7.2/10
10,994
170 user 38 critic

On the Beach (1959)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi | 17 December 1959 (USA)
After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.

Director:

Stanley Kramer

Writers:

John Paxton (screenplay), Nevil Shute (novel)

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

On the Beach (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Armand Assante, Rachel Ward, Bryan Brown
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A defrocked Episcopal clergyman leads a bus-load of middle-aged Baptist women on a tour of the Mexican coast and comes to terms with the failure haunting his life.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At Maria Vargas' funeral, several people recall who she was and the impact she had on them. Harry Dawes was a not very successful writer/director when he and movie producer Kirk Edwards ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
The Day After (TV Movie 1983)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazis judged for war crimes.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the Korean War peace talks, U.S. troops fight to retake a hill from the Communist Chinese forces.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn
On the Beach (2018)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Faced with catastrophe, a group of office workers must decide what to do in their final moments.

Director: Rashan Mines
Stars: Gene Cartier, Meg Aldridge, John Brougher
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A small town in California is attacked by Martians, beginning a worldwide invasion.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne
Arabesque (1966)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Story of international intrigue involving a university professor, an Arab prime minister, a ruthless businessman, a beautiful spy, and hieroglyphics.

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, Alan Badel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Cmdr. Dwight Lionel Towers
Ava Gardner ... Moira Davidson
Fred Astaire ... Julian Osborn
Anthony Perkins ... Lt. Peter Holmes
Donna Anderson ... Mary Holmes
John Tate John Tate ... Adm. Bridie
Harp McGuire ... Lt. Sunderstrom
Lola Brooks Lola Brooks ... Lt. Hosgood
Ken Wayne ... Lt. Benson
Guy Doleman ... Lt. Cmdr. Farrel
Richard Meikle Richard Meikle ... Davis
John Meillon ... Ralph Swain
Joe McCormick Joe McCormick ... Ackerman
Lou Vernon Lou Vernon ... Bill Davidson
Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan ... Dr. King
Edit

Storyline

In 1964, atomic war wipes out humanity in the northern hemisphere; one American submarine finds temporary safe haven in Australia, where life-as-usual covers growing despair. In denial about the loss of his wife and children in the holocaust, American Captain Towers meets careworn but gorgeous Moira Davidson, who begins to fall for him. The sub returns after reconnaissance a month (or less) before the end; will Towers and Moira find comfort with each other? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Biggest Story Of our Time! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das letzte Ufer See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregory Peck privately agreed with Nevil Shute that the film was a watered-down version of the novel but had to show solidarity with his director, Stanley Kramer. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film when Moira is watching the Sawfish leaving Port Phillip Bay, the speed of the boat in the tight shots from the top of the sail doesn't correlate with the speed of the boat in the wide shot, seen from Moira's perspective from ashore. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dwight Towers: Prepare to surface.
See more »

Crazy Credits

and Introducing Donna Anderson See more »


Soundtracks

Waltzing Matilda
Original music by Christina McPherson, revised music by Marie Cowan and lyrics by A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson (as A.B. Paterson)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

We are all on that beach, on the thin line between life and death.
28 July 2003 | by lucanujsSee all my reviews

And the essence of our lives is expressed in the way we treat each other under the implacable threat of imminent mortality. As Ava Gardner's character says, at the penultimate moment of love's farewell, "It's been nice, Dwight Lionel. It's been everything." And what she says on her beach is true for every last one of us, on ours.

The primary power of this great movie to me is how well it conveys the idea that for us, on this beach, love and tender kindness are all that matter in the end, and the end is always near. The sheer kindness that Ava and Gregory's characters express for each other is surely the key element of their triumphant relationship.

The moment in which their relationship most completely triumphs, of course, occurs at the Narbethong Hotel. "On The Beach" achieves a cinematic moment of genius when the chorus singing "Waltzing Matilda" changes from a rowdy crowd of drunks to a magnificently harmonious group of fine male voices. As the sheer beauty of the music overwhelms us, it also overwhelms our characters, and we all unite together in a sublime moment of awareness that true love and kindness give us our only victory over imminent death. "You'll never take me alive," says the ghost.

The way Gregory Peck's character shifts from fumbling with the fire to turning toward Ava as the music inspires transcendence, and the way Ava smiles at him, make this scene unforgettably great.

Nearly as wonderful is the scene in which Ava's character learns that the Sawfish will be leaving, with her captain at the helm. She will have to face her death alone. She doesn't waste a moment in argument or recrimination, but expresses the fullness of her love for him and her great courage when she accepts his decision and thanks him: "..it's been everything." And then: "oh, I'm so frightened." This moment is one that I take to heart. It shows the love and courage I wish to have "when the time comes."

There is still time, brothers and sisters. But we are all on the beach.


87 of 103 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 170 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed