Quiet Earth

The Quiet Earth

Director: Geoff Murphy

Cast: Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, Pete Smith

     
 

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In a tour-de-force sci-fi story with only three main characters, Kiwi director Geoffrey Murphy creates an interesting dynamic nuanced with shades of mysticism. When scientist Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) experiments with a radical new power source -- a band of energy that would circle the planet -- the project goes awry and apparently wipes out all living creatures

Overview

In a tour-de-force sci-fi story with only three main characters, Kiwi director Geoffrey Murphy creates an interesting dynamic nuanced with shades of mysticism. When scientist Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) experiments with a radical new power source -- a band of energy that would circle the planet -- the project goes awry and apparently wipes out all living creatures (they vanish without a trace). At first Zac adjusts by indulging himself in some of his materialistic desires, but he soon starts a serious search for other signs of human life. He discovers it in New Zealand in the form of Joanne (Alison Routledge), with whom he falls in love, and Api (Peter Smith), a Maori. The challenges the three face in order to survive, as well as their personal interactions, keep this human drama engrossing.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
With a premise that invariably recalls the various screen incarnations of Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend, Geoff Murphy's The Quiet Earth (originally released in New Zealand in 1985) also concerns the unraveling routines of a single human living among the suddenly abandoned remains of society, but it follows its doomsday logic to a place more cerebral and chilling than the ever-present menace of night-walking zombies. The title says it all, and that very absence of noise is what makes the planet inherited by government scientist Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence), a gruff pragmatist, so unsettling. As with the hero in the Matheson adaptations, Hobson has ties to the "effect" that seems to have wiped out everyone but him, and the details reveal themselves in a way that's eerie and satisfying, even when relying on relatively flimsy science fiction. He addresses the first hours of his isolation with almost a comic stoicism and unwillingness to panic, as though it were a short-term nuisance needing to be resolved. But as he begins to indulge in his unchecked id -- driving oversized construction equipment into buildings, for example -- it taps into that universal question of how we ourselves would disengage from our learned behaviors in the same setting. And Lawrence carries off this gradual descent with fearless naturalism. Of course, that's just the opening act of what becomes an exercise in precarious social dynamics, made all the more intense by the sparse size of the cast. Blissfully unspoiled by Hollywood over-thinking, The Quiet Earth is a cult treasure for those who prefer intelligence to pyrotechnics in their visions of the apocalypse.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/04/2008
UPC:
0013131585094
Original Release:
1985
Rating:
R
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Surround]
Time:
1:31:00

Special Features

Audio commentary with writer/producer Sam Pillsbury; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bruno Lawrence Zac Hobson
Alison Routledge Joanne
Pete Smith Api
Anzac Wallace Api's Mate
Norman Fletcher Perrin
Tom Hyde Scientist

Technical Credits
Geoff Murphy Director
Bill Baer Screenwriter
James Bartle Cinematographer
John Charles Score Composer
Ken Durey Special Effects
Josephine Ford Production Designer
Margaret Hilliard Production Manager
Michael Horton Editor
Michael Kane Costumes/Costume Designer
Rick Kofoed Art Director
Bruno Lawrence Screenwriter
Paul Leach Camera Operator
Jill Mills Makeup
Sam Pillsbury Producer,Screenwriter
Don Reynolds Producer
Kim Sinclair Set Decoration/Design
Lee Tamahori Asst. Director
Ray Wilson Stunts

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Cult Fiction: The Quiet Earth
1. 6:12 AM (Main Titles) [5:13]
2. Alone [7:50]
3. Project Flashlight [5:37]
4. Beacon [2:26]
5. Moving up in the World [5:41]
6. President [7:11]
7. Human Reunion [3:18]
8. Theory [7:13]
9. Search & Research [3:16]
10. Companionship [4:37]
11. Ambush [6:05]
12. Life After Death [4:59]
13. A Misunderstanding [8:35]
14. Tremor [10:20]
15. The Only Alternative [5:42]
16. End Credits [2:39]

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