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Five

4.3 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

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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)









Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Susan Douglas, William Phipps, James Anderson
  • Directors: Arch Oboler
  • Producers: Arch Oboler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LMAK7O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,705 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Five" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I accidentally ran across this film on one of the Roku channels. I had never heard of it and thought I would give it a shot. I was not disappointed. It's an apocalyptic film without the zombies and gore--just the struggles of five people thrown together. It deals with the good and evil of mankind and focuses upon the relationships built by these five individuals. If you're into zombies and plagues, then stay away! But if you like solid drama based upon character development, then this is a movies you should see. I liked it enough to purchase my own copy!Five
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Format: DVD
The official review about this film is correct it is the first post nuke film that i know of. I do not have this copy of the movie but I do have a bad copy made from an old film.

The movie is exactly how I remember it from the first time I say it on TV over 30 years ago maybe close to 40 years. It is about a group of 5 people who gather in Arch Oboler's house (yes it was filmed in his Frank Loyld Wright house).

This movie will disappoint all of the five year old's out there because it is a slow moving introspective picture about the 5 who try and to some degree fail to live together in this house. The movie was made at a time when action was not the only prerequisite for a movie. There are no explosions and no real scenes of mass destruction and of course it is in black and white, so there is another reason for the 5 year old's to not like it. There are 4 men and one pregnant woman at the beginning and at the end it is more of and Adam and Eve beginning.
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This DVD transfer looks worlds better than previous VHS versions, but is still marred by problems that go back to the condition of the master print. But it's an excellent reminder that Arch Oboler was ahead of the pack in so many respects. Here he is, creating the first film about the survivors of a world-devastating nuclear exchange, establishing the language and tone--and setting the bar--for many films that followed. For all its apparent simplicity, FIVE contains complex characterizations and uncompromising moments of confrontation and narrative development, as well as some unforgettable images.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Interesting movie on several elements.
This must be the ancestor of the many, many post-apocalyptic movies.
Without the special effects & heavy-handed gore of today's efforts in that genre, this focuses entirely on the characters and the situation they are trapped in.
If you like the Sirius XM retro-radio shows, including the Arch Oboler series "Lights Out", this will be one you want to watch.
Like the radio series of the 30's-early-60's it's a theatre of the mind.
You see the world through the eyes of these survivors, and it's really quite dramatic without being heavy-handed.
I would give a fifth star except for a few plot twists I found unsatisfying (but not annoyingly so).
Highly recommended.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Arch Oboler tells the tale of man's struggle to remain human in one of the first post-apocalyptic films ever...sure, there are details that aren't congruous with the timelines, but this is nit-picking with the benefit of hindsight...remember, this film was released in 1951...just six years after the bombing of japan ushered in the age of Atomis Warfare...great insight into the human condition...would have given it five stars, but the euro-trash white supremacist's God-awful mishmash of an accent is just too much to go unpunished...rant over/soap box firmly stowed...please proceed...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one sad movie. Very good ,but sad. The story is very good and very realistic . Acting is never over the top. Rough story about atomic war but well done. Dvd was new and played great. Shipping was on time and well packaged.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
an early 1951 post-apocalyptic movie about 4 men and 1 woman who ultimately find each other after the nuclear holocaust. anxiety about nuclear destruction and the cold war were very common themes in some sci-fi and horror movies of that time period. this movie isn't as campy as other reviewers may make it out to be. the acting isn't the best and not much for special affects, but still it is an entertaining movie. drama, conflict, racism, murder, are all blended in with a minimal background (filmed in director's arch oboler's frank lloyd wright cliff house). bonus material is fun: "how to be an arch villian" and "secrets of deception" are a couple of shorts, with recipes for a dirty martini and secret martini. also included is the trailer which really promises more than this movie could deliver. overall, an enjoyable viewing if you like the earlier b&w end of the world type of movies.
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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. It's even more unusual that a Black man is included (as was Harry Belafonte's character in the comparable movie noted). I won't give away more but I will say that it's worth watching.
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