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Beginning of the End (1957)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 28 June 1957 (USA)
Audrey Ames, an enterprising journalist, tries to get the scoop on giant grasshoppers accidentally created at the Illinois State experimental farm. She endeavors to save Chicago, despite a ... See full summary »

Director:

Bert I. Gordon

Writers:

Fred Freiberger (screenplay), Lester Gorn (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Graves ... Dr. Ed Wainwright
Peggie Castle ... Audrey Aimes
Morris Ankrum ... Gen. John Hanson
Than Wyenn Than Wyenn ... Frank Johnson
Thomas Browne Henry Thomas Browne Henry ... Col. Tom Sturgeon (as Thomas B. Henry)
Richard Benedict ... Cpl. Mathias
James Seay ... Capt. James Barton
John Close John Close ... Maj. Everett
Don C. Harvey ... Guard at Lab
Larry J. Blake ... Illinois Highway Patrolman
Eilene Janssen ... Girl Teenager in Car
Hylton Socher Hylton Socher ... Frank - Soldier
Frank Wilcox ... Gen. John T. Short
Douglas Evans Douglas Evans ... Norman Taggart - News Editor
Paul Grant Paul Grant ... Male Teenager in Car
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Storyline

Audrey Ames, an enterprising journalist, tries to get the scoop on giant grasshoppers accidentally created at the Illinois State experimental farm. She endeavors to save Chicago, despite a military cover-up. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Filmed in New Horrorscope! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 June 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le début de la fin See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

AB-PT Pictures Corp. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The phone in Audrey's car is a precursor to modern cell phones. It worked off of the Mobile Telephone Service, a VHF service with very limited availability. The user would be connected to an operator, who would then route the call to a second operator that could then route the call to the intended recipient. See more »

Goofs

In the street scenes of "deserted" Chicago, a car can just barely be seen cresting an overpass, and two people appear on a sidewalk in the distance. See more »

Quotes

Col. Tom Sturgeon: Where do I get off asking the Regular Army for help with a bunch of oversize grasshoppers?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Burying the Ex (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Natural, Natural Baby
Words and Music by Lou Bartel & Harriet Kane
Sung by Lou Bartel & Chorus
An ABC - Paramount Record
See more »

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User Reviews

 
(you may be...) Begging for the End
14 September 2006 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Thank you Bert I Gordon for making films which nobody else (except maybe Roger Corman) would dare to make, and for making them so definitively that no one would ever dare to remake them.

The Beginning of the End actually has a promising beginning. It follows Audrey Aimes (Castle) a young woman reporter who runs into a military roadblock and begins snooping around by introducing herself to the operation's CO, who happens to have read some of her wartime coverage and is willing to cooperate to a point. Weird and inexplicable happenings have been reported in a nearby town (site of the roadblock). In fact, we discover, the entire town has been wiped out. When Audrey finally gets to briefly tour the site, we are shown some footage of tornado devastation which is supposed to be the result. Then she meets Peter Graves (playing Peter Graves playing an entomologist working with radioactive plants). there is a decent enough amount of back-story, and the characters are all likable and interesting, but then theatrical disaster strikes - in the form of a totally ludicrous plot.

Two words - giant grasshoppers. And they are split-screened (poorly) into stock footage or scraps from some heavily edited war movie. I .... just can't go ... on.

As the absurdities continue to unfold, you will be impressed by the absolute seriousness with which the cast portrays their characters, and positively blown away by the enormously long cinematographic (un)dramatic pauses as we watch hordes of soldiers marching by in different directions with nothing going on around them, giant out-of-focus grasshoppers climbing up postcards of skyscrapers and sometimes slipping on the glossy surface, and 1-2 minute-long fixed frame shots of cars approaching from miles away.

I love giant monster movies, but this is definitely not one of the better ones. Still, it's harmless, more intelligent than the average sex comedy and more relevant than the usual political campaign.


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