The Night the World Exploded 1957 — A Sci-fi Movie Full Length

The Night the World Exploded 1957 — A Sci-fi Movie Full Length

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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.

Morton and Conway fly to the state capitol and meet with Governor Chaney (Raymond Greenleaf). They try to convince him to evacuate the one million people in the Los Angeles area but are unsuccessful. He does agree to notify the disaster council to be prepared. The scientists return to Los Angeles and inform Hutch that they tried. Conway decides to go down to the basement and check the ground connections on his new device. Morton and Hutch prepare for a long night to monitor the equipment. Hutch informs Dr. Morton that she intends to get married and leave. Morton tells Hutch that Dr. Conway is interested in her romantically, but has been too busy to express his interest. Hutch is tired of waiting.

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2 thoughts on “The Night the World Exploded 1957 — A Sci-fi Movie Full Length

  • April 13, 2020 at 3:55 am

    This was a fun old movie. They needed a sequel that showed what happened afterwards, when all the countries around world started mining element 112 to use in weapons.


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