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Stanley Kramer

On the Beach

Director Stanley Kramer Composer Ernest Gold Cast Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire
Edition 2024
134' - 1959 - Drama, Romance - Dialogue: English

There is still (a little) life left after 'the bomb' in Stanley Kramer's sober and understated warning of the consequences of nuclear war that plays like a dystopian character study. On the Australian coast, an all-star Hollywood cast face the prospect that their days are numbered.

A few years before Stanley Kubrick made the first black comedy about the nuclear nightmare with Dr Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1963), producer-director Stanley Kramer made the deadly serious On the Beach in which Armageddon takes place as early as 1964. Relentlessly slammed at the time, this forgotten classic still stands firm today thanks to its incredibly controlled low-key approach to an otherwise overheated subject matter. On the Beach is set on the Australian coast, the only place on earth momentarily spared from the effects of radioactive fallout after a nuclear war thanks to favourable winds. Kramer refuses to show any horror of the ‘day after’: not a single image of physical deterioration, of rotting and burnt bodies, chaos or panic. On the contrary, he modestly shows how the survivors try to spend their last days as meaningfully as possible.

Tickets & screenings: from 19 September 2024.

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Credits

Directors

Stanley Kramer

Composers

Ernest Gold

Cast

Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire

Scenario

John Paxton

Director of Photography

Giuseppe Rotunno

Editors

Frederic Knudtson

Producers

Stanley Kramer

More info

Dialogue

English

Countries of production

United States of America

Screenplay based on

"On the Beach" (Nevil Shute)

Year

1959