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The Late Great Planet Earth (1978)

Events that are prophesied in the Bible are illustrated to show that civilization is headed for doomsday.


Robert Amram, C.C. Carlson (book) | 2 more credits »


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Credited cast:
Orson Welles ... Himself - Host / Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Babetta Babetta ... Herself - Witch
Emile Benoit Emile Benoit ... Himself - Economist (as Dr. Emile Benoit)
Norman Borlaug Norman Borlaug ... Himself (as Dr. Norman Borlaug)
Tal Brooke Tal Brooke ... Himself - Author of 'Lord of the Air'
Beaumont Bruestle Beaumont Bruestle ... False Prophet
Erin Cameron Erin Cameron ... Herself - Astrologer
Paul Ehrlich Paul Ehrlich ... Himself - Author of 'The Population Bomb' (as Dr. Paul Ehrlich)
Frank Ferrer Frank Ferrer
Eric Forsberg ... Ruth's Son
Sam Gilman
John Gribbin John Gribbin ... Himself - Author of 'The Jupiter Effect' (as Dr. John Gribbin)
Robert Hackman Robert Hackman
Richard Hale
Peter Hamilton Peter Hamilton ... Himself - Computer Security Expert


Events that are prophesied in the Bible are illustrated to show that civilization is headed for doomsday.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Matt. 24:35 See more »


Documentary | Drama


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 December 1979 (Argentina) See more »


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Amran, RCR See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Orson Welles: Scientists are now warning us of terrible dangers from outer space in 1982. In that year, Jupiter and all the other planets will be aligned on the same side of the sun.
See more »


Featured in How American Cinema Changed Hollywood Forever (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Hal Lindsay - False Prophet
3 May 2018 | by CoolestmoviesSee all my reviews

"It's almost as if we had an unconscious desire to see the biblical prophesies fulfilled," frets narrator Orson Welles in this classic piece of Christian fearmongering. Quietly insane evangelical minister Hal Lindsay attempts to marry revelation to then-current affairs in an effort to prepare us for the armageddon that lies just around the corner. Obviously, with 25 years of hindsight, we now know he was wrong, and continues to be wrong, but had really swingin' fashion sense circa 1976.

Many actual scientists and deep thinkers appear on screen in LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH, and you'd be forgiven if you felt that some of them (who are clearly talking along evolutionary lines) were being taken out of context to support Lindsay's crackpot theories. Lindsay's apocalypse is scotch-taped together out of all the Bad News that was available at the time of production. Thus, Lindsay's world was set to end as a result of any number of nasty afflictions. Recombinant DNA! Brazilian killer bees! Viruses from Hell! Atheists and witches run amok! Dogs and cats living together! And finally, as Orson says, "Nucular" Holocaust. It's Hal's nauseating belief that if you don't have hardcore Christian faith, then your ONLY possible options are witchcraft, astrology, transcendental meditation, Hare Krishnas or the Rev. Sun Myung-moon's wacky Reunification Church! In any case, Hal sez you haven't got a prayer.

As always, Hal saves the best for last, enlightening us as to the coming of the antichrist, a figure he believes is alive today (at least as of 1976), and who would achieve omnipotence through seemingly good deeds and the establishment of world peace before enslaving everyone with microchip implants supplied by the then-fledgling computer industry. Or something. Apparently, only those who heed Hal's book and movie can avoid falling under the spell of this evil maniac. He then proceeds to illustrate his argument with imagery designed to stoke the usual cold-war paranoia: before or around 1982, sez Hal, Russia and China will invade the middle east (didn't happen), the European market will grow to a prophesied ten member nations (25 and counting and still no armageddon), and the "nucular" bombs will rain from the skies like the falling stars seen by the biblical John on his island retreat (well, we're still waiting!). Nonetheless, this allows the filmmakers to go mad with stock footage, a delirious and depressing exercise in escalating doom that runs a full six minutes, unnarrated. Oh, the humanity!

Just because Christians love to fulfill prophesies, or see fulfilment where none rationally exists, doesn't mean the prophets were right. It just means that we'll always have to live with people like Hal, desperate to prove their "faith" has substance rather than just keeping it to themselves, and actually learning from it.

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