DVD Review: The Night The World Exploded (1957).

night world exploded LC4

Directed by Fred F. Sears
Produced by Sam Katzman
Written by Jack Natteford and Luci Ward
Director Of Photography: Benjamin H. Kline, ASC

Cast: Kathryn Grant (Laura Hutchinson), William Leslie (Dr. David Conway), Tristram Coffin (Dr. Ellis Morton), Raymond Greenleaf (Governor Chaney), Charles Evans (General Bortes), Frank J. Scannell (Sheriff Quinn), Marshall Reed (General’s Aide), Fred Coby (Ranger Brown), Paul Savage (Ranger Gold), Terry Frost (Chief Rescue Worker)


Mill Creek Entertainment’s arrangement with Columbia has resulted in some terrific DVD sets, many in the horror/sci-fi neighborhood — and at a great price point. One of the recent ones is the oddly-named, but wonderful, Vintage Sci-fi Six-Movie Collection.

The Night The World Exploded (1957) is some great Sam Katzman sci-fi nonsense (that takes places almost entirely in the daytime). The newly-discovered Element 112 is expanding and exploding in the underground pockets created by drilling, mining and other earth-mangling activities — threatening to knock the earth off its axis or blow the whole thing to bits. It’s up to a team of earthquake-predicting scientists to sort things out before it’s too late.

night world exploded still

One of the advantages of possessing absolutely no scientific knowledge is the pseudo-scientific babble that propels movies like The Night The World Exploded plays well. And there’s a lot of it in this one, delivered by a capable cast. There’s also the assured direction of Fred F. Sears and Benjamin Kline’s great cinematography (with some shooting at the Iverson Ranch). Thanks to Kline, these Katzman pictures look better than they deserve to.

The Night The World Exploded played with another Katzman-Sears picture, The Giant Claw. It’s a decent giant monster movie spoiled by maybe the worst-looking movie monster in cinema history.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 2.33.16 PM

The Night The World Exploded looks terrific in this set from Mill Creek Entertainment. Columbia supplied them with a clean, crisp 1.85 transfer — the other five films in the collection look just as good. I didn’t see any bit rate problems from squeezing six movies onto two discs. Vintage Sci-fi Six-Movie Collection comes recommended.



Filed under 1957, Columbia, DVD/Blu-ray Reviews, Fred F. Sears, Mill Creek, Sam Katzman

4 responses to “DVD Review: The Night The World Exploded (1957).

  1. john k

    No Toby,THE GIANT CLAW is NOT the worst monster in
    movie history,that honor goes to TEENAGERS FROM OUTER
    SPACE which actually makes THE GIANT CLAW look like 2001
    I am very pleased with this set as the only two films that I had
    were the two Toho’s from Sony’s previous Toho set.
    Good to hear that the p.q is OK

    Off topic: is it me,or does the forthcoming MONKEES Blu-Ray
    set seem mega expensive?

    BTW “TEENAGER’S” monster was just the shadow of a lobster!!!
    Even ROBOT MONSTER actually had a guy in a gorilla costume
    with a diving helmet.


    • You’re right, John. Teenagers does have a crappy monster. What bothers me about The Giant Claw is that an otherwise respectable monster movie is completely trashed by the monster.

      I am really impressed by Columbia’s transfers of these films. The contrast level on the B&W ones is right where I like it.


  2. john k

    It’s a pity Sam never got Harryhausen to do
    the giant bird.

    Interestingly, there are rumors afoot that Universal are
    going to up-grade all their second string classic monster hits.
    For fanatics that simply just cannot wait Elephant Films in France
    are in October are giving us Blu Ray editions of SON OF
    I got a couple of the AIRPORT films on Blu Ray from Elephant
    and they are beautiful! No “forced Subtitles” either.
    Yet another European company stealing a march on Universal
    USA and giving us the stuff we all crave.
    I guess I’m gonna start buying these then Universal will
    produce a de-luxe box set at a fraction of the price.
    Being mega impatient can be costly sometimes.


  3. john k

    Further to the above comment Amazon France
    seems to have more up to date information than Elephant’s
    At the moment HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN is listed as DVD
    only (that may change) but GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN has been
    added to the mix. All will be revealed soon I’m sure!


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