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 <email@example.com>
Bill Hunter who stars as the PM of Australia, was in the original on the beach as an uncredited swimming double. Bill Hunter's appears as an uncredited swimming double. And Hunter claimed that he was inspired to take up acting after watching one of the leads (variously claimed to be either Gregory Peck or Fred Astaire) do 27 takes of a scene, and thinking he could do better. See more »
When the sub departs on its mission north, it is depicted remaining surfaced until radiation levels start rising. In real life, they would submerge just as soon as they were clear of the Australian Coast - a surfaced nuclear sub is barely seaworthy and can't go nearly as fast as it can submerged (and the story did emphasize time was of the essence). Also, submerging and surfacing are not nearly as dramatic as this movie depicts. Back in the early to middle 20th century, submarines like the German U-Boats were shaped like surface ships, and worked more efficiently on the surface, but that changed around the time the book was written - since then, submarines move most efficiently underwater. See more »
Cmdr. Dwight Towers:
I carried warheads on my boat. That is correct. I was damn proud of it too. I served my country the best way I know how. And the only question I ask myself these days and I'm asking it every single millisecond now whatever the hell's left of what I've got, if where was I, where were you? Where were any of us? 'Cause I don't know what the hell two insane nations were doing facing each other down all those years. All that had to be done was that the brains, you know, the rational minds, the ...
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One can't help but compare this to the 1959 version and it stands up pretty well. At least there are Aussies portraying Aussies. Heck, there's even Aussies portraying Americans, some sort of indication of how advanced the Australian film industry has come since those far off days of the original.
I found this tv-movie more watchable than I first suspected it would be. Being Australian and made for tv I knew that there would be a very high romance factor to secure the female half of the viewing audience. And I was not disappointed in this presumption. Love interest was there in spades. True love in the form of the Holmes family, new love between Moira and Captain Towers the US sub commander, lost love between Moira and Professor Osborn (real-life married couple Rachel Ward and Brian Brown), and a more masculine love between Towers and his crew.
The expedition to Alaska to investigate the mysterious message was handled well, as was each aspect in general. From the breakdown of society, to the pathos of seeing the portrayal of the end of humanity. All assisted by clear camera-work, excellent sets, competent acting (in the case of Armand Assante as Towers bordering on the very good) and a competent presentation of the "message" of nuclear doom.
I note in some of the other comments here a technical question about nuclear warheads on the submarine. The most obvious goof I noticed in the movie was that there should have been no need for people to have resorted to horse and pedal power so soon. Australia being self-sufficient in crude oil and possessing refineries. This was probably not the case when Neville Shute wrote the novel in the '50's. That is just one of my own little observations.
All in all a very watchable made for tv movie, even tho it be one that put a downer on the rest of my evening.
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