On the Beach (TV Movie 2000) Poster

(2000 TV Movie)

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Grimly competent
Trevor Johns2 February 2001
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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Excellent, but probably the most depressing movie I've ever seen!
cpto30 May 2000
Nightmares are very personal things. Probably because I was in the military at a time when nuclear war seemed more probable than it does now I occasionally had nightmares involving nuclear weapons - the end of all things I hold dear. Regardless of what that says about me, it is a problem that has not been resolved with the end of the Cold War.

I had read some negative reviews about Showtime's remake of the classic picture, so I wasn't sure it was worth watching. That was a mistake as large as the one that frames "On the Beach." This version far surpasses the original in presentation, depth of character, and, of course, effects.

Quite simply, "On the Beach" is the story of the crew of the last surviving American submarine, an Australian Naval officer, and that officer's wife and friends. A nuclear holocaust has created a cloud of radioactive dust that destroyed all life in the Northern hemisphere and is gradually making its way south. Worse, the Australian survivors have a good idea of when the radioactivity will arrive and kill them. When it does, humanity, and presumably most other life, will vanish from the planet. We may as well not have existed.

I've felt up until now that the 1959 classic with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner was the most depressing film ever made. However, director Russell Mulcahy and an excellent cast including Armande Assante, Rachel Ward, and Grant Bowler make the 1959 version seem stilted and pale by comparison. This remake - perhaps reinterpretation is a better word - gives the characters a depth that now seems missing in the original film. Commander Towers displays an increasing disorientation as the film progresses. Moira has more to her character than that of a lush. And Lt. Holmes is clearly not happy about the time spent away from his wife who, in this version, better illuminates her increasing disconnection from the real world.

Still, I find one thing missing from both films. Dylan Thomas exhorted us not to go gently into that good night. Yet Australians and Americans - at least those in Alaska - seem to have no trouble taking suicide pills (with injections for pets and children - seems like it should have been the other way around.) There is a great ethical issue in taking the pills and injections that is not explored in either version, and yet what deserves more ethical and moral debate than whether it is human, in the best sense of the term, to slip silently and uncomplainingly from life? Aside from the insanity of humanity eliminating all higher life on the planet, this lack of exploration of ethical issues is the point that most bothered me about "On the Beach."

I've not read the book so I can't comment on which picture is closer to it. I will say that I think the ending of the newer version seemed at odds with Towers' character - perhaps it was merely a fantasy of Moira while she was dying, or perhaps a critical scene was deleted for timing. I hope it was not just the tendency of modern film makers to sweeten the ending! The earlier movie is much more consistent with Dwight Power's character.

So. This is a movie well worth three hours of your life. Aside from occasional histrionics from Julian Osborne in both versions, it presents people going about their lives as best they can. You are left to decide the meaning behind it, as we always are as individuals. There are no simple answers here, and even the questions the movie raises aren't simple.

The movie will leave you depressed. That shows you're thinking. Perhaps there's no solution to the conundrum of stellar forces, chemicals, and biologics available as weapons. Some serious thinkers have postulated that the reason we don't receive any radio signals from others in the galaxy is that civilizations reach a certain level, and then, when they have learned to unleash powers far above what evolution trained them to comprehend, destroy themselves.

It's a serious thought and a serious movie. I recommend it highly. A solid 9+ from me.
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I still get nightmares from it
sydneysmike9 December 2002
I saw 'On the Beach' on tv about 2 years ago now and I still have nightmares inspired by it. Bryan Brown, Rachel Ward, Armand Assante and Jacqueline Mckenzie are all credible actors in their own right and they all give fine performances. The film focuses around these people who come together in Australia after a world nuclear war through various predictable plot devices (see plot summary). The acting, direction and even the script don't really make an impact but it is the topic that hits home. I think the purpose of this remake is to remind the world of the horrible results of any nuclear war that could so easily take place. As an Australian, watching this is even more horrific perhaps because this is a rare movie where the world's end is focused outside the U.S.A for a change. Watch this horrific movie (really it is mini series) if you aren't scared by the "what might happen" scenario then frankly your head is in the sand.

