The Day the Earth Caught Fire

Film , Science fiction
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(5 user reviews)
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Thoroughly old-fashioned disaster film about a Daily Express reporter who learns that the earth has been tilted off its axis by the impact of two simultaneous H-bomb tests. Its 'authentic' newspaper setting looks quaint now, but there's some effective atmospheric build-up to the big one as London swelters in fog and heat. Perhaps inevitably, given the period and the film's medium budget, the ending is a cop-out.

Release details

Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Val Guest
Screenwriter: Wolf Mankowitz, Val Guest
Cast: Edward Judd
Janet Munro
Leo McKern
Michael Goodliffe
Bernard Braden
Reginald Beckwith
Arthur Christiansen
Michael Caine

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Gerard F.Howkins

THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE. Truly a forgotten masterpiece of British Sci-fi film making. Instead of the usual, boring, big budget films of the same type, where apart from CGI techniques, the acting is indescribably awful, and strewn with cliche ridden dialogue, this film has snappy journalistic dialogue, great acting, and an ambigous ending. There is no cop out or cosy denoument, as is usual in other films of the genre, and the disaster is viewed through the eyes of journalists, more interested in getting their deadlines out, than the usual cardboard cut out figures. Stand outs in the film are Leo McKern, with close seconds coming from Edward Judd & Janet Munroe. If you want to be enteratained, and see a really outstanding film then forget what some critics say about it and watch it. You won't be disappointed. Gerard F. Howkins

Gerard F.Howkins

THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE. Truly a forgotten masterpiece of British Sci-fi film making. Instead of the usual, boring, big budget films of the same type, where apart from CGI techniques, the acting is indescribably awful, and strewn with cliche ridden dialogue, this film has snappy journalistic dialogue, great acting, and an ambigous ending. There is no cop out or cosy denoument, as is usual in other films of the genre, and the disaster is viewed through the eyes of journalists, more interested in getting their deadlines out, than the usual cardboard cut out figures. Stand outs in the film are Leo McKern, with close seconds coming from Edward Judd & Janet Munroe. If you want to be enteratained, and see a really outstanding film then forget what some critics say about it and watch it. You won't be disappointed. Gerard F. Howkins

Jordan Erdos

The ending of this film is not a cop out, but rather a logical conclusion to the newspaper-based storyline in which journalists must adhere to their responsibilities to inform the public no matter what is happening with the Earth. The success of this film lies in its quick-witted dialogue -- a science-fiction His Girl Friday with an ounce less screwball and an extra dose of paranoia.

Jordan Erdos

The ending of this film is not a cop out, but rather a logical conclusion to the newspaper-based storyline in which journalists must adhere to their responsibilities to inform the public no matter what is happening with the Earth. The success of this film lies in its quick-witted dialogue -- a science-fiction His Girl Friday with an ounce less screwball and an extra dose of paranoia.