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  • The Day The Earth Caught Fire [DVD] [1961]
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The Day The Earth Caught Fire [DVD] [1961]


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Frequently Bought Together

The Day The Earth Caught Fire [DVD] [1961] + When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] + This Island Earth [DVD] [1955]
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Product details

  • Actors: Leo McKern, Janet Munro, Bernard Braden, Edward Judd, Michael Goodliffe
  • Directors: Val Guest
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Sept. 2009
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002GDM322
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,968 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Val Guest writes and directs this sci-fi drama. After global nuclear testing knocks the world off its axis, temperatures begin to rise rapidly as the planet is sent careering towards the sun. In London the heat is causing the Thames to dry up as baffled Daily Express reporter Peter Stenning (Edward Judd), his colleague Bill Maguire (Leo McKern), and his girlfriend Jeanne Craig (Janet Munro), resolve to get to the bottom of the matter. After battling the Government for the truth, they are shocked to discover the fate of their planet and must search for a solution before it's too late.

From the Back Cover

Subtitles: None

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Wilma on 10 Mar. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a great film. I saw this at the cinema when it first came out - boy, does that date me! I think that it is a very atmospheric film and, even with all the CGI that they have to work with today, I doubt very much if it could be bettered. I find the re-makes of some films are too frenetic, while this film is very low-key, which makes it all the more frightening. You can feel the temperature rising while the actors are sweating it out on screen, and the fog rolling up the Thames is a great effect. If you only buy one DVD of an old film, make it this one, you won't regret it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Swan VINE VOICE on 15 Jun. 2005
Format: DVD
I remember seeing this film on Saturday afternoons when I was a kid and rewatching as an adult made me appreciate just what this film has to say. The day the Earth caught fire was made at a time when people lived with the fear that world could at any time be decimated by nuclear war, even when I was a child it seemed quite probable yet people doggidly went on with there lives. There's an element of this in The day the Earth caught fire as people continue to live their lives as the earth rocked by nuclear tests hurtles towards the sun.
Edward Judd plays a reporter for a london newspaper who through bouts of drinking discovers that similtanious nuclear tests by the americans and russians have dislodged the earth from it's orbit and have set it on course to hit the sun, Judds not bad in the role and Janet Munro makes an excellent and sexy female interest but Leo McKern can't help but steal the show. His grizzled portrayal of Judds friend and newpaper journo is electrifying to watch. It's worth the money just to see him but you won't have wasted any cash on this film even if he hadn't been in it. The day the Earth caught fire is an intelligent taught and highly entertaining film, to call it Sci fi would be wrong, It's just an excellent drama with a slightly far fetched plot. Although at the time it really didn't seem that far fetched living under the shadow of the bomb.
The end is particularly un Hollywood as it leaves you hanging, never finding out the fate of the characters.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Seatinthestalls on 26 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Gosh - where to start!

`The Day The Earth Caught Fire' is one of the most intelligent science-fiction/apocalypse movies ever made, and that's that. If you can live with the completely absurd premise that our planet could be knocked over by 2 simultaneous atom-bomb tests, when the multi-million-megaton Chixulub impact of 65 million years ago didn't even make it sneeze, then the rest is easy-peasy.

Set in London, and mostly from the standpoint of the `Daily Express' newspaper office, the disaster unfolds with frightening plausibility. Most movies of this genre usually had (and still have) a political, military or scientific overview with the media presented as little more than a side-issue, a baying mob. here, we see the story breaking from the actual standpoint of the media, a premise to which the Daily Express gave substantial support. It is the other instiutions that are marginalised.

Seldom-seen Edward Judd won his first starring role as a journalist on the skids. His marriage has broken down, he has limited access to his estranging son, he has become disillusioned, bitter, and wobbles on the threshold of alcoholism and dismissal. He now holds women in contempt. But although obnoxious, he is desperately vulnerable. Judd was a big man and handsome in the traditional British way. He had tremendous screen presence, not unlike Richard Burton. His character is kept in some sort of order by the science correspondent, an indulgent uncle-figure here played by excellent Leo McKern, who always brought a solid lump of gravitas to every role. See his conniving `Cromwell' in `A Man For All Seasons', not to mention his enduringly humorous `Rumpole'. Janet Munro is `the girl'. She is marked to bring salvation to Judd's character - if they survive.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By S. Hapgood VINE VOICE on 16 Nov. 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I know that's a pretty grand claim of mine in the title, but I really believe this is one of the most intelligent, well-acted, and chillingly effective films we've ever made. Made at the height of concern about nuclear warfare (this was the era of the CND Aldermaston marches), it takes the idea that by detonating two massive nuclear bombs at once we have caused the Earth to shift off its axis and ... gulp, we are now heading towards the sun! Much of the unfolding terror is seen through the eyes of journalists in a newspaper office covering daily what could be the oncoming end of the world. These scenes are highly effective indeed, most particularly the briefings in the Editor's office, and Leo McKern is splendid as a jaundiced hack getting his biggest (and most unwelcome!) story. As the days click on and society begins to unravel, with water rationing causing riots and old diseases making a comeback, you even get reminded of later terrifying docu-dramas like "The War Game" and "Threads". On a lighter note look out for a before-he-was-famous Michael Caine appearing briefly in one scene as a policeman doing traffic duty.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Jan. 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'd forgotten just how good this film is. Fine performances bring to life a very good script and the setting is brilliantly realised. This isn't just British SF at its best, its SF at its best. OK so some of the science is cobblers but the story is stylish and clever.
The DVD is excellent. A good range of extras and, most importantly, a brilliantly clear print of the film itself. The sepia tinged opening is particularly effective and looks better than ever.
And this is a film with one of those endings that you can never get out of your mind.
Highly recommended.
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