on the beach

This well-crafted 1959 post-apocalyptic fictional film is set in Australia five years into the future.  Posing a 'what if' scenario after a nuclear war, the film's main characters play out varying reactions to the tragic situation.  Based on Nevil Shute's novel of the same name, Stanley Kramer thoughtfully directs the story with elegant camera choices and long takes with stars Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire (very different from how you usually see Fred) and Anthony Perkins all performing at their best.

Even though the topic is obviously grim, I appreciate how the film maintains a sense of hope and confidence in humanity.  The complex sentiment felt appropriate for  marking Earth Week.  Kramer, the director, (known for other great films like High Noon - though apparently an uncredited Producer of it) is  quoted saying, "I'm always pursuing the next dream, hunting for the next truth."  I clearly felt his passionate pursuit in On The Beach. He also directed 14 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances in his career which is no surprise after watching this film.   

Here is a scene from the film.

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