10/10 for being a very welcome piece of anti nuclear propaganda.
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Two Words: Depressing and Haunting
spacefan30 May 2000
I found this movie depressing as hell. But I also found it haunting. I thought the acting and direction were really superb. And, by the way, I saw the original with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner. If anyone thinks a remake can't approach the original in style and quality, you will change your mind when you see THIS remake. The other thought that you will mull over in your mind, as with the original, is how human beings could be so monumentally stupid as to allow this to happen. I came away from this movie with the same sensation I had after I saw the movie The Day After. Other than a few references to the nuclear war that got the cast of characters into this dilemma, the movie did not dwell on nuclear war--only the aftermath. The aftermath of such folly is what the movie DID dwell on and how a species, namely homo sapiens, become extinct. What stands out in this movie is HOW they die. Each character or couple ending their lives in their own way and on their own terms. This movie remake is a must see...
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Shocking. This movie lets you realise that the end of mankind is not unthinkable...
marko-f23 February 2003
What would I do when I was confronted with my certain death and the end of mankind? That question was getting more and more to me when I watched On The Beach. Very confronting and on the eve of a war in Iraq, not at all unthinkable.

The plot is simple: War has broke out (in this case between the US and China, but it could be Iraq or North-Korea too...) and the US strikes with nuclear weapons. Australia gets spared initially, but its inhabitants face certain death as clouds of radio active fall-out nears. Within two months, no one human will be alive. Unless... There is a chance that some people close to the north pole survived. An American nuclear submarine that survived the war is boarded by an Aussie liaison officer and a cynical scientist, that used to date the sister-in-law of the officer, to search for possible survivors.

Not much action, but for those who like to think while watching a movie, this film will stick to you. There are story lines that resemble soap opera's. That might be true on the surface, but it is completely different when you keep in mind that they all are going to die. You feel the difficulties in the way the characters choose to die.

The movie is played well, directed well and has great photography. The director uses several filming techniques that are rarely used so that the viewer gets time to think about the situation and feel the dilemma of the character.

Unless you cannot bear to be confronted with your own mortality, this is a must-see.
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Heartbreaker better than the original movie.
Ramses-827 May 2000
A little on the long side, but the impact builds to a heartbreaking finale. Rachel Ward is spectacular as the boozy spurned woman played by Ava Gardner in the original 1959 film. This film has more emotional depth and the characters are more believably human than in that classic anti-nuclear film. However, without the Cold War raging the premise seems more imaginary than it did then, when nuclear war was an all too plausible scenario. But that puts the dramatic focus on the human story rather than the propaganda. It made me choke up a few times (but I am a softie about these things).
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Too real to be science fiction?
mstomaso15 March 2006
Even writing the most basic mention of On the Beach's plot involves spoilers, so I've checked the spoiler radio button and will proceed to discuss the film with minimal reservation. I won't give away the ending, however.

On the Beach is based on the mid-20th century novel of the same name by Neville Shute, and offers a more elaborate and engrossing treatment of its subject than the original classic film (1959) starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Fred Astaire. This Showtime original is an hour longer than its predecessor, and will likely bore some of the more impatient members of its audience. Unlike most contemporary sci-fi, this is no action film, but a sombre, depressing, examination of the self-destruction of the human race through nuclear war.

Never over-the-top, alarmist, or politically biased, On the Beach simply presents the stark reality of its premise, and uses finely developed characters to give context, shape and meaning, to the experience. the cast is easily equal to its predecessor, with Armand Assante and Rachel Ward particularly illuminating their roles.

Assante plays an American nuclear submarine commander who has outrun the nuclear fall out and managed to surface near Australia, as that continent prepares to experience the first effects of the radiation now permeating earth's atmosphere. All around, people are preparing to die. The most sought after commodity is a do-it-yourself family suicide kit. Immediately enlisted by the Australian government to carry out a top-secret mission to investigate an IP signal coming from Anchorage Alaska, Assante is assigned an Australian military liaison (Grant Bowler) and a scientist (Bryan Brown)and asked to turn his boat around in search of humanity's last hope. In his few days on land before this fateful journey, Assante befriends his liaison's family, developing a special affinity for his sister-in-law, the playful Rachel Ward.

My plot summary takes us about 1/3rd of the way through the story, but sets up all the major elements of On the Beach.

