- Actors: Edward Judd, Janet Munro, Leo McKern, Michael Goodliffe, Bernard Braden
- Directors: Val Guest
- Format: Dolby, PAL
- Language: English
- Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: 12
- Studio: Bfi
- DVD Release Date: 17 Nov. 2014
- Run Time: 99 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00M2WZXME
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,774 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
The Day the Earth Caught Fire (DVD)
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THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE (1962)
A film by Val Guest
Newly remastered by the BFI National Archive, this is the definitive version of the classic British science fiction thriller.
When the USA and Russia simultaneously test atomic bombs, the earth is knocked off its axis and set on a collision course with the sun. As the planet inexorably heats up and society slowly breaks down, Peter Stenning (Edward Judd), a washed-up Daily Express reporter, breaks the story and sets about investigating the government cover-up.
Made at a time when the nuclear threat of the Cold War loomed large, The Day the Earth Caught Fire is an expertly crafted sci-fi film that boasts a BAFTA winning screenplay, gritty characters and a vision of end-of-days London that really burns. Also starring Leo McKern (Rumpole of the Bailey) and Janet Munro, and directed by veteran filmmaker Val Guest (The Quatermass Xperiment).Special features
- Brand new 4K transfer by the BFI National Archive
- Hot Off the Press: Revisiting the Day the Earth Caught Fire (John Kelly, 2014, 32 mins): a newly filmed documentary
- Audio commentary with Val Guest and Ted Newsom
- An Interview with Leo McKern (Paul Venezis, 2001, 10 mins)
- The Day the Earth Caught Fire: An Audio Appreciation by Graeme Hobbs (9 mins)
- Original trailer, TV spots and Radio spots
- Stills and Collections Gallery
- The H-bomb (David Villiers, 1956, 21 mins): civil defence information film demonstrating the damage that might be expected from a ten megaton bomb
- Operation Hurricane (Ronald Stark, 1952, 33 mins): a documentary exploring the work involved in, and the research behind Britain's first atomic bomb tests
- The Hole in the Ground (David Cobham, 1962, 30 mins): a dramatization of a nuclear attack demonstrating the operation of Britain's warning system for atomic war
- Think Bike (1978, 1 min): road safety film with Edward Judd
- Fully illustrated booklet with extensive credits and newly commissioned essays from John Oliver and Marcus Hearn
UK | 1962 | black & white | English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles | Original aspect ratio 2.35:1 |
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Top Customer Reviews
So, now having bought and watched this Blu-ray I can say that it is a very decent watch, despite some fairly unconvincing special-effects, and it is presented very well in HD; I'm confident that movie aficionado's and pre-existing fans of the film will testify that it has never looked as good as it does on this remastered BFI production and that they have also provided a decent collection of extras on the disc.
The Amazon synopsis for this film on this webpage describes the plot very well, but if you don't want to know the crucial driving force to the story you should leave well alone so the 'breaking news' aspect of it, which is slowly revealed during the film, is not spoiled for you...
What came across as the significant aspect of this film is courtesy of it being British, meaning that the story concentrates on covering events in the UK and that the cast (and crew/director) are British - which adds to a particular cinematic British 'flavour' and also means of course that the settings will be far more familiar to 'us'.
That 'flavour' was immediately obvious to me, not just because the opening scene is in London but also since the style of the story was portrayed in a certain 'gritty'/no nonsense way, which is not how Hollywood might have treated things....Read more ›
‘The Day The Earth Caught Fire’  A film by director Val Guest. Newly remastered by the BFI National Archive and available on Blu-ray for the very first time, this is the definitive version of veteran filmmaker Val Guest [The Quatermass Xperiment] of this classic British science fiction thriller. When the USA and Russia simultaneously test atomic bombs, the Earth is knocked off its axis and set on a collision course with the sun. As the planet inexorably heats up and society slowly breaks down, Peter Stenning [Edward Judd], a washed-up Daily Express reporter, breaks the story and sets about investigating the government cover-up.
This scorching vision of end-of-days of London and was made at a time when the nuclear threat of the Cold War loomed large. ‘The Day The Earth Caught Fire’ is an expertly crafted sci-fi film that boasts a BAFTA® Award winning screenplay, gritty characters and a vision of end-of-days London that really burns. Also starring Leo McKern [Rumpole of the Bailey] and Janet Munro, plus real life reporter Bernard Braden and one-time Daily Express editor Arthur Christiansen.
FILM FACT: Val Guest and Wolf Mankowitz received the 1962 BAFTA® Awards for the Best Film Screenplay for ‘The Day the Earth Caught Fire.’ The film, which was partly made on location in London and Brighton, used matte painting to create images of abandoned cities and desolate landscapes. The production also featured the real Daily Express, even using the paper's own headquarters, the Daily Express Building in Fleet Street, London.Read more ›
This is an emotional rollercoaster of a film that dispenses with the usual alien's and monsters and has humans cast as both the threat and the saviour to Earth. The two leads, Judd and Munro, are really very good and their side-relationship enthralling. This new Blu-ray release from BFI is fantastic and gives this gem of a film the high-def transfer is really needed. Highly recommended and the story is still relevant to today.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For 55-year old sci-fi movie, it holds up very well. Set mainly in a Fleet Street editorial office, the journalistic cynicism and wise-cracking as the earth spirals towards its... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Snowdrop
Always loved this film since first seen on tv as a kid. However, just about all aspects of the film are laughable and not derserving Of more than 1 star.Published 8 months ago by MV
A classic film, beautifully restored, fast delivery and a great price - does it get better ?Published 8 months ago by Jayne H.