On the Beach (1959 film)

1959 film by Stanley Kramer

On the Beach is a 1959 American black-and-white post-apocalyptic science fiction drama film from United Artists, produced and directed by Stanley Kramer. The film is based on Nevil Shute's 1957 novel of the same name depicting a nuclear war and its aftermath.


Dwight Towers: Well... how'd you recognise me?
Moira Davidson: I love Americans. They're so naïve.

Moira Davidson: I wouldn't really mind... if you could forget entirely who I am... I don't like myself very much anyway.
Moira Davidson: There isn't time. No time to love... nothing to remember... nothing worth remembering.
Peter Holmes: You remember when we first met? It was on the beach. I thought you were everything I'd always wanted.
Mary Holmes: I thought you were underfed.
Mary Holmes: It's all over now isn't it?
Peter Holmes: Yes. It's all over.
Julian Osborne: The war started when people accepted the idiotic principle that peace could be maintained by arranging to defend themselves with weapons they couldn't possibly use without committing suicide.
Julian Osborne: We're all doomed, you know. The whole, silly, drunken, pathetic lot of us. Doomed by the air we're about to breathe.
(first lines)
Dwight Towers: Prepare to surface.

(Last lines)
Mary Holmes: God... God, forgive us. Peter, I think I'll have that cup of tea now.

Julian Osborne': Who would ever have believed that human beings would be stupid enough to blow themselves off the face of the Earth?

Morgan:They pushed us too far! They didn't think we'd fight, no matter what they did!
Julian Osborne: And they were wrong. We fought. We expunged them. And we didn't do such a bad job on ourselves.

Julian Osborne: There was a choice. It was build the bombs, and use them - or risk the United States, the Soviet Union, and the rest of us, would find some way... to go on living
Morgan: [scoffs] That's wishful thinking if ever I heard it.
Julian Osborne: [softly] I'm not against wishful thinking. Not now.

Julian Osborne: I shouldn't drink, you know. I inevitably say something brilliant.


  • Gregory Peck - Commander Dwight Lionel Towers, USS Sawfish
  • Ava Gardner - Moira Davidson, Towers' Australian love interest
  • Fred Astaire - Julian Osborn, Australian scientist
  • Anthony Perkins - Lieutenant Commander Peter Holmes, Royal Australian Navy
  • Donna Anderson - Mary Holmes, Peter's wife
  • John Tate as Admiral Bridie, Royal Australian Navy
  • Harp McGuire - Lieutenant Sunderstrom (ashore in San Diego)
  • Lola Brooks - Lieutenant Hosgood, Bridie's secretary
  • Ken Wayne - Lieutenant Benson
  • Guy Doleman - Lieutenant Commander Farrel
  • Richard Meikle - Davis
  • John Meillon - Sawfish crewman Ralph Swain (ashore in San Francisco)
  • Joe McCormick - Ackerman, radiation sickness victim
  • Lou Vernon - Bill Davidson, Moira's father
  • Kevin Brennan - Dr. King, radiation diagnosis doctor
  • Keith Eden as Dr. Fletcher (beach scene)
  • Basil Buller-Murphy - Sir Douglas Froude
  • Brian James - Royal Australian Navy officer
  • John Casson - Salvation Army captain
  • Paddy Moran - Stevens (club wine steward)
  • Grant Taylor - Morgan (Holmes party)
  • George Fairfax - (Holmes party guest)
  • Earl Francis - (Holmes party guest)

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