6.9/10
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45 user 23 critic

The World, The Flesh and The Devil (1959)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi | 1 May 1959 (USA)
A miner trapped in a cave-in resurfaces, and upon discovering mankind has been wiped out in a nuclear holocaust, sets out to find other survivors.

Director:

Ranald MacDougall

Writers:

M.P. Shiel (novel) (as Matthew Phipps Shiel), Ferdinand Reyher (story "End of the World") | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,004 ( 15,578)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Harry Belafonte ... Ralph Burton
Inger Stevens ... Sarah Crandall
Mel Ferrer ... Benson Thacker
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Storyline

Ralph Burton is a miner who is trapped for several days as a result of a cave-in. When he finally manages to dig himself out, he realizes that all of mankind seems to have been destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. He travels to New York City only to find it deserted. Making a life for himself there, he is flabbergasted to eventually find Sarah Crandall, who also managed to survive. Together, they form a close friendship until the arrival of Benson Thacker who has managed to pilot his small boat into the city's harbor. At this point the tensions rise between the three, particularly between Thacker, who is white and Burton, who is black. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Which One Gets The Last Girl On Earth? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

1 May 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The End of the World See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,659,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The montage of the lion statues when Ralph rings the bell at St. Patrick's Cathedral is an homage to the stone lion montage in Battleship Potemkin (1925) and is also parodied in Woody Allen's Sleeper (1973). See more »

Goofs

While Ralph walks around singing and playing the guitar, the whistle on the electric train is sounding without Ralph activating the whistle button on the transformer. See more »

Quotes

Benson Thacker: I have nothing against negroes, Ralph.
Ralph Burton: That's white of you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the films final credits cuts-in, the film states "The Beginning" rather than "The End". See more »

Connections

Referenced in I Am Legend (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

I Don't Like It Here
(uncredited)
Written by Harry Belafonte and Ranald MacDougall
Sung by Harry Belafonte
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Belafonte on Ferrer's possible racial bias: No, the only thing he has against me is that I'm younger than he is. I can understand that.
27 December 2006 | by brujay-1See all my reviews

In the '50s the nuclear holocaust was never far from the popular imagination. This picture is one of many fictional efforts to show what might have happened.

By being trapped in a Pennsylvania mine, Belafonte is one of the very few people on earth (as far as we know from the film, only three) to escape annihilation. He manages to get out of the mine on his own (the first of many plot contrivances), goes to New York City and finds it depopulated, except for Inger Stevens, who eventually comes out of hiding. It's mostly a picture about loneliness. As much as we may resent the jostling masses in our midst, what if they were gone?

Actually, it spurs a fantasy, too. Imagine that you had the pickings of all of New York to yourself, and imagine that you were a handyman who could rig up generators and the like, and imagine that you found a comely woman to keep you company. Could be worse.

But we are asked to ignore too much in the picture, the fact that only one person in all of the city survived, the fact that not a single rotting body is shown on the streets, the fact that the shortwave transmissions Belafonte regularly monitors show that the rest of the world is empty, too (except, eventually, for Mel Ferrer, who was sailing during the nuclear blasts)-- all a bit too much. The film tries too hard to be an allegory when it should have been good, logical science fantasy.

Nevertheless, TWTF&TD is well worth a watch.


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