On the Beach


In 1964, atomic war wipes out humanity in the northern hemisphere; one American submarine finds temporary safe haven in Australia, where life-as-usual covers growing despair. In denial about the loss of his wife and children in the holocaust, American Captain Towers meets careworn but gorgeous Moira Davidson, who begins to fall for him. The sub returns after reconnaissance a month (or less) before the end; will Towers and Moira find comfort with each other?

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  1. John Paxton


  2. Nevil Shute


  3. Stanley Kramer


Top Billed Cast

  1. Gregory Peck

    Gregory Peck

    Dwight Towers

  2. Ava Gardner

    Ava Gardner

    Moira Davidson

  3. Fred Astaire

    Fred Astaire

    Julian Osborn

  4. Anthony Perkins

    Anthony Perkins

    Lt. Peter Holmes

  5. DA

    Donna Anderson

    Mary Holmes

  6. John Tate

    John Tate

    Adm. Bridie

Full Cast & Crew

Movie Data


Status Released

Original Language English

Runtime 2h 14m

Budget -

Revenue -

Homepage -

Release Information

  • December 17, 1959



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Featured Review

A review by John Chard

By John Chard

Like watching paint dry.

Stanley Kramer and John Paxton adapt from Nevil Shute's novel. Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins and Donna Anderson star, with music by Ernest Gold and cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno.

After a global nuclear war, the inhabitants of Australia realise that the radiation clouds are heading their way. A group of people try to come to terms with this fact.

A well regarded film by the critics, and lauded by the makers at the time as an important and potent piece of cinema, On the Beach is still a film that's not for everyone.

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