The Night the World Exploded 1957 — A Sci-fi Movie Trailer
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Super-quake tilts the earth!
Dr. Conway has perfected a machine which he believes will predict earthquakes and has determined that one will strike California within 24 hours. He and his patron, Dr. Morton, attempt to convince the Governor but he cannot bring himself to declare an emergency when there is no proof the machine works – which, within 24 hours, it is proven to do. More significantly, Conway is getting readings that indicate a series of additional, pending quakes around the world, which also begin to occur; and more still seem to be on the way. With his assistant “Hutch”, to whose love for him he seems oblivious, Conway takes his equipment to the deepest point of Carlsbad Caverns, in hopes that being closer to the center of the earth will help discern the cause of the earthquake epidemic. It does, when they inadvertently discover a new element which lies dormant in watery pools deep within the earth but, when in contact with air, becomes violently explosive. Forces unknown appear to be pushing this element surface-ward around the globe, and a computer analysis determines that enough will be exposed to explode the entire world within a little more than 28 days… — Rich Wannen
This Sam Katzman-produced sci-fier was originally released on a double bill with Katzman’s Giant Claw. The plot is motivated by a newly discovered element called E-112, which festers at the Earth’s core. Rising to the surface in the form of liquefied stone, E-112 becomes extremely dangerous when it is mixed with nitrogen. Before long, the entire world is threatened with the explosive power of the volatile element. To save Mankind from being blown to smithereens, seismologist David Conway (William Leslie) tries to neutralize E-112 with a combination of volcanic gases and silver iodide. Despite all the scientific doublespeak, The Night the World Exploded is doggedly nonintellectual in its execution and appeal.
The movie opens with title and credits shown over a mountain peak that explodes, followed by a rockfall. A narrator (Director Fred F. Sears) tells us, “Those who lived to tell the tale remember that the day began with fragile, breathtaking beauty. The temperature was cool, in the low 50s, the air mountain pure even downtown. It was a day unreal enough to serve as a setting for the birth of the world or death of it.”
A man, Dr. Ellis Morton (Tristram Coffin) walks from the parking lot to the University Seismology Laboratory in Southern California. He is met inside by Laura ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (Kathryn Grant). They enter the lab/office of Dr. David Conway (William Leslie); He is on the telephone. Conway has completed his Pressure Photometer, a device for measuring pressure in the earth. Just in time, it would seem. The device is reporting an increase in pressure associated with the prediction of an earthquake. Some malfunction is suspected, but all components have been checked. Conway notes, “There’s an earthquake brewing, Ellis, and a big one.” The earthquake will be close and within twenty-four hours.
The scientific team of Dr. David Conway (William Leslie), Dr. Ellis Morton (Tristram Coffin), and Laura Hutchinson (Kathryn Grant) has built a machine that can predict earthquakes. After predicting one will hit California within the next 24 hours to a uniformly skeptical Gov. Cheney (Raymond Greenleaf) and state-level political and civil defense officials, the earthquake does materialize and does immense damage to the northern parts of the state. Now with the support and funding necessary from the reformed skeptics, the team works on further predictions and comes to the conclusion that a wave of earthquakes is pending in and around the southwestern United States. They trace the epicenter of the pending disaster to an area beneath the Carlsbad Caverns and descend to a hitherto unexplored level.
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