Why does this film work so well? The cinematography is good, but not excellent. The direction is excellent and the cast is exceptionally good. But more than anything else, On the Beach makes its point because the script and story are deeply humanized by the complex and bold characterizations. The characters have interesting back-stories and deal with their harrowing predicament in very different ways. You not only feel as if you know these people, but you like them and sympathize with them - even the more despicable characters.

This is a great piece of classic science fiction, recommended to all, but those with a limited attention span should opt for the 1959 version instead.
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A remake that is far superior to the original
m.p.19 November 2000
The original version of ON THE BEACH has always been one of my favorite movies and I was very sceptical when I heard there was a remake, a TV version at that. In fact, the new version was so superior to the original that it took my breath away. All of the updates (like adding email and electronic broadcasting) were perfect. Also, all of the Australian characters were played by Australians (even as a kid I wondered why all the Australian characters in the original had American accents!) - except for Rachel Ward who's British but close enough. The casting was brilliant except for Armand Assante as the Sub Commander (not to mention him being about 4 inches shorter than his love interest, Rachel Ward). This role called for a Harrison Ford, or (young) Robert Mitchum or Gregory Peck type - it was the only sour note for me in the whole movie. I also don't think as many people would opt out they way they did - I think most of us will hang on to life until the bitter end - just as most terminally ill people do.
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How I came to see this movie...
MiKappler15 February 2001
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...
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First half bad, ending really good
esarge26 November 2002
I saw this movie across two nights on television.

I found that the first half dragged quite a bit with too much time spent on setting up the love triangle.

However, I found the ending really affecting and quite emotional. To put not too fine a point on it I was a little sleepless last night thinking about it. The acting in the ending is really quite good.

I also think that for its interesting premise - what would happen to society in its possible final dies - this film doesn't go into much detail. I would have thought that there would be lots of interesting things to would happen.

I think the stand out actors here are Jacqueline McKenzie (Mary Holmes) and Bryan Brown (Julian Osborne). They conveyed the emotion of their characters very well. I was quite disappointed with Armand Assante (Dwight Towers) as he didn't seem to have much of an emotional range.
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EXCELLENT film!!! You will never forget it.
upscale-222 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This film is truly remarkable. The acting is wonderful, and the realistic portrayal of the end of humanity will affect you like no other film. The scenes of a destroyed and melted San Francisco and its Golden Gate Bridge in pieces will horrify anyone who has ever lived or visited there. This is a must watch for everyone, especially those who would like to stop the spread of nuclear armaments all over our planet. Buy this film, and keep a copy in your archives. Better yet, tell your congressmen and all politicians to see this film. Hopefully, it will help this horror from ever happening to the world in real life. You will truly never forget this film.
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Powerful Film
Melinda (scandblue)3 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I first viewed the film "On the Beach" in its original 1959 version when I was about 10 years old - it was quite a big thing then, shown for a long term engagement in "Cinamascope" at the Cineramma Theater in San Diego, CA. The story and film frightened me, but made a big impact - and it has always stuck with me - I never forgot it. Now I have just finished viewing the 2000 version of "On the Beach" with Rachel Ward, Armand Assante and Bryan Brown. I was mesmerized - especially good was the second half, when the central characters are coming to terms with the reality of the end of the world and their own forth-coming deaths. The ending scenes with father Lt. Peter Holmes and his wife Mary and little daughter were so touching and broke my heart (and the tears flowed freely). Although the characters of the submarine commander Dwight (Armand Assante) and the single party-hearty Moira (Rachel Ward) were interesting, I never grew to really care about them, at least not Moira. Rachel Ward just didn't come through for me enough to make Moira genuine and someone you could care about. Armand Assante did a good job as the tough commander who revealed an inner core of love and caring. Bryan Brown as the cold unfeeling Dr. Julian Osborne was all right, and Brown managed to give him some sense of emotions at the end. The cast of the submarine crew were all excellent. All in all, I was greatly moved (once again) by this new version of "On the Beach" - and I think the makers of this film did an outstanding job.

In 1959, the film "On the Beach" was relevant and very frightening to us Americans living at that time. Several of my neighbors were building "fallout shelters" and we regularly had "nuclear strike drills" at school with scary sirens blaring (diving under a desk! "Tuck & Cover" our teacher told us as we tucked ourselves into a ball under our desks and covered our heads with our arms - as if that would save us?). Those were frightening times.

