Crack in the World (1965)


Yes, let’s put this to bed right away. The scientific premise is flawed. We now know that the crust of the Earth is not a solid shell, but riddled through with many cracks. Not only are these not harmful, they are an essential component and feature of a geologically active world. It is how the Earth renews itself, builds land, and promotes life. There is little mankind can do in the way of “cracking” the Earth that the Earth has not done itself, many times over, in much greater magnitude. But, that said, this is still a fun movie.

The pace of action and buildup to the spectacular climax is first-rate. I found myself just waiting for the next disaster to make itself manifest, be it an earthquake, volcano, tsunami, or all three. The underlying message is still sound: mankind should use caution in tinkering with the forces of nature. A time-worn premise, to be sure, but no less valid today. We as a species are young and have much to learn, by being aware of the hidden forces of nature and the unintended consequences of good-intentioned tinkering.

The cast is quite good. Sci-fi stalwart Dana Andrews is the featured player, of course, but the other actors do some good work. For it’s time, the special effects are well-done. Like any well-paced disaster film, as the action races to a climax, we find ourselves pulling for the “good” guys against, hey, wait a minute, there are no “bad guys”, just the unleashed forces of nature, knowing no good or evil, just following their natural course. It’s a fun twist and makes you think.

Overall, it’s hard not to recommend “Crack in the World” for a fun couple of hours’ escapism and entertainment. Just suspend the disbelief a bit and go along for the ride.

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