CRACK IN THE WORLD—“Stop! You’re heading for the crack!” A warning too late for a train carrying a slew of extras. See, there are these scientists, and one of them is so dedicated he goes off the deep end (cracks up)–which is not really a novel concept as far as the whole genius/madman issue is concerned, but that’s beside the point.
“Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Don’t let’s fall apart. We have work to do. Please! We must hear Dr. Rampion complete his report. You were saying that the crack is extending to the east.”
Which is…in trying to tap energy from the Earth’s molten core, with a nuclear missile fired down a bore-hole, the smartest P.H.D. miscalculated, resulting in a split in the crust of the planet, one that eventually brings about the loss of 20,000 square miles of Africa being flung into space, surprised warthogs and all.
“Suppose the Macedo Trench splits open under the ocean? A crack a thousand miles long, bringing superheated magma in contact with the ocean: earthquakes, tidal waves, mass destruction on an apocalyptic scale!”
Lots of yakking during the 96 minutes directed by Andrew Marton back in 1965, with decent work from Dana Andrews as the smart/crazy father of the crack. Sci-fi buffs will note another teaming of Kieron Moore and Janette Scott, two of the survivors of The Day Of The Triffids. The nap known as Alexander Knox is also on board. *
The special effects, art direction, color and sound are all good, especially on a modest budget of $863,000; most of this neat stuff comes in the second half of the picture, so demolition-seekers may save time by passing up the initial babble and going straight for the explosions and debris. A suitably portentous music score from John Douglas refrains its Awe Theme enough to raise a chuckle.
*Andrews leading man star had receded, but this was a busy year for him in character parts, pitching in on Battle Of The Bulge, In Harms Way, The Satan Bug, Brainstorm, Town Tamer, Spy In Your Eye and The Loved One.