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The World, The Flesh And The Devil [Remaster] (1959)

Belafonte , Inger Stevens , Ranald Macdougall  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Belafonte, Inger Stevens, Mel Ferrer
  • Directors: Ranald Macdougall
  • Producers: George Englund
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: January 24, 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004H0M32M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,471 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

"Millions Flee from Cities! End of the World!" From a Manhattan skyscraper, Ralph Burton (Harry Belafonte) surveys the emptiness announced by that chilling newspaper headline. Nuclear doomsday has come. Ralph is sure he is the last person alive. Then a woman (Inger Stevens) appears and the two form a cautious friendship that's threatened when a third survivor (Mel Ferrer) arrives. Unlike other post-apocalyptic thrillers from The Time Machine to I Am Legend, there are no external monsters to battle here. Instead, the monsters - fear, intolerance, jealousy - lurk inside the all-too-human human beings. And heightening the intensity of writer/director Ranald MacDougall's suspenseful and unsettling movie are stunning vistas of an unpopulated New York: vast, empty and soulless.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting movie. December 28, 2010
I first saw this movie on late night television over 35 years ago. I was haunted by the story of three people who seem to be the only survivors of nuclear holocaust. At the time (early 70's) nuclear annihilation was a very real threat. We were still required to watch "Duck and Cover" civil defense films at school. The movie is shot in black and white which ads to the desolate eeriness.

The World, the Flesh and the Devil rates right up there with other world annihilation movies of the time. On The Beach was filmed the same year (1959) and has a simular theme. Both are great movies because they touched on subjects that were very real at the time.

As far as I know, this is the first time this movie has been offered as a DVD or video tape. I do own a recorded copy from television, but was very excited to learn this movie was finally offered on DVD. With all the garbage that is offered on DVD, more of these older classics should be made available.

This is a great movie with great actors and performances. A very true example of the mindset of the country and our politics in 1959. I have been haunted by it ever since.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the greatest of all post-apocalyptic films January 17, 2011
Ralph (Harry Belafonte) emerges after being trapped in a mine for several days in a small town in Pennsylvania to find a world gone silent. There's nobody around, no electricity, and no telephone or radio. He spies the last newspaper - the world was on the brink of war, and a cloud of radioactive, lethal gas had been released. But Ralph can't be the only one left - he decides to drive to New York City to find other survivors. After a few weeks there, as he alternates from hope to madness, he meets a young woman, Sarah (Inger Stevens). Perhaps the two of them could...but wait, (this is 1959 after all) Ralph is black! No, that won't work, they'll have to wait until Benson (Mel Ferrer) comes steaming up the river - now there's an appropriate white man for Sarah to marry and to start to repopulate the world...

What's remarkable about the THE WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL on a narrative level is that it deals with the racial and gender issues that it does - though it certainly isn't as forceful in dealing with racial issues as we might hope it to be, or as it no doubt would have been had it been made a decade later. Deep in the midst of the Civil Rights battles, here was a film in which Sarah's subtle, fairly passive racism, and Ralph's consciousness of race are acknowledged, in which Benson - seemingly a good man at heart - is willing to use his whiteness to his advantage, if he's allowed to - and in which all of the characters battle with what these identities mean in a world where they might be the only people left to care, and to pass on their prejudices to the future.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I watched several NYC scenes being filmed August 30, 2011
Only recently did I find the wonderful flick on DVD. Unlike others I spent some time traveling around NYC watching some of the filming. Most went without incident BUT. Several of my friends and myself were at the Wall Street filming and a very funny incident occured. While Ralph Burton ( Harry Belefonte ) was pulling his wagon down Wall St from Broadway and shooting off his pistol and calling out for a never to be heard answer, LO and behold someone working in one of the buildings on Wall Street opened their office window and shoited back for him not to make so much noise that everyone in the area could hear him. Needless to say shooting stopped and someone from the film crew was dispatched to silence the person in question. Of all the places we went to watch the filming in the city I believe this was really the one incident that stood out. But it let Harry sigh many autographs including one for me. Lennart C Gadde
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Post-Apocalyptic Film of All Time February 24, 2011
It is also one of the most finely crafted films of any genre, and it seems incredible that it has taken so long for it to be released. It is intelligent without being pedantic, multi-layered without being heavy-handed or convoluted. I hesitate to give examples, as I do not want to spoil any moment of the film for first time viewers and so much has already been described. If nothing else, a look at the cast list should be enticement enough. Belafonte, Stevens, and Ferrer could lift any work above it's failings, and, in this case, everything about this film matches the talent of the phenomenal cast. I have waited years for this to be released, and now everyone on my gift list can expect to receive this in 2011!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 50's Doomsday Movie Classic March 1, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite classic doomsday movies from the past. I had been waiting for it to come out on DVD and finally I found it!! The hard part was remembering the name of the movie, I only remembered who was in it and the storyline!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Apocalypse July 27, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an oldie but a goodie and perhaps one of the best of a string of "end of the world" movies, maybe because there was no bloodshed and a lot of questions are left unanswered. Two men and a woman appear to be the last people on earth and already that is recipe for disaster but when you combine a black man, white woman and white man, it is down right dangerous! While they try to figure out what has happened to Earth's population one is more interested in attempting to save what is left of our culture by trying to save art pieces, books etc and the other has eyes for the woman and sees the other a rival. There is no alien invasion here, no mysterious disease that turns our population into monsters. There is just... well nothing! And maybe that is the scariest premise of all. Mankind/humankind will rest on the shoulders of these 3 people but before they realize the true severity of their situation, they must learn to work together if they are to survive at all. A true masterpiece worth revisiting if you've seen it before and worth watching for the first time just remember this movie is over fifty years old but the message it carries is timeless.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Hoodoo Man
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor historical treasure
I first saw this at a drive-in cinema in 1962, so several years after it was made, and before Kennedy was assasinated and Johnson took on the Bill of Rights matters in 1963. Read more
Published 2 months ago by neasden oz
5.0 out of 5 stars Visit to a past era.
I saw this film as a child and have waited decades for its reappearance on DVD or even VHS. I was not disappointed by this release long awaited. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Will Longfellow
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!!!
I loved the movie!!!! I watched it back to back in one night. I really enjoyed the movie. It is a great collection for my entertainment.
Published 6 months ago by April
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected.
I love end-of-the-world fantasy and zombie-type movies but the socialist philosophy shown on this movie - of course with Harry Belafonte! - did not enthuse me much. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Manuel A. Gutierrez
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good film
I have been waiting for the release of this film you years, I remember seeing it in the theater when it was first released but almost never again. Read more
Published 8 months ago by J. Carey
5.0 out of 5 stars Mel goes berserk like a jerk, Harry no fool stays cool.
Excellent movie from my childhood. I purchased it to provide to some friends. They loved it. It arrived well within the time allotted.
Published 9 months ago by Robert Tellado
5.0 out of 5 stars A Special Movie
This movie was seen many years ago and never left my mind. It is a great story with terrific stars acting. To have it to view again is bonus as so many flicks are trash. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Rita H. Strong
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like the novel
It is hard to believe, but this was supposed to be the cinematic version of M. P. Shiel's novel The Purple Cloud (1901). Read more
Published 10 months ago by othoniaboys
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
I believe this story is very close to what would really happen, in those circumstances. I recommend it for everyone.
Published 13 months ago by Salvatore Marsiano
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