7.0/10
2,210
42 user 18 critic

The World, The Flesh and The Devil (1959)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi | 20 May 1959 (USA)
A miner trapped in a cave-in resurfaces, and upon discovering mankind has been wiped out in a nuclear holocaust, sets out to find other survivors.

Director:

Ranald MacDougall

Writers:

M.P. Shiel (novel) (as Matthew Phipps Shiel), Ferdinand Reyher (story "End of the World") | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Harry Belafonte ... Ralph Burton
Inger Stevens ... Sarah Crandall
Mel Ferrer ... Benson Thacker
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Storyline

Ralph Burton is a miner who is trapped for several days as a result of a cave-in. When he finally manages to dig himself out, he realizes that all of mankind seems to have been destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. He travels to New York City only to find it deserted. Making a life for himself there, he is flabbergasted to eventually find Sarah Crandall, who also managed to survive. Together, they form a close friendship until the arrival of Benson Thacker who has managed to pilot his small boat into the city's harbor. At this point the tensions rise between the three, particularly between Thacker, who is white and Burton, who is black. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The last 3 people left alive! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

20 May 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The End of the World See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,659,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$585,000, 31 December 1959

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,085,000, 31 December 1959
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Ralph marks his route to New York City on the map, he starts at a point in the center of Pennsylvania. There is no real town of Chatsburg in PA, but there is a town near his starting point called "Bellefonte" (the character Ralph Burton in the movie is played by Harry Belafonte). See more »

Goofs

As the three survivors join hands and walk off together at the end, flocks of pigeons suddenly appear. Since the radiation had killed off all life forms that were exposed to the atmosphere, how did any pigeons survive? See more »

Quotes

Benson Thacker: I have nothing against negroes, Ralph.
Ralph Burton: That's white of you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the films final credits cuts-in, the film states "The Beginning" rather than "The End". See more »

Connections

Featured in Sing Your Song (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Gotta Travel On
(uncredited)
Written by Paul Clayton, Larry Ehrlich, David Lazar, and Tom Six
Sung by Harry Belafonte
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Last Man on Earth--Not!!!
8 August 1999 | by H Lime-2See all my reviews

The film begins with Harry Belafonte as a coal miner getting caught in a cave-in. He waits patiently as his cohorts dig him out, even singing to pass the time, but at some point, all the digging sounds stop and he believes that he has been given up on. Digging frantically from his own side, he eventually manages to get himself out--only to find that everyone on earth has disappeared.

After this excellent beginning and some nice scenes of Belafonte in the city establishing a life for himself, the film goes rapidly downhill. He meets Inger Stevens and, later, Mel Ferrer arrives and the film degenerates into symbols and messages, racial and otherwise. What had been an interesting story about a man coping with a bizarre and terrifying situation is turned into silly philosophizing.

This movie is worth seeing for the beginning, but once that is over you are advised to turn it off and make up your own ending.


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