Dr. Steven Sorenson (Andrews) plans to tap the geothermal energy of the Earth's interior by means of a thermonuclear device detonated deep within the Earth. Despite dire warnings by fellow scientist Ted Rampian (Moore), Dr Sorenson proceeds with the experiment after secretly learning that he is terminally ill. This experiment causes a crack to form and grow within the earth's crust, which threatens to split the earth in two if it is not stopped in time.
NB: It is with great reget that I have to tell you that this movie quality is not great and is best viewed on a smaller screen. This gem is one of the hardest Sci-fi films to find and if anyone has a better copy, please up it!!!
Dana Andrews ... Dr. Stephen Sorenson
Janette Scott ... Dr. Maggie Sorenson
Kieron Moore ... Dr. Ted Rampion
Alexander Knox ... Sir Charles Eggerston
Peter Damon ... John Masefield
Jim Gillen ... Rand
Gary Lasdun ... Markov
Mike Steen ... Steele
Director: Andrew Marton
Runtime: 96 mins
Video: 386 MB, 564 Kbps, 29.970 fps, 352*240 (4:3), MPG4 = MS MPEG4 V1 Standard
Audio : 132 MB, 194 Kbps, 24000 Hz, 2 channels, 0x2 = Microsoft ADPCM, CBR
Interesting story about a dying scientist who plans to tap the geothermal energy beneath the Earth's crust, with dire consequences. Andrews, Scott and Moore, as well as Alexander Knox, all give excellent performances. Special effects are superb and very believable. I remember seeing this on TV when I was a kid, and it scared me to DEATH. Seeing it again as an adult, it is not quite as scary, but is still fast-paced and entertaining. Sadly, it is not available on video to my knowledge. Perhaps someone at Paramount will read this and take the hint.
While the science is now dated, thanks to the discovery of plate tectonics (the Earth's crust is divided into may separate "plates", and therefore already has many "cracks"), the story is still entertaining. The interaction between Dr Sorenson (Andrews), an aging scientist trying for one last victory; his young wife Maggie (Scott), a scientist in her own right; and Dr Rampion (Moore), the project's geologist and an old flame of Maggie's to boot; works very well, even if it is a bit formulaic.
All in all it is a fun movie, and definitely worth the time to see it if you can.
Yes, let's put this to bed right away. The scientific premise is flawed. We now know that the crust of the Earth is not a solid shell, but riddled through with many cracks. Not only are these not harmful, they are an essential component and feature of a geologically active world. It is how the Earth renews itself, builds land, and promotes life. There is little mankind can do in the way of "cracking" the Earth that the Earth has not done itself, many times over, in much greater magnitude. But, that said, this is still a fun movie.
The pace of action and buildup to the spectacular climax is first-rate. I found myself just waiting for the next disaster to make itself manifest, be it an earthquake, volcano, tsunami, or all three. The underlying message is still sound: mankind should use caution in tinkering with the forces of nature. A time-worn premise, to be sure, but no less valid today. We as a species are young and have much to learn, by being aware of the hidden forces of nature and the unintended consequences of good-intentioned tinkering.
The cast is quite good. Sci-fi stalwart Dana Andrews is the featured player, of course, but the other actors do some good work. For it's time, the special effects are well-done. Like any well-paced disaster film, as the action races to a climax, we find ourselves pulling for the "good" guys against, hey, wait a minute, there are no "bad guys", just the unleashed forces of nature, knowing no good or evil, just following their natural course. It's a fun twist and makes you think.
Overall, it's hard not to recommend "Crack in the World" for a fun couple of hours' escapism and entertainment. Just suspend the disbelief a bit and go along for the ride.
Intelligent, suspenseful science-fiction drama which is still worth a look despite modern science/plate tectonics theory having rendered it largely superfluous. Fine acting by Dana Andrews and Alexander Knox elevate the proceedings considerably. Excellent special effects and photography. I saw this on a double bill (it was the 2nd feature) with a Japanese giant monster flick back in the 60's; can't remember the monster (maybe Ghidrah?) but this is the one that sticks in my mind. The denouement is awesome.
This movie was an anachronism when it was made in 1965--It was WAY above the level that audience sophistication demanded in those days. Although science has moved forward since then(plate tectonics,etc.), it does not detract from the essential viability of this film. For a Sci-Fi movie involving the apocalypse, this story hangs together well and requires relatively little "suspension of disbelief." The plot builds suspense very nicely and at an increasingly ominous and break-neck pace. Typical of British films, the script is rather well written, and Andrews, Moore and Scott(the latter two were married in real life), as well as the usual cast of Britishers do a wonderful acting job. Special effects are excellent and include many convincing shots of real volcanic events. The scene in which the fissures converge is awe-inspiring, though the final massive event could benefit from modern CGI effects. The science--I should know--is not all that bad! The musical score is first-rate, and adds greatly to the movie's charm, building suspense beautifully. Fire up the microwave, get the popcorn, settle down and watch this one--IF you can find a copy!!!
* 'Eugene Lourie' had two models of the gantry built. The second was made of balsa wood for the explosion scene. This insured complete destruction of the gantry while avoiding the danger of the set being sprayed by shrapnel.