Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Day The Earth Caught Fire

By Steve Stones

This intelligent 1961 British sci-fi thriller focuses mostly on the breakdown of relationships among people when things go terribly wrong.

A series of nuclear tests in Russia and America has caused the earth to tilt off its axis and draw closer to the sun. The world starts to overheat, causing floods, cyclones and other natural disasters.

Reporter Peter Stenning, played by actor Edward Judd, is caught up in the panic while reporting on the event and trying to maintain his relationship with actress Janet Munro – star of The Crawling Eye.

The film convincingly uses many stock footage shots of mass panic scenes and disaster footage of fires, floods, cyclones and explosions. Actor Michael Caine has a brief cameo as a policeman.

The plot centers mostly in London, which makes it a great double feature with another great early 60s British sci-fi effort – Day of The Triffids from 1963.

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