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The World, The Flesh and the Devil


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First saw it decades ago on the old CBS Late Movie. then classified as a science fiction movie, still is I guess.

Didn't get the meaning of the title until many years later though.

 

pretty clever.

 

The World (Harry Belafonte) The Flesh (the lovely Inger Stevens) and The Devil (Mel Ferrer, the white guy) :D

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Good movie. Still, there are a few things I can't help but pick at..

 

From a plot summary: Ralph later plays tapes at a radio station that an unknown nation had used radioactive isotopes as a weapon, yielding a dust cloud that spread globally and was completely lethal for a five-day period.

 

The clock on the wall at the radio station is stopped cold - the tape recorder plays back fine. So if there is electricity, what stopped the clock? Radioactive isotopes? Also, in the beginning, the radios at the mine offices made not one peep when Ralph tried listening to them - no electricity there or we'd have heard some static at least.

 

Why are there no bodies... anywhere?

 

Then there's Harry Belafonte's auditioning for Star Search - he's gotten 2 or 3 songs into the first 35 minutes.

 

On the plus side, since the poisonous radioactive dust is only lethal for five days (who thought that one up?), the three of them will have all the food in the world to themselves - along with any car and all the gasoline they can drink for the rest of their lives, which appears to be another 50 years or so.

 

Why hasn't J.J.Abrams done a timeline distortional reboot treatment on this?

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Good movie. Still, there are a few things I can't help but pick at..

 

Why are there no bodies... anywhere?

 

 

I just figured this was due to budget constraints. Also maybe to heighten the sense of isolation, in a way. 

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I just figured this was due to budget constraints. Also maybe to heighten the sense of isolation, in a way. 

 

Wait a minute.. I'm not done trying to imagine everyone in New York driving their cars to the Lincoln Tunnel and (whatever) Bridges, parking them, then getting out and running back to an underground hole in the heart of the city. Evidently, everyone made it. Then they died.

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"Why are there no bodies?"

 

The filmmakers didn't have the budget for special effects, is my guess; and to their credit, they didn't try sub-par effects.  A Deserted Manhattan is super spooky--and the Production Code had nothing to complain about, in terms of blood and guts.  One of the fun parts of the film is watching Belafonte try to keep his sanity in an empty New York City. 

 

Edit--Kid Dabb--that nicely gets around the Production Code and any protests they could bring up.

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Why are there no bodies... anywhere?

 

 

I have heard this matter discussed in relation to other science fiction/apocalypse stories/movies. It is only when a gas/plague/radiation causes instant death that bodies will be scattered through the landscape.

 

Those things which cause dying slowly will allow time for people to go to specialized areas either to seek treatment or because of forced evacuation. It is natural for a person to seek shelter when they are ill. It has sadly been a long time since I have watched this movie but I do not recall scenes within hospital or in bedrooms of private homes. I believe that is where vast majority of bodies would be located.

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On this type movie, I have always been amused at how much electricity continued to flow.  Who was working at the power plant?  Who was delivering the coal to the power plant?

In the 1950's and even 60's, generating electricity required a lot of people to keep it going.

In The Omega Man, Charlton Heston had a generator.  Of course, he went to gas stations to get his fuel to run it and the cars he drove around in.  No electricity, no gas either because the pumps are electric.

Also, how come everything was so clean months after everyone died.  In my house, the dust settles in in just a few days.

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I have heard this matter discussed in relation to other science fiction/apocalypse stories/movies. It is only when a gas/plague/radiation causes instant death that bodies will be scattered through the landscape.

 

Those things which cause dying slowly will allow time for people to go to specialized areas either to seek treatment or because of forced evacuation. It is natural for a person to seek shelter when they are ill. It has sadly been a long time since I have watched this movie but I do not recall scenes within hospital or in bedrooms of private homes. I believe that is where vast majority of bodies would be located.

 

Well, I'm drivin' up there and take a look around. There has to be one body.. somewhere.

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I wondered that myself and just assumed they had been vaporized. I mean why else would somebody drive their car halfway up some steps and then abandon it like that?

 

I was reading up on this flick in "Keep Watching the Skies". The production company handed out a question and answer booklet to the press at the time and the question about where the bodies have gone came up. It was explained that it was left up to the audience to decide. Nice cop out.

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