Five (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

Five (1951)

Five (1951)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

One of the most pretentious "apocalypse" films ever made, Five is set in a lavish Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house--owned by Arch Oboler, the film's writer/producer/director. The "five" of the title are the only survivors of a nuclear disaster, all of whom have rather illogically converged in this house. William Phipps, the hero, was left untouched by the explosion because he'd been alone in an Empire State Building elevator! He is the first to arrive at the house, and is joined in quick succession by a pregnant woman (Susan Douglas), a fascistic soldier of fortune (James Anderson), an African American doorman (Charles Lampkin) and a shell-shocked bank clerk (Earl Lee). The clerk mercifully dies of radiation early on, leaving the remaining four to converse at great and boring length on all things philosophical. At long, long last, only the hero and the woman are left alive to do the "Adam and Eve" bit. Though Arch Oboler was one of the greatest radio writers of all time, Five proves that he was in over his head as a filmmaker; the dialogue evokes laughter rather than profound thought, and the plotline has logic holes big enough to drive trucks through.

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Critic Reviews for Five

All Critics (4)

Admirably grave, indelible parable of nuclear unease

Full Review… | July 28, 2012
CinePassion

For all of his budgetary limitations, it's a strikingly atmospheric and handsome film and [Arch] Oboler creates an eerie sense isolation with simple techniques.

Full Review… | March 11, 2009
Turner Classic Movies Online

Interesting in many ways, like its director (Arch Oboler), Five falls short of really hitting home.

February 1, 2009
Apollo Guide

While survivors with too much time on their hands argue, joke and flirt in the wilderness, enough juice finally kicks in from a found generator for waltzes to start playing on 45s. And not exactly a Hollywood happy ending, but with vintage charm to spare.

Full Review… | January 30, 2009
NewsBlaze

Audience Reviews for Five

Touches on a lot of subjects that most 50s flicks wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole... or would've sanitized like Lysol was buy one, get one half off. Gotta give Five some credit. It shows some hutzpah in dealing with themes of race, sex, life and death.

Vincent Pesce
Vincent Pesce
½

Although it's called five, I cannot give it a 5. This apocalypse film is not only depressing, it's boring too. There's no music for the most part, the actors don't know what to do with themselves, nothing really happens, and it doesn't even end. At least it succeeds in depressing the audience.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

½

74/100. This is the very first film to deal with a nuclear war aftermath and it's quite good, in spite of the low budget. Fine acting, no one stands out though. It is a little slow in the midsection, but it really is quite a remarkable film to tackle such a morbid and depressing subject, it wasn't that common in that era. Director Arch Oboler had quite a vision. Certainly ahead of it's time.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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