Matinees ACMI Presents


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“A strong and cohesive documentary [that] allows for a wry study of Hollywood down under”

SBS Movies

Lawrence Johnston’s meticulously researched documentary explores the life and work of author Nevil Shute and his best-selling novel On the Beach.

Published in 1957, Shute wrote the novel as a cautionary response to the devastating bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and as a warning of the dangers of nuclear proliferation. Remaining faithful to the novel's Australian setting, producer-director Stanley Kramer and his crew traveled to Melbourne to shoot the film over four months in early 1959 with a marquee cast of actors that included Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and a young Anthony Perkins.

Not only a compelling primer on Shute's novel and Kramer's film - Lawrence's film features on camera interviews with Shute's daughter, Heather Mayfield, and Kramer's widow, Karen Kramer, among other authoritative voices - Fallout also chronicles the frenzied media reception Kramer and his star cast received, offering a fascinating social history of Melbourne at the end of the 1950s.

Director Lawrence Johnston joins us for a special post-film presentation following the 3.30 pm session of Fallout on Saturday 2 February. Please note that there are currently no tickets available for this session, however a standby queue will run on the day.