If the world IS going to come to an end, at least you won’t get caught with holes in your socks. *
Last night as I trolled Amazon Prime looking for something to watch, I happened upon a 1965 sci fi movie starring Dana Andrews, and immediately knew that my search was over. What could be better for weekend viewing than a movie in which dying scientist, Dr. Stephen Sorensen (Dana Andrews), who just wants to find a source of cheap renewable energy for the world (in 1965 no less!), accidentally starts the apocalypse? Meanwhile, his young scientist wife, Dr. Maggie Sorensen (Janette Scott), who really loves her cranky husband, gamely tries to deny her attraction to former boyfriend and fellow scientist, Dr. Ted Rampion (Kieron Moore), the one guy who can see that Dana Andrews’s theories could end life as we know it. After Sorensen sets off a nuclear bomb that creates a crack in the earth’s crust, the three more or less get over their problems to try to save the world. I mean, really, a love triangle involving Ph.D.s AND floods of magma. Who could resist that?
Despite the Mystery-science-theater vibe, it was a thoroughly enjoyable movie. All of the actors took their roles seriously, and, notwithstanding the ridiculous getup depicted above, Dana Andrews gave the type of performance we would expect from the star of Laura. What’s more, I realized partway through that I had seen the movie before. As a child of about 10 I had found it tense and nerve-wracking. Who wouldn’t? No one could figure out where that pesky crack would move next.
The young hero had to lower a nuclear warhead into an active volcano,
climb up a wrecked elevator shaft with his lady love, who would have fallen if he hadn’t saved her,
The special effects were really pretty good. There was even a train full of evacuees that got derailed by a volcanic eruption while crossing a viaduct.
It was nonstop action with a message: science requires restraint and caution, and people who are sick, jealous, or just out to make a name for themselves before they die, should not make decisions that could end the world.
It’s good to rediscover those movies we watched on quiet Sunday afternoons when we were kids. And let’s face it, in many ways they’re more enjoyable than the oversexed, over-violent, characterless movies they make nowadays. If I sound like an old lady, well…it takes one to know one, right? 🙂
Have a great weekend!
*Dr. Maggie Sorensen in A Crack in the World