7.2/10
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The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)

When the U.S. and Russia unwittingly test atomic bombs at the same time, it alters the nutation (axis of rotation) of the Earth.

Director:

Val Guest

Writers:

Wolf Mankowitz (written for the screen by), Val Guest (written for the screen by)
Reviews
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Janet Munro ... Jeannie Craig
Leo McKern ... Bill Maguire
Edward Judd ... Peter Stenning
Michael Goodliffe ... 'Jacko' Jackson - Night Editor
Bernard Braden Bernard Braden ... 'Dave' Davis - News Editor
Reginald Beckwith Reginald Beckwith ... Harry
Gene Anderson Gene Anderson ... May
Renée Asherson ... Angela
Arthur Christiansen Arthur Christiansen ... 'Jeff' Jefferson - Editor
Austin Trevor ... Sir John Kelly
Edward Underdown Edward Underdown ... Dick Sanderson
Ian Ellis Ian Ellis ... Michael Stenning
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Storyline

Hysterical panic has engulfed the world after the United States and the Soviet Union simultaneously detonate nuclear devices causing a change to the nutation (axis of rotation) of the Earth. Written by Fernando <diamond@argenet.com.ar>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The INCREDIBLE becomes Real! The IMPOSSIBLE becomes Fact! The UNBELIEVABLE becomes True! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1961 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Tag, an dem die Erde Feuer fing See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pax Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White (with tinted sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Editor James Needs used stock footage from Hammer's Monster van Dr. Quetermass (1955), also directed by Val Guest, of a fire truck racing through the night past the patrol station in Bray. See more »

Goofs

We see a copy of the "New York Daily Record" - but a later edition of the "Daily Mail" is dated to June. (The Express detailing water rationing plans is dated Friday July 27th 1962.) See more »

Quotes

Peter Stenning: I'm not up on my sci-fi. So, we're orbiting towards the sun, but how many billion light-years...
Bill Maguire: If that's true... I'd say there's about... four months.
Dick Sanderson: Before what?
Bill Maguire: Before there's a delightful smell in the universe of charcoaled mankind.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits say introducing Edward Judd, but he has 39 listed credits before this movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

According to director Val Guest, there were two versions of the film. The original version had a topless scene with Janet Munro, and "one for the Americans" in which she has a strategically placed towel around her neck. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Matinee (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Camptown Races
(uncredited)
Composed by Stephen Foster
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Day The Earth Caught Fire
28 March 2006 | by gcrespoSee all my reviews

This film holds a special place for me.....it was the inspiration to get into news broadcasting...no lie. I saw this film in the earl 60's and always was fascinated by the "newsroom", the teletype machines and, the reporters. The story was typical sci-fi but instead of filling the film with bug eyed monsters or giant creatures(which ain't bad by the way), it delved more into characters, emotions, plot... The idea of the world coming to an end has been done time and time again, but this was very well done. The black and white added to the dismal attitude, you could "see" the heat on the screen and feel it...Edward Judd, Leo McKern and Janet Munro were all excellent....kudos to director Val Guest. I understand that a re-make is being considered...please don't...you'll ruin it....


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