7.2/10
10,812
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)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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
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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:

IF YOU Never See Another Motion Picture In Your Life You Must See ON THE BEACH See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das letzte Ufer See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Moira goes to visit Towers at the dock, an Australian sailor calls out "Get a load of that Charlie Wheeler". This is rhyming slang: 'Charlie Wheeler' rhymes with "sheila", an Australian term for a (young) woman. See more »

Goofs

At the very beginning of the film, a radio announcer is heard reporting that no life survives anywhere but Australia. Later Admiral Bridie suggests that it might be possible for life to continue in Antarctica, indicating that that continent is also not yet affected by radiation. In any event, the basic premise - that Australia would still harbor life while every other site on the globe has been destroyed or rendered lifeless - including, among other places, New Zealand, farther south and much less of a target than Australia would be - is illogical and physically a virtual impossibility. (By contrast, in the novel the entire Southern Hemisphere is untouched by the atomic war itself, though the radioactivity gradually drifts southward.) See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

and Introducing Donna Anderson See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fist of the North Star (1995) 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 »

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User Reviews

I played a bit part in Melbourne. Great fun.
5 September 1999 | by Sanders-4See all my reviews

I was/am not an actor, but I was a Fulbright at the University of Melbourne 1958-1960. When the U.S. Navy and Stanley Kramer fell out, he needed bit players with an American accent. As a result, I was recruited to play the (nameless) part of the planesman ("Depth 45 feet, Sir" and other immortal lines).

It was great fun. I worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week (really -- though most of the time was spent playing poker -- made more money playing poker than I did for acting) for two weeks at the Melbourne Fair Grounds. Met and chatted with all the participants other than Ava Gardner, who had no truck with anyone other than her Spanish cameraman.

I was very impressed by Kramer and his writer. As to the others, it was clear that good brains do not make good actors (though all were nice people, particularly Fred Astaire who could have made millions as a salesman if he had not made them as a dancer/actor).

I have seen lots of times and think the best movie ever made (even better than "No Time for Sergeants", which I have seen even more times).

Would like to hear from Jack Boyer (the submarine medical corpsman) if he happens to read this.


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