On the Beach 1959 ★★★★

Screw "2012," this is how you do a post-apocolyptic film. I actually think this story could benefit from a modern remake, but as it is, it is an excellent film. I just want to first give a shout out to TCM, an excellent channel that offers a great variety of amazing movies. They are currently running 31 Days of Oscars, where each movie was nominated for an Oscar, and shares a connection with the previous movie shown (same actor, director, etc.)

This film has a lot of good things going for it. The story is very well done. The world has suffered a nuclear war, well, the northern hemisphere to be specific (a.k.a. the US, Europe, and Russia). The nuclear fallout was wiped out humanity, expect in Australia. Naval forces are the only other survivors. The last surviving humans are together in Australia waiting for their death.

It had a great director, Stanley Kramer. It had a great cast. Gregory Peck is solid. Anthony Perkins (whom I've only seen in "Psycho") does a very good job at being withdrawn as a result of disbelief, but still warm. Fred Astaire shows that he is better than just his feet. Though his British accent isn't very good, he delivers one of the best lines regarding nuclear proliferation. Lastly, Ava Gardner is amazing, working through a tradgic character with a lot of grace. Another thing that stood out to me, which I noticed in another post-apocolyptic film (I Am Legend), was the use of silence. There were several scene that had no score. It is a very effective technique that emphasizes supposed characteristics of apocolyptic environments (baren-ness, loneliness, etc.)

This is obviously not an uplifting or optimistic movie, but it is worth a watch.

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