Though it's fashionable to dismiss Stanley Kramer's socially conscious movies of the 1950s and '60s, he and his collaborators knew how to slam home a message and his 1959 version of Neville Shute's novel On the Beach
is a perfect example. After a stalemate over the blockading of Taiwan, Red China and the United States engage in nuclear warfare. Once the weapons hit their targets, the inhabitants of the Northern Hemisphere are wiped out. Australia is temporarily spared the awful effects of toxic fallout, but a great poisonous cloud is drifting towards Melbourne. Captain Dwight Towers (Armand Assante) of the submarine USS Charleston and his crew answer a distres...