On the Beach

On the Beach (1959)

Plot summary

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The last few million humans live in the southern hemisphere -- mainly Australia. The northern hemisphere has been almost totally vaporized by nuclear war. What's left is cooking in a lethal dose of radiation, which is drifting inexorably south. We follow the lives of an American nuclear sub commander (his wife and children dead); his Australian girlfriend, Moira; an Australian naval officer with a young wife in denial and with a newborn baby; and a scientist who feels responsible. They live their familiar lives in whatever time is left, vainly hoping to find an escape.

Guy Holladay

Character mistake: In the scenes in San Diego, all the scenes outside the sub are taking place during daylight hours. Immediately after the crewman relays the message about the mysterious telegraph transmission, the scene shifts to the sub. The commander asks what time it is in Melbourne and is told it is 1500 hours (3PM). But if it were that time in Melbourne, it would be 10PM in San Diego, and thus not during daylight hours. (01:33:30 - 01:38:05)

More mistakes in On the Beach

Moira Davidson: I wouldn't really mind... if you could forget entirely who I am... I don't like myself very much anyway.

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Trivia: When Moira and Bill Davidson are strolling in the pasture, they pause to admire a beautiful mare that is posing for them, and Bill offers the horse something to eat from the palm of his hand (sugar cubes or some other treat, presumably, but it's not visible). However, the horse does not react to the treat nor eat anything that Bill offers, because the actor's hand was actually empty. The trained horse was obeying cues from her trainer, off-camera, and only her trainer carried the real treats.

Charles Austin Miller
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