The Day the Earth Caught Fire


Review: At the same time the U.S. and Russia are unwittingly testing atomic bombs. This alters the axis of rotation of the Earth.
Director: Val Guest
Actors: Edward Judd, Janet Munro, Leo McKern, Michael Goodliffe, Renee Asherson, Michael Caine, Austin Trevor
Year: 1961
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Romance
Conclusion: 5/5
On its initial release the censor at the time, John Trevelyan, according to his memoirs, passed the film uncut. The ‘X’ certificate was given due to the subject matter, and occasional tough language, being unsuitable for anyone under the age of 16. Video and DVD releases are now rated PG. Also on the original release prints the beginning and ending footage is colour tinted. According to the director, there were two versions of the film. The original version had a topless scene with Janet Munro, and “one for the Americans” in which she has a strategically placed towel around her neck. This film is very well written, with a lot of humour. Amazing to see London what it was like in the 1960’s, especially around Fleet Street. Incredible performances from the whole of the cast involved. Look out for the earliest performance from Michael Caine! In the early 1990s, the same director was attached to a possible remake, but to be set in New York City, though the plans fell ultimately through which I am grateful for. Re-makes are never a good idea in my opinion. At the end of the film it leaves you to make your own mind up as to what happens. Film critic Mark Kermode tells us to ask the question “is this film fiction or is it fact?” At the Bafta Awards in 1962 this won Best British Screenplay. 


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