Perhaps today, almost 50 years after the first film was made, it is not as likely that we humans will totally annihilate ourselves, families and children with nuclear weapons, at least I hope not. But we sill have that capability - and with the current "clash of civilizations" (and religious beliefs) between Islam and the West, ultimately destroying ourselves may be even more likely now than in it was 1959. Watching the 2000 version of "On the Beach" is a stark reminder of how it all may turn out if we are stupid enough to do so.

I highly recommend this film.
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a-j-crofts11 November 2008
When I was a kid (about 10) my late Father used to ask me to get "On the Beach" regularly (well, maybe 3 times a year) when I cycled to the Warwick (UK) library to get my own kids books. Never understood his fascination with it. When I moved to Finland, 40 years later, one of my "hobbies" is ferreting through the local 'Salvation Army' shop, and the book was unbelievably there, paperback, in English. HUH??. €0.10!!! When I read it, and wept buckets, I understood why. I ordered both the 1959 and the 2000 version DVD's from Amazon. 2000 version vastly superior.

(As an aside, delete if irrelevant - My Father also had a fascination with the song, "Waltzing Matilda". Never understood why, till I read the lyrics. Then I did. He served in the Somme, you see. This week is kinda appropriate.)
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Raw Emotion that trumps Original
dansview17 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Seeing the young couple go out with their daughter and their love for one another made me think about how alone I am personally. If I had to go out in this situation, that is exactly how I would want to go..with my spouse and baby on a bed in an embrace. Beautiful.

At first I hated Rachel Ward's character and even her acting, but then I realized that she was real. She admitted that she was a floozy, but that doesn't mean that floozies don't have feelings or the need for genuine companionship. Her acting was actually quite good.

Armand Assante nailed this one. Very intense, real emotion. Loved it.

I think there should have been more if any, mention of the fact that the U.S. is not the bad guy in geopolitics. There was an implied guilt. I guess in this film it was the Chinese. That's fine, but make it clear.

I don't know about many people being from S.F. on the crew. That was just borrowed from the original. How many white guys in the marines are from urban S.F. in modern times? Even the black guy in this one was from the suburbs.

The photography/scenery is spectacular. The movie was a bit too long. They really drew it out, but I was never bored.Yes, there are some sappy love stories, but those exist in real life. If they annoy you in movies, this one will drive you crazy.

The most important scene involved the new rendition of the stopover in Alaska. They changed some things from the original film, but it was great. Armand had a break down and showed real emotion. The Gregory Peck character was very stoic in the first one. Some other commenter mentioned that men of the 50's weren't supposed to show emotion.

The Bryan Brown character was tough to take. I found it hard to believe that an award winning scientist was also a loudmouth playboy, even given the reputation of Australian men. It was like he was the guy from Cocktail again.

One thing that I kept on thinking about was the fact that we are all going to die anyways, with or without nuclear war. But I guess the heaviness was also about the fact that the world was coming to an end. We all wind up getting sick and dieing, so that's no different. Although granted, most of the people in this one were too young to die.

I really felt the desperation of the people when it showed them wanting to take one last look at the ocean or make love one more time, etc. It's so hard to accept death. Like bed time when you're a kid and there's company over, or a good movie on.

This one will stay with me for a long time. Nice job overall. Give it a chance if you like intense drama.
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More than an excellent movie, a really must see.
Thuru29 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This review have a very small spoiler.

There are many reviews what tells you the story over this movie. I don't. If you want read them, you can check the others.

This movie is a really must see for everybody. Specially government people, people in the militairy defence, terrorists (yes also those people) and all people who want to see a good movie.

If you haven't seen the movie, take your time. Sit back and watch the movie. It have also some very nice details, example the train you see. The movie ends bad. All human get die. A lesson to learn, thats also why this movie a must see.

I prefer this version over the original one because the 2000 version is one hour longer with also of course more details and scenes.
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Very good
codeman_nz19 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is simply brilliant. It shows you the futility of war and that the weapons that were made to protect us will eventually destroy us.

The scene at the end of the Holmes family dying together is one of the most heartbreaking scenes I have ever seen. I was in tears by the end of it. It really tugs at your heart and by the end you hope to God that nothing like this ever happens.

If after watching this movie, you think that this could never happen then think again. This scenario is very real and the threat of a nuclear apocalypse hangs over us all every single day. All it takes is for one lunatic politician to push the trigger and then the world will descend into chaos.

