On the Beach 09/06/22

Viavision [Imprint]

End-of-the-world Sci-fi went mainstream with a heavy message about human extinction in John Paxton’s all-star adaptation of Nevil Shute’s best seller. Always controversial and often derided as ‘glamorous obliteration chic,’ Stanley Kramer’s film plays better than ever. The possibility of Nuke Doom could be ignored back then, but we’ve since gained a more apocalyptic outlook (gee, wonder why?) It’s got fine work from Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Fred Astaire, and only real Australians wince at the iffy accents. It’s also Kramer’s best-judged, best-directed movie overall. [Imprint’s] special edition includes an entire separate documentary feature, Fallout. On Blu-ray from Viavision [Imprint].