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Intriguing, offbeat film by famed radio writer-director Arch Oboler about the survivors of a nuclear holocaust. FIVE stars William Phipps, Susan Douglas and Charles Lampkin, and is probably the first film to deal with a post-apocalyptic theme.
Sony Pictures’ "Martini Movies" series, of which Five is one, consists of films clearly intended to be laughed at, not with; indeed, watching this 1951 turkey is like a Mystery Science Theater screening, except that you supply your own commentary. But give writer-director Arch Oboler credit for coming up with one of the earliest entries in the post-nuclear apocalypse genre. In this "story about the day after tomorrow," the titular five have survived the radioactive fallout that has effectively wiped out the rest of humanity and somehow ended up in the same place (Malibu, California; the shooting took place at Oboler’s home, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright). The five quickly become four, as an elderly banker succumbs to radiation sickness. That leaves a pregnant woman (Susan Douglas), a "philosopher" (William Phipps), an "explorer" (James Anderson), and a guy who was accompanying the banker; and since the latter is African-American and this is the early '50s, that means it’s up to the other two men, one a practical hard worker and the other a nonchalant layabout, to battle it out to see who’ll become Adam to the woman’s Eve. Not a whole lot happens in this "cheap honky-tonk of a world"--tensions mount; grass grows; they dance to a Strauss waltz--but there’s plenty of philosophizing about the new order and some reminiscing about the old one, most of it ludicrously melodramatic and pseudo-profound. Clearly this stuff is best apprehended with the help of a cocktail or two, and we are helpfully provided with two martini recipes to guide us through. Cheers! --Sam Graham
Stills from Five (Click for larger image)
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This is an unusual movie, a precursor to "The World, The Flesh and The Devil" in that it's about a handful of survivors following a nuclear war. Read morePublished 5 days ago by L.J.
A film I had not seen for decades as its never repeated on t.v. in my country. I remember it for the graphic images of dead bodies in cars after a nuclear holocaust. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sideline
Not bad apocalyptic film about survivors following a nuclear war. Decent acting. Worth seeing.Published 4 months ago by P. M. Culpepper Jr.
Totally boring movie. Don't bother. Plenty of movies from that time are interesting, if dated. This was just boring and dated.Published 6 months ago by PHIL
As a classic sci-fi buff who has seen pretty much all of the movies made during that era, I was pleased to find one I hadn't seen, and such a good one. Read morePublished 6 months ago by WilburPost
Okay movie, just not what I was expecting for that era of sci-fi flicks.Published 8 months ago by mrmertz
Arch could make great radio shows. I question his ability at movies after watching this one. Disk and case in excellent condition.Published 10 months ago by Jean-Paul