If everyone in the world watched this, they would all cry out to rid the world of not only nuclear weapons but all weapons and to stop fighting each other.

A must see.
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I Can't Shake This Movie
tim-112722 February 2006
I saw this movie over a year ago and I still can't shake it from my mind. The movie is a very well done depiction of man's final insanity as it has nuked itself into oblivion. The movie alternates between despair, hope, and then finally despair. What I can't shake is - a) the plausibility of the movie and b) the depiction of the families and main characters as they approach the end.

This movie really has left its mark on me. It's a very depressing movie overall and left me with a feeling of melancholy for a few days after seeing it. This movie is similar in feel to The Day After which aired on TV in 83 although it's actually a bit darker.

I recommend this movie with the caveat that it is depressing. I'm not sure I would let my kids watch it.
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The saddest film I've ever watched
Tsvyatko Rumtchovski4 October 2004
That film is definitely one of the most remarkable films I've ever watched! I really like to watch that kind of films - when U stare at the TV/movie screen and you just can't get up from the seat! I've watched many films and that is the one I LOVE THE MOST! The plot line is so real! Even after the film you sit and think over it again and again! The action - perfect! U don't know what will happen till the end! The acting - IT COULDN'T BE BETTER! It is not important how famous your actors are, but how charismatic will they appear at the screen! I recommend this film to everybody! The film is good, watch it!
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Poem by Walt Whitman
goaul2004-geral13 July 2004
Hi, this film is great. The best part for me of course is the one that the parents see the suffering of his child ...completely outstanding.. This is a great movie because its none of the others wheres an American hero that save's the world or something like that. show's that nuclear bombs and nuclear power is now the way because accident's can happen like the one in Chernobyl.

I would like to ask if anyone has the poem that is given in the end of the film please... thanks [ ]]]]. Hope that this film was on DVD some day.
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A scary movie...
gezoes17 October 2001
A fine movie with no Hollywood ending. This one goes all the way...

It's not just the movie, it's the thoughts next to it. Imagine this being a reality, it brought back all the chills I had about nuclear war in the eighties.

The romance is not annoying but functional although there was one point: I wonder how many times one can come back to one's perfect love without getting the boot. Apparently a lot of times and a lot of running into each others arms, again and again. At some point I as yelling: What is it going to be !!! Sjeez.

But that's about the only lesser point I could find. The decor is excellent, with deserted cities and scenes of anarchy, chaos and dispair.

Enjoy but be prepared. This is no family movie, this is scary reality. I even dare to say to - with me at least - this movie made a bigger impact then The Day After.

The movie also contains a perculiar shot of a burning skyscraper wich doesn't have a scratch later on in the movie seen from a train station. Watch for it just after the submarine arrives in Melbourne.
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Original Is Usually Best.
screenman29 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Well, we're on the beach again. And the first question that comes to my mind is - why?

What was so very wrong with Kramer's 1961 original that the whole thing needed re-jigging?

Here, we have Armand Assante replacing Gregory Peck as submarine commander Dwight Towers. Someone called Rachel Ward steps into Ava Gardner's shoes as Tower's love interest. And preposterously over-the-top Brian Brown - who got his big break in 'Murder By FX' - makes a determined but completely failed attempt to supplant Fred Astaire as the scientist. Various other B-movie nonentities cling fast to their ancillary parts.

I'm sounding a little scathing, I know; when in truth this is a very competent little movie in its own right. It just happens to be inferior to its original of nearly 50 years vintage in almost every respect. And that's the point. Modernisation does not necessarily mean improvement.

What does it add? Well, the first think to notice is photography in colour, instead of black-and-white. And I don't like it. For me; as a child, the cold war was represented in B&W. Not just on the movie screen but on television at home. Newsreels were always monochrome, and that is how my generation largely remembers that stark, terrifying period of history. Think of any cold-war movie, and you'll know what I mean. Moreover the social and political philosophy was also black-and-white: capitalist or communist, east or west, enemy or friend, right or wrong. There was no middle ground.

