movie film review | chris tookey

Day The Earth Caught Fire

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  Day The Earth Caught Fire Review
Tookey's Rating
7 /10
Average Rating
7.33 /10
Edward Judd, Janet Munro , Leo McKern
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Directed by: Val Guest
Written by: Wolf Mankowitz, Val Guest

Released: 1962
Origin: GB
Colour: BW
Length: 99


The possible end of the world, as seen from a London newspaper office.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Tense Science Fiction about the dangers of nuclear testing. The characterisation is thin, the special effects aren’t special, and the message has dated. But, thanks to the fact that it is set largely in the Daily Express's former building in Fleet Street, it is one of the most convincing movies with a newspaper background; Val Guest’s direction makes excellent use of London locations, and even the studio sets look real. Guest is at his best : he keeps the suspense going, and handles the love story between Judd and Munro with intelligence and - for the time - daring. For a British heroine of the 50s, Munro is amazingly sexy. The script is talky, but much of it is good talk; and the characters behave realistically throughout. There’s a delightful supporting performance from Leo McKern as rumpled reporter Maguire. Critics are divided over whether the “open” ending is chilling or a cop-out, but the film received almost unanimously rave reviews on release, since when it has fallen into obscurity.

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