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So this week’s “Friday Night is Film Night” film review blog is about “The Day the Earth Caught Fire“, recommended to us by a friend.  We had never heard of it prior to the recommendation.

We ordered it from Amazon and got our Blue Ray copy ready for Friday Night is Film Night.  Amazon

Released in 1961 this film is in black and white and rated X – no under 16’s.

The film opens with the central character, Pete Stenning, a journalist with the Daily Express, walking through London, struggling with the heat.  He heads into the Daily Express Offices, which appear abandoned.  He tries to write a story but his typewriter has melted!  He calls the story in through the switchboard, where we meet the other central character – Jennie – and we learn that the world is waiting to hear the result of a bomb drop.  This is an attempt to correct a tilt in the earth’s axis which had been caused by bomb drops only months before.  Quickly the film goes back in time to the point where the journalists are working out that something is wrong and they are trying to get their stories.
There's a proper pea souper in Brighton with no visibility at all

The film moves through scenes in Brighton and London including shots of working newsrooms and printing presses.    Vintage style!

The story develops as does the relationship between Pete and Jennie.  We learn that as well as knocking the axis of the earth the earth is now moving towards the sun, with an estimate of 4 months until the end of mankind.

The decision is taken by all governments that drastic action will be taken to try to check the movement towards the sun.  Four thermonuclear bombs will be detonnated simulataneously to the West of Siberia.

Bits I loved – Michael Caine stands out as a police officer, perhaps it’s his voice!  I love the bee hive water tanks put on all the cars as the water runs out and is rationed.  A bit of Mid Century Furniture spotting is inevitable – some Ercol and G Plan reassuringly present in a classic English film.  And great shots of a London that existed in the 1960’s including switchboards and Fleet Street.

The end of the world genre is not necessarily the happiest one but it is always guaranteed to pique your interest, wondering what if, how would I cope?  Would I be as patient or as polite?  As calm?  As dedicated to my work?

What happens?  I won’t spoil it for you…

Fab film, great recommendation and one I recommend to you.

Let me know if you have seen it or if you do go and watch it.  And do give us your classic film recommendations…

Tonight we shall be watching the Hitchcock Classic, “Rear Window”  to ensure a fix of Grace Kelly cheers us from our apocalyptic gloom…

Love Wish Vintage x