Perhaps some people stumbled upon ‘Crack in the World’ thinking it was a cultural documentary about the prevalence of people freebasing cocaine. Others probably remember ‘Crack in the World’ as a staple of late-night B-movie marathons airing on TV in the seventies and eighties. Regardless of how you fondly discovered ‘Crack in the World,’ the 1964 disaster flick is today’s Throwback Thursday, a column where ScienceFiction.com looks at science fiction of the past and explores if it still resonates today.
‘Crack in the World’ was directed by Andrew Marton who is probably known for his work as a second unit director and is primarily responsible for the chariot race in ‘Ben Hur’. ‘Crack in the World’ stars Dana Andrews, who catapulted to fame in 1940’s, as well as Janette Scott and a pretty dashing Kieron Moore.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t choose to write about ‘Crack in the World’ based solely upon its tagline: “Thank God It’s Only a Motion Picture!” I feel this way about a lot of movies, particularly ‘Baby Geniuses’. A part of me wishes we were all flies on the wall for the pitch meeting for the tagline for this movie. Perhaps we would’ve heard the following ideas:
“This is not real!”
“This is a movie you’re about to see!”
“This film is for people capable of separating fiction from reality!”
What makes the tagline even more flawless (for me, at least) is that the fact that the science behind ‘Crack in the World’ is incredibly, well, flawed. The film’s story is pretty much based upon the premise that the surface of the Earth is like glass. You puncture a section of it and cracks begin to form, resulting in a portion of the planet breaking away altogether creating a new moon.
Now, from my extremely limited understanding of plate tectonics, I’m not sure that’s entirely possible. That being said, I’m not sure it’s entirely possible that we could bring dinosaurs back to life, but, as we all know, logic and facts are not essential ingredients for a compelling science fiction movie.
The acting and dialogue at times feels a little hokey, but, hey, I’m a millenial used to lines such as “There is no spoon.” The end sequence where Maggie (Scott) and Ted (Moore) escape to safety has you on the edge of your seat. Furthermore, the love triangle between Dr. Stephen Sorensen (Andrews), Maggie and Ted is pretty riveting. Under different circumstances, it really is a mystery as to who Maggie is in love with, which is kind of similar to the Kate, Jack and Sawyer love triangle in ‘Lost’.
Above all, ‘Crack in the World’ is a fun late-night B-movie adventure, worthy of a viewing when nothing else seems to be on. Take a look at the preview!