Search This Blog

Monday, September 30, 2013

The World, The Flesh And The Devil (1959)

A Pennsylvanian miner (Harry Belafonte), who is black, is trapped underground for over a week due to a cave in. When he finally manages to break free and escape, he finds a completely deserted city. Old newspaper headlines announce the cause ..... a nuclear war! He heads to New York City, which is also deserted, where he nearly goes crazy out of loneliness. Then he discovers a girl (Inger Stevens), who is white, and they bond but their obvious attraction to each other is hampered by the unspoken racial tension (this is 1959). But when a third survivor (Mel Ferrer) enters the picture, it can no longer be ignored. Based on the novel THE PURPLE CLOUD by M.P. Shiel, the well intentioned film feels like a padded out TWILIGHT ZONE episode. Despite being shot in CinemaScope, the B&W film has that flat TV look about it. Belafonte is noble, Stevens is neurotic and Ferrer is dastardly and their characterizations don't (or aren't allowed to) go much further. The film's ambiguous ending is unsatisfying, we're not sure if it's signifying a "we are all brothers under the skin" ending or a "menage a trois ending. Directed by Ranald MacDougall (QUEEN BEE) with Miklos Rozsa's score whipping up a frenzy.

No comments:

Post a Comment