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On the Beach
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$56.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on April 28, 2016
Very convincing acting, I can only hope world leaders understand the consequences of resorting to a nuclear solution. The remake is a better version that truly gives the viewer pause to think of the consequences of such a confrontation. I was so affected that the next morning when I woke up the first thing I thought of is, "I better go to the pharmacist and get the death capsules and get this over with". I was not going to turn on the TV, I did not to want know where the radiation clouds were, I dressed, was at the car door before I realized it was just a movie, there was going to be today and hopefully a tomorrow. I decided to have a big cup of coffee and fully wake up.
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on January 8, 2008
I read Nevil Shute's book several years ago and thought it amazing. Recently, when culling some books from my bookshelves, I re-read it once again one afternoon. When I read the book the first time, I didn't even know of this classic film. However, I had learned of it since I reading the book the last time, so I ordered this film and, of course, the classic with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner.

The cast here was wonderful. The only exception to this was Armand Assante's performance here. I used to think Assante was superb- an underrated wonderful actor I didn't get to see too much. Here, though, he sounded an awful lot like Rocky Balboa. I guess that's okay-- I mean, there are Submarine Commanders that can sound like Rocky Balboa but, sometimes, it was off-putting. Other than that, he was good and still very likable.

Rachel Ward's performance was good. I think her character was probably the most difficult to play (as was Ava Gardner's in the first movie). Her character had to be brash, wild, remorseful, drunk, sad, smart, lonely, and regretful while still remaining empathetic. She did succeed but, like Ava Gardner before her, I found myself critiquing her performance rather than getting completely lost in the movie. Still, she did do a very good job and never went over the edge into parody (which could have been easy to do).

The young Australian couple (Mark Pennell and a young woman whose name escapes me) were perfect. They played their roles with remarkable depth and were probably the best of the bunch.

The story is truly staggering. Taking place in Australia, the citizens are the last known society waiting for imminent death by radioactive fallout which is slowly moving across the earth. Everyone else is dead and they, too, will be dead soon. This film is about how this small group of people spend their last months.

(Shute's book is not perfectly written. I remember he calls the baby "it" so many times it was a bit disturbing. Parents don't refer to the baby as "it" too many times after he or she is born! However, certain characters and the story itself are so memorable, despite the book's flaws, that it is a must-read.)

This movie is wholeheartedly recommended. Especially if you are sharing it with your (older) children, I think they'd be more interested in this version than the older one. There are little changes from the book to the movie that seem to work here but were truly astounding in the book. The most important change, I think, is how Captain Towers dealt with his family's believed demise. In the book, Towers spoke of them as if they were still alive-- so horrid was the consideration of anything else. Moira, towards the end, found purpose in helping him perpetuate this belief and found the purpose she was looking for in doing this. Here, though, Captain Towers deals with it a bit more realistically. The choice the filmmakers made here was the weaker choice, in my opinion.

They did make some good choices, too, though- a lot of them. In this film, we see the cast members getting sick (with the notable exception of Assante's and Ward's characters-- they still look like movie stars). And, it works here. It's not so we get disgusted. It works on a human level-- not as a special effects "gross out". We are supposed to be appalled at what radiation can do and we are. Additionally, we see more city scenes-- how the city is changing over the last few months-- we see a quite civilized society change as the end nears. This definitely makes what's happening more believable.

Some people may take issue with the major ending change for Captain Towers and Moira. I do, too, I guess. But, I do think this ending is more believable than the book's ending and is a teeny bit of brightness in an otherwise totally horrific situation.

I wound up watching both this movie and the original within the same two weeks. Honestly, this film was better with the exception of Armand Assante's performance (which was good, but not of Peck's caliber.). Both are worth seeing. If you can take two stories about Armageddon, order both these films.
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on May 4, 2015
As I mentioned in my comments on the "Bedford Incident" this Australian production of On The Beach stands equal to if not greater than the American version starring Gregory Pect, Ava Gardner and Fred Astaire.done in the early 60"s. While Armand Assante as Dwight Towers, the captain does a very competent job, he fails to have the screen presence of Peck. Rachael Ward and Bryan Brown are excellent as Moiria and Dr. Julian Osbourne, the real treat is watching Grant Bowler and Jackie McKenzie in action as LT. Peter Holmes and wife Mary.. The script has been updated and allows for excellent plot and Character evolution to the very end. This version is much more realistic and i not referring to special effects which are kept to a minimum and used to service plot and character development. Again, I would like to thank Amazon for their excellent time service. Regards, John E. Willis
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on March 30, 2017
Great remake of the original film. Acting was great-great shots and it held your interest just like the original with Gregory Peck. I recomend this film-I watch it at least two times a year along with the original. Get it if you can--you will not be disappointed.
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on July 1, 2017
As a former USN sailor, I really enjoyed this version of Shute's book. It has other charms than the original 1950's film version, but anyone interested in thinking about the future of humanity in a world filled with nuclear weapons (and a proxy for another threat to humanity - a changing climate) will probably find this film/video worth a watch.
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on August 17, 2017
This is a remake of the original. As with the original it is very well done and updated for today. This is a must see movie. You won't be displeased.
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on August 30, 2017
Better than the first movie made of Shute's heartwarming novel.
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on December 21, 2007
I saw this movie about Nuclear Holocaust on TV and being a sucker for any mini-series I watched. I have to admit that this movie made in Australia, cast my favorite actors from the 80's in the title roles: Armand Assante, Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward. Updated from the 60's version with Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck; it deals realistically with the Australian survivors who watch as the inevitable radiation and nuclear winter from war between the US and China slowly creeps painfully towards them.
Armand Assante is the captain of a stranded US nuclear submarine, the last surviving Americans, and is a man determined to keep his crew's sanity for as long as possible while privately struggling and grieving the loss of his own family. Assante achieves the right amount of passion and restraint in this role. The the first segment begins as the sub and crew who have made it to Australia to wait out the last days, accept the order to sail to Alaska, investigating a satellite signal that theoretically offers the chance that survivability for a few might be possible in the northern hemisphere. The sub's crew and their stories remind us that wars are fought by the brave young, who must act mature beyond their years, held together by duty as well as the love of their commander and friends. Assante's character is at first attracted but guarded to Rachel Ward's flailing character. Keeping her from spiraling into madness, he lets go of his past and guides them both into a calm space to spend their moments together in the present; relinquish their future, and allow her to bravely face death. Bryan Brown plays a rake-ish, practical, brilliant scientist and former lover of Ward's, who stubbornly and accurately predicts the demise of what's left of mankind. Reviled by the optimists in the Australian military, Brown gives a brillant, right on performance in oposition to Assante's stiff commander/ suitor for Ward. He's an actor we don't see enough unfortunately. The roles of the young Australian officer sent with the sub to investigate (played in the original movie by Anthony Perkins) with his young wife and daughter, commiting family suicide to stave off a slow death by radiation, was so gut wrenching I had a hard time watching it again when I bought the video.
As the sub returns home carrying the news that human civilization is over, we see the panic and torture of a slow death by nuclear penalty. The reality of the final segment, beyond any obvious conclusions, might be that death by quick obliteration could be a better end than the choice left to those who escape it.
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Wanted to see this remake, it was a disappointment. The original IMHO was so much better. This remakes story line got so convoluted mid-way through I almost turned it off.
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on November 25, 2017
arrived safe n sound
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