This has got to be one of the five best releases of the entire year!. I had waited since 1974 when I first read about this film to finally see it. Well, the 43 year wait was worth it. Sometimes long lost films disappoint, but this one did not.
This 1933 sci-fi gem opens with unexplained droppage in the barometric pressure and strange storms going on everywhere. There is no explanation for what is happening, it just is.
Soon there is a series of earthquakes that wipe out the west coast followed by a bizarre eclipse of the sun. Finally the east coast is wiped out by massive earthquakes and huge floods. Millions die as the world comes to an apparent end.
Sidney Blackmer is a man who survives the ordeal, but looses his wife and children. Gorgeous Peggy Shannon is a champion swimmer who also survives. She happens along two men living in a shack. They take her in, but their intentions are far from kind. She escapes and swims away.
Martin Webster (Blackmer) finds her and the two become very close and depend on each other for survival. Trouble soon surfaces as a group of men try to steal Webster's supplies and take Shannon's character of Claire along with them. the two are rescued by another group of survivors who are slowly trying to rebuild what is left of civilization.
It is this small encampment that Webster finds his wife and children and Claire realizes she is loosing Webster back to his wife. The film has one of the most downbeat endings I have seen this side of film noir.
This is a truly great little film and it has a lot going for it. The two leads are perfect together and the special effects for the time are magnificent. Felix Feist directed this gem and he does an excellent job.
There are a lot of not so subtle hints at women being used only for sexual needs by the men and Peggy Shannon is always the target for the thugs, of course.
This film was thought lost for many decades until a print was finally unearthed in France in 1988. The English track has been restored and Kino has done a wonderful job bringing this long lost classic back for people to see.
If you get a chance to see this film...DO IT!!! I can safely say you will not be disappointed. It's what I would call a procurer to such films as "Panic In Year Zero" and many others like it in the years to come.
Peggy Shannon is a very, very beautiful woman and it is sad to know she died a mere 8 years after this film was made at the age of 34.
A great Blu-ray release that looks fantastic for it's age and one I can HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!