On the Beach - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

On the Beach Reviews

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August 6, 2017
Wow! A must see for many reasons.
Of course, scientific accuracy isn't one of them.
January 11, 2017
An apocalyptic movie without any special effects! Relies for its drama on how characters face the inevitable nuclear contamination, a silent invisible killer. Stars make everything work. Anthony Perkins especially good. Movie's final shots are very effective.
December 15, 2016
A scary film-warning shot during the Cold War when the possiblity of WW3 was immense, Ironically this possibility is still relevant today. Those scnese with empty streets give you goosebumps, they are felt so real and eerie.
Super Reviewer
February 17, 2016
It's good, but boy is it bleak.
December 1, 2015
Classic, haunting. Saw it when released. Epic
½ April 7, 2015
Not appropriate for today's Politically Correct society. An excellent movie in many categories.
January 24, 2015
Consistently heartbreaking.

I'm a little surprised at how little effort Perkins put into his performance though. It took his RAN commander telling him he'd be acting as liaison to the Sawfish before I realized he was supposed to be playing an Australian!
½ November 21, 2014
A coastal Australian population (and the US submarine coincidentally docked nearby) awaits the inevitable, weeks after the rest of the world was wiped out by a wave of nuclear-powered, mutually-assured destruction. There's an eerie sense of normalcy to the landscape, by far the film's greatest, most thought-provoking strength. The worker bees all go through their usual motions, as if a great big wall of radioactivity weren't looming off the coast, slowly creeping in to poison them all. It's enough to pull us out of the moment and consider how we might react in such a situation ourselves: when there's nothing to be done, isn't it better to ignore the inevitable, living out the rest of our days in a willfully-ignorant sense of unsteady bliss? Of course, there eventually comes a moment when such questions can't be dodged any longer, and the cast makes some bold, powerful decisions in the face of a long, grueling death by airborne toxin. Those uncomfortable choices, and the ethical quandaries that precede them, form a stiff backbone for the film. The slow, dry pacing of its superficial plot can be difficult to work through, though, and ultimately that's what keeps it from reaching its loftiest ambitions. As with many sci-fi commentaries of the era, you'll have to do a lot of reading between the lines to make the most of this one. It's smarter, but also far less accessible, than most of its modern counterparts.
½ October 11, 2014
How Interesting To See Melbourne, Cowes (Phillip Island) & Even Franston!! Feature So Prominently In This Classic Film. It's Slow & Somewhat Boring Story Was Made Entertaining For Me Purely Because Of The On-Location Shots. Streets Full Of Bicycles, People & Horse-Drawn-Carriages Instead Of Cars..Cars..Cars.
½ January 12, 2014
A wonderful film and rather brave film, considering when it was made. I enjoyed it thoroughly and could forgive its flaws. It was interesting to see Melbourne in the 1950's, so much has changed! My biggest criticism is the never-ending Waltzing Matilda theme music.
½ November 30, 2013
This film does not start to get really interesting until well over 50 mins into the story when the submarine goes to find a signal from San Francisco, to look for survivors following a nuclear fallout, leaving only Australia free from the radiation, but it's due to hit there in a month or so, but people there just go on as normal waiting for the radiation.
The scene when the sub goes to to San is sad, as they can see no signs of life through the periscope, but it's one of the sailors hometown, so he escapes to see if his family is still alive, in the morning he is on a boat by the sub, explaining all his family and all the people are dead, but he wants to stay and die in his hometown, so he is left. Also love the guy in his radioactive suit walking around the power station, the suspense and tension is fantastic, you really want him to find a survivor.
Although it's a slow paced movie, it does send a shiver down the spine, at the end when the 1st sailor shows symptoms, it gives you a jolt, and really makes you think. The conversation in the sub also makes you think as they discuss why it happened,This is a very powerful movie,Cant understand why Peck did not take Eva with him on the sub, but left her on the beach, it's not as if rules mattered anymore!
All of the cast is great, Fred Astaire is as never before, this is an enjoyable film, It is a great story, and pioneering for its time.
September 26, 2013
From the synopsis, perhaps I expected a more interesting film. This is very much talking heads and very little action.
Still, it was probably a very important film at its time of release & remains one of the original doomsday movies.
Very impressed with Fred Astaire's performance.
August 13, 2013
Where Fred Astaire proved that he wasn't just a singer and a dancer, he was a great actor.
Super Reviewer
July 4, 2013
Most certainly my fav Kramer film, this almost forgotten cautionary tale of the last days of suicidal humanity has its drawbacks ... but
that might sum up humanity, no? Overall, the spirit to find the best of us while fully submerged in the worst drives this tale that looks at the ragtag few remaining survivors facing certain extinction at the end of the world. Peck et al lend undeserved honor to the race and Fred Astaire proves he didn't only need to be dancing to be worth attention. Ernest Gold's score, variations on "Waltzin' Matilda", will leave you soaked in an bittersweet Australian stew for days to come. Have plenty of Coopers Pale Ale on hand.
½ May 23, 2013
Post apocalyptic drama, seems to be the first of its time, where the only place safe from the nuclear radiation is Australia and the only US presence is a submarine that survived the whole thing. It is an interesting film and Gardner plays the free spirited woman who captures the mourning Peck's heart. She does well, but so does Astaire as the negative scientist who drives a Ferrari, Perkins as a soldier and his pretty wife Anderson. But it ends on a negative note warning us of where we are going with our nuclear powers. Overall, sombre.
½ March 7, 2013
Long-winded, dreary and unwaveringly miserable, it's quite an achievement for the makers to somehow put together a mega-budget, star-studded film featuring a nuclear war, yet still make it a total drag. Some iffy camerawork, languid direction and making the ropey music 50x as loud as the dialogue probably didn't help either. I managed to last 80 minutes, but I couldn't go the full 120. Yawn. 5.5/10
December 29, 2012
Cold War fear at its best.
½ November 25, 2012
Always topical, great acting. Not an ordinary 1959 movie(?), seems to me like quite courageous direction back then...
½ November 10, 2012
On The Beach is an interesting film about a dystopian future after a nuclear holocaust. While the film starts off a bit slow, once it gets going, it is a really fascinating film that really does a great job of looking into the lives of its characters in the good times and bad times. It's a compelling and damning indictment of nuclear warfare that is quite underrated.
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