Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Main

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Cast / Characters

Dana Andrews as Dr. Stephen Sorenson
Janette Scott as Dr. Maggie Sorenson
Kieron Moore as Dr. Ted Rampion
Alexander Knox as Sir Charles Eggerston
Peter Damon as John Masefield
Jim Gillen as Rand
Gary Lasdun as Markov
Alfred Brown as Dr. Bill Evans
Mike Steen as Steele
Sydna Scott as Angela
John Karlsen as Dr. Reynolds
Todd Martin as Simpson
Ben Tatar as Indian Ambassador


Directed by Andrew Marton

Writing Credits
Jon Manchip White - story, screenplay
Julian Zimet - screenplay

Produced by
Bernard Glasser
Lester A. Sansom
Philip Yordan

Music by Johnny Douglas - conductor

Cinematography by Manuel Berenguer

Film Editing by Derek Parsons
Art Direction by Eugène Lourié
Costume Design by Laure Lourié


Makeup Department
Carmen Martín - makeup artist
Josefa Rubio - hairdresser

Tíbor Reves - production manager
José María Ochoa - assistant director

Assistant production designers
José María Alarcón
Fernando González

Francisco Prósper
- construction coordinator

Sound recordists
Maurice Askew
David Hildyard

Kurt Hernfeld - sound editor
Lionel Strutt - sound re-recording mixer
Eugène Lourié - special effects director
Alex Weldon - special effects
Charles-Henri Assola - model construction
Basilio Cortijo - special effects technician
Francisco Prósper - miniatures
Isabel Ruiz Capillas - script supervisor
Tom Slowdowski - technical director
Haroun Tazieff - documentary footage


The reviews below are excerpts, click on the source link for the complete review.

CoolAssCinema.com: Riveting and thoroughly enjoyable sci fi disaster picture that shares far more in common with the extravagance of George Pal than the chintziness of Irwin Allen.

This sadly obscure TV mainstay from the UK is a perfect matinee popcorn picture that delivers a grandly epic storyline even if the science is more fiction now than fact.

The script and performances are too good to levy too much complaint on scientific accuracy from a film of this vintage. If geophysics aren't your specialty, then it won't matter, anyway, just sit back and enjoy the show.


BlackHoleReviews.Blogspot.com: This movie surely inspired the moment in Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks, when little cute animals emerged from hiding after the Martians were defeated.

This is an entertaining example of sixties ‘apocalypse movies’, following the thrills of When Worlds Collide and Irwin Allen’s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Before the localised catastrophes of the disaster movies of the seventies, B-movie sci-fi aimed high by promising global chaos on a low budget.


Other apocalypses are the more serious The Day the Earth Caught Fire, and of course The Day of the Triffids, which is closely related to this production. Crack in the World manages some excellent special effects, courtesy of Eugene Lourie (director of the similarly colourful Gorgo).

In his autobiography, Lourie describes his effects work, particularly the large-scale models of the project HQ and a flawless hanging miniature used to make the underground laboratory look even more impresive - it bears a striking resemblance to Hugo Drax’s underground mission control in the James Bond movie Moonraker (1979).


DVDDrive-in.com: Don’t let the melodrama fool you (it just makes the characters more vulnerable, especially Andrews’ sympathetic role) and with no rubber-suited monster creeping out from the ocean’s floor or any sign of alien invaders hovering above.

Crack in the World hails as an entertaining “end of the world” yarn, and though the basic premise may be as implausible as they come, the skilful execution keeps things convincing and the climax is a doozy.

The special effects are the real star here, and although we’re talking 45 years after its release, they hold up extremely well, with only some rear projection shots not making the grade.


The miniature models (including the destruction of a missile gantry and the collapse of a bridge supporting a moving locomotive) by Eugène Lourié (the talented cinematic “jack of all trades” who directed The Giant Behemoth, Gorgo and others) are terrific, as is Lourié’s overall production design, which gives the film a lavish Technicolor appearance.

Good support is given by Alexander Knox (who seemed to be the go-to actor when it came to presidents, generals, senators and other persons of authority) and look for lovably creepy British character actor John Karlsen (as a background lab technician) who appeared in countless Italian horror and exploitation films, but is probably best known for his comic turn in She Beast (1966).





Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com





Crack in the World 1965

Project Inner Space, alias Project Intraterrestrial Energy, is a bold attempt to drill directly into the earth's outer core and set up, in effect, a controlled volcano. The United Nations Economic, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has agreed to finance the project, the brainchild of Dr. Stephen Sorensen (Dana Andrews), after he has promised unlimited geothermal energy for an energy-hungry world.


Dr. Sorensen's wife, Maggie (Janette Scott), guides a convoy of senior UNESCO officials, led by Sir Charles Eggerston (Alexander Knox), to the Project site. Sir Charles orders the convoy to stop as it passes the Project's bore hole complex. He has spotted the real reason for his trip: a ballistic missile, minus its warhead, hanging nozzle-up from a crane, directly over the bore hole.


Frostily he demands that Maggie explain the missile; she confidently reminds him that it is not armed, and that he and his fellow Science Councillors are there to decide whether to allow the arming or not. Maggie leads Sir Charles and the others to the main building, built over a two-mile-deep shaft.


There they ride an elevator (called a "lift" here) two miles down to the Central Operations complex: essentially a bunker where the real work of Project Inner Space takes place. There, Sorensen waits for the Council--but also is taking an X-ray treatment to a malignant growth (probably malignant melanoma, though this is never made clear) in his hand.


His doctor, Bill Evans (Alfred Brown), knows that the treatments will not work, but, out of respect for the doctor-patient confidence that is basic to the Oath of Hippocrates, agrees to keep Sorensen's illness, and its severity, secret from everyone. That includes his wife, who is young enough to have been his daughter. (In fact, Maggie was once a student of his; that's how they met.)


Sorensen cordially greets the Council and readily acknowledges a problem that Sir Charles challenged Maggie with on their way down: namely that Sorensen's drilling team has hit a solid wall that is all that separates them from the magma, and that in 17 weeks he hasn't advanced an inch. So now Sorensen wants to blast his way in with a thermonuclear missile (a gift from the United States).


Sir Charles asks why the project's chief geologist, Ted Rampian (Kieron Moore), is not present. Rampian is a dissenting voice: he has warned that using a thermonuclear warhead as a demolition charge will deliver such a shock to the earth that the crust will crack.


Sorensen gives a dismissive demonstration of Rampian's theory, and then delivers the majority opinion: that the detonation will release great heat and merely melt through to the magma. Sir Charles and the rest of the UNESCO Council are satisfied. But Ted Rampian returns, and is outraged to see the missile not only hanging in place, but now equipped with its warhead!


Finding out that the UNESCO Council has already been and gone, without hearing from him, doesn't improve his mood. He angrily resigns from the Project and prepares to take all his notes and charts with him to London to lay his case before Sir Charles directly. Maggie begs him not to go, but she cannot stop him.


As a complication, Ted and Maggie were "an item" before she enrolled in Sorensen's class. Ted is still jealous, and they both know it. Perhaps even Steve knows it. Rampian does get in to see Sir Charles and set forth his case in detail: years of nuclear testing (before the test ban treaty) have created "fissures" in the crust, several of them leading to a major tectonic fault.


A thermonuclear detonation at that depth will crack them open, and if the crack extended along the fault, who knows where it might lead? Sir Charles frantically puts a call through to the Project. But they are too late. Sorensen orders the missile shot to proceed, desperate to achieve success before his funding gets cut and he dies before he can see his work done.


The missile takes a dive, the warhead detonates, and magma shoots up to the surface, exactly as Sorensen said it would. Sorensen, generous in victory, asks Sir Charles to tell Rampian to get himself back to the Project and get back to work! Rampian returns to a Project in a triumphant mood. But then the earthquake reports start to trickle in. Rampian realizes that they are right along the fault, as he feared.


Hastily he organizes a dive in the Indian Ocean, and there photographs what he was afraid to find: a chasm with magma boiling out of it, extending at three knots along the floor of the Indian Ocean. He brings his photographs back to Sorensen, who acknowledges the horrible truth: he has cracked the earth's crust, and might have started something that could destroy the world.


The UNESCO Councillors are outraged, of course, but Sir Charles tells his colleagues, quite reasonably, to let Drs. Sorensen and Rampian work out a way to solve the problem. Rampian returns to the Project and assumes command.




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