - and in terms of the logic of the story, so inevitable - was replaced by a silly portrayal of a fantasy of Moira's, in which Towers fails to do his duty and deserts his ship and crew to return to her. Were the makers of this version afraid that using the real ending would make people think it too derivative of the 1959 film? I can't imagine.

We certainly need a third version, one that will show Towers caught between his alternative reality (remaining loyal to his wife) and Moira.
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10/10
A good film, far better then the original
m2144636 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The basic plot line is that the world came to an end due to a nuclear war, hitting only in the Nothern Hemisphere. As the film starts, there is a nuclear sub returning from a patrol, though not specified where it had been. The sub surfaces and gets in contact with some other survivors, but they are dieing out. I can't remember if they are already in contact with the Austtralian government or not, but they are asked to pick a local scientist and bring him in with them. The story revolves around the question: did someone survive the nuclear fallout in the north and if so, could those in Australia could also survive. The original story and film had a random Morse code message being sent, and the sub is sent to explore. This time, it is a Net broadcast, repeating itself. Other than this point, the film remains faithful to the book. One major difference between the films, the Austalians are played by Australian actors. In the first one, Americans played all the roles.
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7/10
depressing, sickening, but can't watch it just once
pmusson118 September 2006
This is probably one of the most depressing movies of all time. That being said, in this time of terrorism and the prospect of nuclear terrorism it is not outside the realm of possibility that a terrorist group could as a result of a cowardly attack, unleash hell on earth. Throw in a couple of rouge military generals that want revenge for an attack at any cost and it is all over. I thought "The Day After" was medically graphic. At least the characters in this film had time for the government to issue suicide kits so you didn't have to die slowly from radiation sickness. I really hope this never becomes a prophecy. I am actually looking forward to watching "Jericho" and hope there is some pointers we can get out of it then maybe I would be persuaded to "survive".
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7/10
As good as the original in most respects
paul-henderson-22 September 2006
Well another remake , however this one I liked , unlike the bow ties and crooked pictures of the original , the new remake of On The Beach justifies the modern genre of riots and uncontrollable street gangs ,mayem, murder in the streets, well, what would you do in the face of doom?, I guess the same thing. I really liked the Taiwan issue , could it happen? The acting was good as well as the settings, except for the stock footage of the submarine " caterpillar drive with propellers?" were not all ignorant!. I thought the makeup was extremely well done and I had nightmares. (the image of that poor newswoman and her radiation scarred face), I highly recommend this flick to the generation X folks.
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