Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner on the set of 'On The Beach' (1959)

ACMI presents


Lawrence Johnston | Australia | | M

Lawrence Johnston chronicles the star-studded Melbourne production of Stanley Kramer's film adaptation of the 1957 novel On The Beach.

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

SBS Movies

Lawrence Johnston’s meticulously researched documentary begins with an exploration of 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 travelled 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, a young Anthony Perkins and talented newcomer Donna Anderson.

Not only a compelling primer on Shute's novel and Kramer's film – Johnston's documentary features on camera interviews with Shute's daughter Heather Mayfield, Kramer's widow Karen Kramer and actor Donna Anderson among several 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.

Format: Digital
Language: English
Source: Transmission Films
Courtesy: Transmission Films
Duration: 86 min


31 Dec 2020 – 11 Feb 2021


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86 mins



Mature themes

Cinema 3

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