Dr. Conway has perfected a machine which he believes will predict earthquakes, and has determined that one will strike California within 24 hours. He and his patron, Dr. Morton, attempt to ...
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When a narcotics deal goes sour and a suspect disappears, leaving only his clothes, Tokyo police question his wife and stake out the nightclub where she works. His disappearance stumps the ... See full summary »
Dr. Conway has perfected a machine which he believes will predict earthquakes, and has determined that one will strike California within 24 hours. He and his patron, Dr. Morton, attempt to convince the Governor but he cannot bring himself to declare an emergency when there is no proof the machine works - which, within 24 hours, it is proven to do. More significantly, Conway is getting readings which indicate a series of additional, pending quakes around the world, which also begin to occur; and more still seem to be on the way. With his assistant "Hutch", to whose love for him he seems oblivious, Conway takes his equipment to the deepest point of Carlsbad Caverns, in hopes that being closer to the center of the earth will help discern the cause of the earthquake epidemic. It does, when they inadvertently discover a new element which lies dormant in watery pools deep within the earth but, when in contact with air, becomes violently explosive. Forces unknown appear to be pushing this ...Written by
Rich Wannen <RichWannen@worldnet.att.net>
The Night the World Exploded went into production with shooting locations at the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico; the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California; and the Databton Corporation Building in Pasadena, California. Principal photography took place from November 8 - 12, 1956. See more »
When the "element 112" sample exploded inside the small globe, it was immediately and obviously followed by a blast from explosives buried in the ground under the globe. See more »
Dr. David Conway:
[Laura has frozen with fear, descending the ladder into the cavern]
I'm coming up to help you!
Laura 'Hutch' Hutchinson:
Dr. David Conway:
Wouldn't you know a woman would pull a stunt like this? You're all scientists until there's the slightest bit of danger, then you fold up! Want your mommy and daddy?
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A cutting edge scientist, Dr. David Conway (William Leslie) has developed a machine that he hopes can predict when earthquakes are going to occur. It works quite well, as we shall see, and a series of quakes happen which get progressively worse. Conway and his loyal assistant, Laura "Hutch" Hutchinson (Kathryn Grant), find that the culprit responsible is a previously unknown element with very explosive potential. The race is then on to solve the problem before the title disaster can take place.
One might say that the budget for this modestly entertaining B picture is ultimately too low for its ambitions, but director Fred F. Sears ("Earth vs. the Flying Saucers") succeeds in crafting some tension. Much use is made of what is presumably stock footage, adding to the scope of the action (not to mention the running time, which is very short anyway). The "underground" sets and props aren't exactly convincing, but they don't distract too much from the fun. The fairly neat premise is admittedly somewhat close to that in the Universal production "The Monolith Monsters".
A decent bunch of actors does help matters. Leslie isn't terribly expressive, but he's reasonably likable, and it's very easy to watch the young Ms. Grant, who's incredibly cute. Co- starring are Tristram Coffin as the dedicated Dr. Ellis Morton, Raymond Greenleaf as the governor who learns his lesson after failing to take Conway and Morton seriously, and Paul Savage as the curious and engaging Ranger Kirk.
Passable special effects, and a rather amusing problem solving finale, help this to kill 64 minutes pleasantly.
Six out of 10.
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