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On the Beach [Blu-ray]

271 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The war is over. Nobody won. Only the inhabitants of Australia and the men of the U.S, submarine Sawfish have escaped the nuclear destruction and radiation. Captain Dwight Towers (Gregory Peck) takes the Sawfish on a mission to see if an approaching radiation cloud has weakened, but returns with grim news: the cloud is lethal. With the days and hours dwindling, each person confronts the grim situation in his or her own way. One (Fred Astaire) realizes a lifetime Grand Prix ambition; another (Ava Gardner) reaches out for a chance at love. The final chapter of human history is coming to a close... From acclaimed director Stanley Kramer (Judgment at Nuremberg) and screenwriter John Paxton (Crossfire), comes this spectacular movie landmark - a film masterpiece with a message that will resonate as long as the world has the power to self-destruct at its own fingertips. Co-starring Anthony Perkins and Donna Anderson.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins, Donna Anderson
  • Directors: Stanley Kramer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Anamorphic, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2014
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (271 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KOW4BO0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,901 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

182 of 193 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 25, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The epigraph at the beginning of the book, "On the Beach" is part of a poem from T.S. Eliot: "this is how the world ends; not with a bang, but a whimper." I read the book first, then watched the movie, and would recommend both to everyone. The movie is a fair portrayal of the book, and the cast is outstanding. Fred Astaire is a real surprise in this, his first dramatic performance. Ava Gardner is beautiful and believable as the drunk, but in denail, Moira. My favorite characters are Tony Perkins and actress who plays his wife. The scene in which Perkins explains to his wife how to use the suicide tablets sent chills up and down my spine. Two things really stand out for me in this movie: The first being the use of "Waltzing Matilda." At times it's played with all the fanfare of a national anthem; at other times, it sounds funereal. The use of "Waltzing Matilda" reaches its climax during a scene in the movie when Moira takes Captain Towers trout fishing, mistakenly thinking they could get away to the mountains for some private time outdoors before the nuclear cloud arrives in Australia and pretty much eliminates humankind. Instead of peace and tranquility, they find drunken revelers...and throughout this revelery, they're singing "Waltzing Matilda." It's funny at first...then increasingly annoying...until one last tenor sings the final verse solo. I don't think I've ever seen a finer scene is a film. The impact of that verse, the way it's tenderly sung, and the shared look between Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck---I will never be able to listen to "Waltzing Matilda" again without tears in my eyes.Read more ›
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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 20, 2004
Format: DVD
This is the film that for me captures the terror I felt as a child, growing up at the height of the Cold War; it is bleak and intense, with scenes that are forever etched in my mind. It's one of the great films of that era ("Seven Days in May" and "Fail Safe" are others) that I can watch repeatedly, and their power and impact are never diminished.
Based on Nevil Shute's best seller, and brilliantly directed by Stanley Kramer, the use of sound effects combined with Ernest Gold's Oscar nominated score is very effective. Sometimes the simplest noise set against complete silence is ominous, and gives the feeling of the desolation of empty cities.
As time runs out, people try to avoid the "morbid discussion" of what awaits them, and some make the most of those precious days, weeks and months, like the elderly scientist Julian (in an exceptional performance by Fred Astaire), who completes his dream of being a race car driver.
Both strong and tender, Gregory Peck is fabulous as Dwight Towers, the commander of a submarine, who has trouble accepting that he is alive, while his family are victims of the "monstrous war". The woman who falls in love with him is Ava Gardner, who has spent far too much time being consoled by a bottle of brandy. The plot is filled out by Anthony Perkins and Donna Anderson, a young couple facing the fact that their baby has no future.
In the late 50s and early 60s, the scenario in this film was all too real; we face other dangers now, but there was something truly chilling about those Cold War years, and this film vividly brings back the memory of them. Total running time is 134 minutes.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I first saw " Onthe Beach" (OTB) after reading the Nevile Shute novel. I remember Pauline Kael saying in one of her more vitupritive reviews, "will anyone in the future remember On the Beach as anything but a bad movie". I was confused. Perhaps my response at the time had been the sentimental attachment of a high-schooler (after all, that "Waltzing Matida" theme can get to you). But now, Pauline, I can answer yer question. OTB is really not about the end of the world...but rather about the end of each of our worlds. "Fail Safe", "Dr Strangelove", etc...these are the movies about the end of the world. But this film is just about the end of one life...A few lives. And how we watch these finalities played out is like a chess game. Sure,there are moments spiced with Kramer's understandable ham-fisted "MESSAGE" about Nuclear War...but also we experience the slight, breathless moments when we know something forever is lost. I liked it a lot then... I like it now, too. Less for its attacks on radioactive death...more, for its reflections of how we may face our own "end". Remember, this film came out at at time when most American films were glamorizing pillow talks and chariot races and west side stories. These films, as well as the exquisite foreign films of the time also hold up...on their own levels. But there is a poignancy, perhaps not then intended, with all the lead actors either dead or retired that gives a new message to the quote from which the novel and film arose: "Here by the Sea, by the tumult river, here on the beach......sorry, misquoted, but intent on making a point. Looking forward to other comments. I believe the quote ends with the phrase, "Life ends not with a bang, but a whimper".
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New Blu-ray edition is below average
I just finished watching my Blu-Ray disc of this movie with great apprehension after reading some of the comments about the audio being out of sync. My Blu-Ray player is connected via HDMI through my sound bar which has a control to make adjustments for that but I had no reason to use it as I... Read More
Sep 6, 2014 by James E. Karakitsos |  See all 4 posts
defective disc Be the first to reply
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On the Beach [Blu-ray]
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