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The Night the World Exploded

4.0 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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(Mar 04, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

With his assistant, Laura Hutchinson (Kathryn Grant), Dr. David Conway (William Leslie) develops a device to advance the fledgling science of earthquake prediction. After forecasting a large temblor that will rock California within twenty-four hours, Conway cannot persuade the Governor to act. When the prediction proves true and further tests indicate that there are more quakes to come, Conway and Laura seek to perfect their device. Subsequent tests deep within Carlsbad Caverns discover an unknown element - E-112 - that is responsible for the earthquakes and threatens to destroy the globe if it ever reaches the surface. The team determines that with only four weeks until Armageddon, the race is on to neutralize the killer element before it takes a devastating toll. Newly remastered.

When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

This product is expected to play back in DVD Video "play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Evans, Raymond Greenleaf, Marshall Reed, Kathryn Grant, William Leslie
  • Directors: Fred F. Sears
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: SPHE
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2011
  • Run Time: 64 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004CZRE12
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,045 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Night the World Exploded" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Finally released! 'The Night the World Exploded' DVD was released a year ago, in March 2011, but I have only recently stumbled across it (in March 2012). It's one of my favorite 50s SF movies. This 'manufactured on demand' DVD has good picture quality that is much better than I expected. It sure beats my old bootleg DVD. And it's a very enjoyable movie, also.

The movie is somewhat like 'Monolith Monsters' in that they both feature exploding rocks, but in MM, the alien rocks grow quickly when they get wet, and in NtWE, the Earthborn rocks explode when they get dry. This reversal of conditions is reminiscent of two time travel movies, 'The Time Machine' (wherein the Bad Guys live underground and wimpy Good Guys live on the surface) and 'World Without End' (Bad Guys live on the surface and the Good Guys are underground).

A word about this and other 'manufactured on demand' DVDs: All that I have bought are claimed to be made from 'the best material available' and are generally of high image quality (much better than a studio released VHS tape or a TV rip). They include decent disc and cover art, too. The DVDs of this type that I have purchased include 'The 27th Day', 'Magnetic Monster', 'Gog', 'Night the World Exploded', and 'The Power'. I'm happy with all of them. Note that they all seem to be burned to recordable DVD-R's, and not pressed discs like ordinary DVDs. Not a big deal as long as you handle and store them properly.

These comments refer to the On Demand DVD that was released on March 4, 2011.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Night the World Exploded" packs a lot into its brief 63-minute run time. There's a pretty decent (for its time) scientific mystery, lots of earthquakes and explosions, underground scenery in Carlsbad Caverns and even a bit of romance, all thankfully mostly free of the technological gobbledygook so common in movies of the period. I had never seen it before I purchased this DVD, so I was pleased to discover a "new old" science fiction film.

And it's not too bad at all. The black-and-white transfer is so crisp and sharp that you can see the film grain. The scenes are well lit, even those that take place underground. Contrast is excellent, and I saw no noticeable glitches or artifacts. The sound is mostly good, except for a few places where the actors mumble their lines. I never did figure out what they said (there are no subtitles). The only extra is a trailer. The stock footage is well integrated into the "look-and-feel" of the rest of the scenes. The contrast and tonal values of the stock footage match well in most places, with just some camera shake setting it apart from the studio scenes.

"The Night the World Exploded" takes the idea of a newly discovered element (E-112), which expands and explodes when it dries out, and treats it with fairly reasonable logical consistency throughout. Oh, there are some slap-your-forehead moments, but c'mon, this was 1957.

Speaking of dated, there are some really blatant examples of sexism that presumably reflect the mores and attitudes of the time. These are all the more jarring because Laura "Hutch" Hutchinson, played by the lovely Kathryn Grant, is a smart, savvy, educated, articulate and competent woman--except when she's not.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are Dr. David Conway, you have spent years perfecting your Pressure Petro-meter; its ability to predict earthquakes is not yet proven, but now it is ready; the first run is disconcerting - it predicts a devastating earthquake is about to happen, but the state's governor refuses to evacuate the zone based on an unproven method of earthquake prediction.

The terrible earthquake strikes, confirming your device works, but now its detecting growing, dangerous underground pressures at locales around the world - an ominous indication of impending worldwide earthquakes. It's imperative that you discover the cause, but you'll need your assistant to postpone her plans to marry Brad; you call Laura . . . .

If you are Laura Hutchinson, your heart soars with renewed hope - you didn't really want to marry Brad, but a girl can't wait forever for the man she loves to notice her. You join David's expedition deep into Carlsbad Caverns to take more detailed measurements of whatever is causing the growing pressure. While you and David monitor the machine, a ranger rinds a rock in a pool of water; unfortunately for him, he takes it home, but his misfortune provides the first clue . . . .

Comment: You might expect that Dr. Conway's amazing Pressure Petro-meter device to look remarkable. Alas, it is a squeaky, rotating drum on top of a box with two round meters, and a horizontal florescent tube which is mounted in front of the drum!

Science: Don't expect to learn any.

DVD - 2011, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE.) Measured aspect ratio: 1.85 (widescreen.) Movie is in black & white. Sharpness, contrast, & brightness: good to excellent. Defects: none noted. Sound: volume lower than most. Sound clarity: excellent. Subtitles: none. Extras: movie trailer.
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