Film makers seem to love destroying things; whether out of a sense of misplaced professional frustration (After all, it is the director who is the God-like authority on the set, are they not?) or the thought that since they are creating a world, they are entitled to play malevolent God and destroy it, directors have often taken any opportunity to wreak havoc upon not only Mankind but the planet itself. And, of course, it’s considered big box office. In the fevered imagination of the studios, catastrophe sells. Since the popular advent of American science fiction films in the 1950′s, an inglorious imagination has been at work to bring civilization to it’s mortal knees; and perhaps not coincidentally, the frequency of the science fiction doomsday scenario reached the screen at the same times as the rise in Biblical epics. In any case, it seems Hollywood was determined to threaten visitation of the wrath of the heavens upon a viewing populace, whether through ecclesiastical or scientific means.
“Crack in the World” continues with the typical Hollywood formula of God-playing scientists who bring the world to the brink of destruction and then are turned to to solve the destructive force they’ve worked diligently to wreak on civilization In this case, the central culprit is a Dr. Stephen Sorenson, played by Dana Andrews who spends the entire film is an unconscionable state of increasingly depressive torpor, hardly the most compelling characteristic for a lead character. Which is fortunate, that in this film there is an equally central role, Dr. Ted Rampion, played by Kieron Moore, as a subordinate geological expert who raises the sole objection, but more importantly fits the physical role of the humorless square jawed hero straight from the pages of a comic book, and just as animated.
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