Secondly, and obviously; in the intervening time, special-effects have advanced in leaps and bounds. Here we get to see some of the nuclear destruction that was denied us in Kramer's slightly flawed masterpiece. It's breathtaking stuff. But does it advance the story? Not one jot. Does it make for a better, more shocking, more convincing experience? I think not. To me, those still, silent, deserted streets viewed from a distance in the original, spoke volumes. What both these movies demonstrate is the complete irrelevence of special effects compared to a good story well told, whilst at the same time, modern movies' almost-addicted dependence upon them to carry the day.

Then, we get to see the onset of radiation sickness. And once again it's more graphic in its presentation, with some good, hearty honking. But do we need it?

Finally, there is the love triangle thing. And that too is needlessly more graphic and hysterical in a way that detracts from the constrained and understated original. Frankly; it's unbelievable. To see this Rachel Ward character strutting about amongst men as though sexual desire were still the biggest story in town, and all of them in turn fawning over her, as if the universal thought of imminent hideous extinction could be completely eclipsed by the sight of a well-figured slut, is just too ludicrous to countenance. And if that were not enough, we have the Dwight Towers' character becoming petulantly jealous over this woman's sexual dalliance with the Professor, despite the fact they're all going to be dead in a week anyway. So how in hell can it matter? Might as well go for a threesome.

If there had been no Neville Shute novel, and if there had been no previous movie; this would have been the standard-bearer for the cinematic portrayal of nuclear extinction. And it would have been - and is - reasonably good. However, there was a novel and that was extremely good. And there was an earlier movie which both maintained an adequate fidelity to that novel and was quite excellent. Which brings me back to the original question: If you can't improve upon the original - why bother trying to replicate it?

Well; I guess you can read the book. And I guess you can watch both of the movies. I have, and my comments are here. Decide for yourselves.

Perhaps in the end, each is a movie of its time, and reflects the social mores of its generation.
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average TV movie
Bob720 August 2001
First a warning for the guys, don't be seduced by the nuclear sub on the box, this is a chick flick. It's after the war, and there is nothing more to shoot at. It's long, but moves along alright, although you can FF through the mood scenes. It's lots of relationship stuff and crying, and a little suspense as they try to locate life in another area of the world. There are tons of cliches and platitudes, and the plot is straight formula. The acting is adequate, and if all you want is a tear-jerker with an adequate story, this might be enough for you. If you're looking for action, this isn't it. -Bob
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Poor remake
Royalcourtier15 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This film ought to have been good. It isn't. It is far inferior to the 1959 original.

Some people have said it is an improvement to have Australians playing Australians - and Americans, rather than Americans playing both, as in the 1959 film. I am not convinced that is an improvement. Americans played Australians reasonably convincingly in 1959. I am afraid that the Australians in this film sounded fake - even when playing Australians! The dialogue was phony, and far too contrived. The politics too obvious.

Special effects were very weak, even for a TV movie. The Ferrari crash was unbelievably poorly executed.

All-in-all not a pleasant experience - and that had nothing to do with the subject matter.
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A good film, far better then the original
m2144636 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The basic plot line is that the world came to an end due to a nuclear war, hitting only in the Nothern Hemisphere. As the film starts, there is a nuclear sub returning from a patrol, though not specified where it had been. The sub surfaces and gets in contact with some other survivors, but they are dieing out. I can't remember if they are already in contact with the Austtralian government or not, but they are asked to pick a local scientist and bring him in with them. The story revolves around the question: did someone survive the nuclear fallout in the north and if so, could those in Australia could also survive. The original story and film had a random Morse code message being sent, and the sub is sent to explore. This time, it is a Net broadcast, repeating itself. Other than this point, the film remains faithful to the book. One major difference between the films, the Austalians are played by Australian actors. In the first one, Americans played all the roles.
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This movie makes you think
Dejan_Konstantinovic26 August 2006
Whenever I see this movie, I remember Chernobyl. I was a teenage when the reactor exploded and learned at school about the structure of atom and radioactivity. At that very day, I played with my friends in the rain that contained the radioactive dust. Somewhat before, I had seen the original movie, with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner. It had fulfilled my dreams with many nightmares.

But I prefer the 2000 remake. It's more realistic (traffic chaos, anarchy, looters, groupy-sex orgies...).

The movie talks about people who are not too old but they are about to die and there is nothing they can do but euthanasia. This is not the problem just-in-case of a nuclear war, but a problem faced by all those who suffer of some terminal illness (cancer, leukemia, AIDS...). This movie makes you scratch your head.
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