105 user 5 critic

On the Beach (2000)

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.


Russell Mulcahy


Nevil Shute (novel), John Paxton | 2 more credits »
7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Armand Assante ... Cmdr. Dwight Towers
Rachel Ward ... Moira Davidson
Bryan Brown ... Dr. Julian Osborne
Jacqueline McKenzie ... Mary Davidson Holmes
Grant Bowler ... Lt. Peter Holmes
Allison Webber Allison Webber ... Jenny Holmes
Tieghan Webber Tieghan Webber ... Jenny Holmes
Steve Bastoni ... First Officer Neil Hirsch
David Ross Paterson David Ross Paterson ... Chief Wawrzeniak (as David Paterson)
Kevin Copeland ... Sonarman Bobby Swain
Todd MacDonald ... Radioman Giles
Joe Petruzzi ... Lt. Tony Garcia
Craig Beamer Craig Beamer ... Crewman Reid
Jonathan Oldham ... Crewman Parsons
Trent Huen Trent Huen ... Crewman Samuel Huynh


Well, the world has finally managed to blow itself up. Only Australia has been spared from nuclear destruction and a gigantic wave of radiation is floating in on the breezes. Only two months are left. One American sub located in the Pacific has survived and is met with disdain by the Australians when it arrives. All of the calculations of Australia's most renowned scientist says the country is at doomsday - get ready. However, one of his rivals say that is incorrect. He believes that 1000 people can be relocated to the northern hemisphere, where his assumptions indicate the radiation levels may be lower. The American Captain is asked to take a mission to the north to determine which scientist is right (and along the way check out the devastation in Alaska and California - seemingly all bodies and vehicles were disintegrated). However, before the mission, all kinds of bland soap opera relationships are played out. Brown and his ex-fiancée battle it out in a love-hate relationship. ... Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Sci-Fi


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The "caterpillar drive" for nuclear submarines exists only in the imaginations of Tom Clancy (from "Hunt for Red October") and the screenwriters of the Australian remake of "On The Beach." See more »


When the submarine is first greeted in Melbourne, Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Admiral Cunningham salutes Commander Towers with his palm facing downwards. This is correct for the RAN (and all Commonwealth navies), which does not employ the outward facing palm salute used by the army and air force, as per naval tradition. See more »


Moira Davidson: Hey, I'm not blaming you. If it was one of your politicians or your military with their bloody warrior mentality, I would be. "We're protecting your freedom!"
Moira Davidson: It really worked...
See more »


Remake of On the Beach (1959) See more »


I Never Cared Before
Written by Hamish Cowan
Performed by Cordrazine
See more »

User Reviews

How I came to see this movie...
15 February 2001 | by MiKapplerSee all my reviews

DISCLAIMER: Text contains hints with regard to the ending of this movie. -----------------

I came to this movie accidentally. I never read the book, nor did I knew that there was an earlier version of it.

I was temporariliy working far away from home, when late one evening I zapped through my english tv channels and I saw something about a submarine. As I enjoyed the hunt for "Red October" and "Crimson Tide" a lot, and submarines are always of interest, I took a closer look - and found that what I saw was kind of boring. Too much relationship-blabla, too much "feelings" than I wanted to see at that time. (I am not that type of person who only watches Action-movies all the time, but what I saw really bored me at that time.)

As the other channels did not offer too favourable alternatives, I had a look from time to time into that "submarine-movie", and I wondered about the combination of this feelings-and-relationship-stuff with a submarine ?!? Every time I stayed a little bit longer and I learned more about the background and the plot, with the nuclear disaster. However - part 1 ended, and, at that time, the movie was of enough interest that I looked out for part 2 in the tv magazine.

I still had not too many details on the content of the movie when finally part 2 was on tv. I watched it from the beginning, and although there were some parts which really did not interest me too much (maybe because I never saw the complete developement of the characters), I could not resist to watch it to the end...

But what kind of end is this ? An american movie without an happy ending ? Mankind all dead ? This was too realistic, and it was surprisingly detailed. Where in this famous "1984" movie they had to change the end for some audience, this movie ending was the direct opposite of it, and I was not prepared for it in some way.

This was not the first time I was confronted with the nuclear theme and thinking about it, but I was unprepared for this direct, extreme and final ending that the movie had a kind of impact on me for almost a week. (And normally I am really not the type who is affected by movies that much!)

While writing this, the movie is repeated on tv and I see once again people drinking final drinks or racing with ferraris into death. And once again, I have this terrible feeling that all of this is too realistic.

Some people may be able to write about this movie only with regard to the performance of the actors, comparing with the book and the old version, or complaining about technical details. They may be right, but for me personally, this seems to be a kind of irrelevant compared to the content and the story of the movie. I consider that a bad movie could not have such an impact on the viewer, and I was glad to read that I am not the only one with this kind of experience.

I agree with most other comments, that as many people as possible should have a better understanding of the effects of nuclear warfare, and if this movie can be effective to increase this understanding, it is a good movie. Maybe people should watch it like me, not knowing too much about the ending and not taking too much care about single characters. Movies like this you should not just watch, but you must also think about.

Before switching now back to Cartoon Network, I am sending this little comment to IMDB and I start to wonder if I could mention this movie on my website...

17 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 105 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »



Australia | USA



Release Date:

28 May 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La fin du monde See more »

Filming Locations:

Sorrento, Victoria, Australia See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (3 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed