Search - Five on DVD

Actors: William Phipps, Susan Douglas Rubes, James Anderson, Charles Lampkin, Earl Lee
Director: Arch Oboler
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies
UR     2009     1hr 33min

Intriguing, offbeat film by famed radio writer-director Arch Oboler about the survivors of a nuclear holocaust. Five stars William Phipps, Susan Douglas and Charles Lampkin, and is probably the first film to deal with a po...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: William Phipps, Susan Douglas Rubes, James Anderson, Charles Lampkin, Earl Lee
Director: Arch Oboler
Creators: Louis Clyde Stoumen, Sid Lubow, Arch Oboler, Arthur Swerdloff, Ed Spiegel, John Hoffman, James Weldon Johnson
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/03/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 33min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

First post nuke film
D. Lockin | Los Angeles | 02/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

The official review about this film is correct it is the first post nuke film that i know of. I do not have this copy of the movie but I do have a bad copy made from an old film.

The movie is exactly how I remember it from the first time I say it on TV over 30 years ago maybe close to 40 years. It is about a group of 5 people who gather in Arch Oboler's house (yes it was filmed in his Frank Loyld Wright house).

This movie will disappoint all of the five year old's out there because it is a slow moving introspective picture about the 5 who try and to some degree fail to live together in this house. The movie was made at a time when action was not the only prerequisite for a movie. There are no explosions and no real scenes of mass destruction and of course it is in black and white, so there is another reason for the 5 year old's to not like it. There are 4 men and one pregnant woman at the beginning and at the end it is more of and Adam and Eve beginning."
The first post-nuclear film
Robert C. Cumbow | Seattle, WA USA | 03/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD transfer looks worlds better than previous VHS versions, but is still marred by problems that go back to the condition of the master print. But it's an excellent reminder that Arch Oboler was ahead of the pack in so many respects. Here he is, creating the first film about the survivors of a world-devastating nuclear exchange, establishing the language and tone--and setting the bar--for many films that followed. For all its apparent simplicity, FIVE contains complex characterizations and uncompromising moments of confrontation and narrative development, as well as some unforgettable images."
The original nuclear holocaust movie
Bus Converter | California | 03/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Five, filmed in 1951, is the original movie where only a few people are left alive on earth after nations kill poison one another with nuclear isotopes. This is a pretty good transfer to DVD. Actually, it's the best copy of the film I've viewed. FIVE is not an exciting movie, but it is a good story. Like the original B&W film "On the Beach" with Gregory Peck.
It covers some racial issues too. If you're into these type of films, you'll like "The World, the Flesh, and the Devil" with Harry Belafonte. Again, some racial issue here. Going more sci-fi, check out "The Last Man on Earth" (Vincent Price), and "The Omega Man" (Charlton Heston". The house used in the movie is a famous hilltop building by Frank Lyoyd Wright."
FIVE: People & Society Never Change
Martin Asiner | Jersey City, NJ | 03/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"FIVE belongs to that rare class of science fiction film that lingers in the memory even decades after a first viewing. Director/producer/writer Arch Oboler tried for something daring in an era that was dominated by threat of nuclear war. He combined stark black and white images with literally no special effects with five survivors of an atomic armeggedon who faced both the harshness of survival and personal crisis to produce a film that some reviewers have termed simplistic and pretentious. Such negative reactions are, I think, more of a reflection of the desire of most audiences to have slang bang action sequences with Rambo punching out hordes of Commie troops. Here Oboler went with a more low key, more believable approach. When the nuclear dust settles over the world, the lucky few survivors will indeed be fortunate to find each other, and when they do, Oboler suggests that the prejudices and hates of the Old World will not go away.

William Phipps is Michael, who survives only because he happens to be in an elevator in the Empire State building. He meets Roseanna (Susan Douglas), who similarly survives because she was rolled into a lead-lined X-Ray machine. Against all odds, they meet in a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, where they must overcome the emotional baggage that each brings. He with loneliness, she with pregnancy and a desire to find her husband. Michael tries foolishly to kiss her and she repulses him. They work around this and slowly grow attached to each other. And all the while they talk. This talk is the ordinary stuff of life, ordinary only in the extraordinary circumstances of their new life. Far from viewing this torrent of words as pretentious, I saw it as a sincere desire to hold on to the fast evaporating vestiges of the post-war mindset. Soon they meet three other survivors, all of whom believe in the power of words to alter reality. At first these three talk of food. Then they shift to other topics, some of which are ignoble (blunt racism) while others are a disjointed attempt to hold onto the past life even against all logic. The camera work is grim and grainy, and in a film like this, it adds a powerful note of realism. FIVE begins with two, expands into five, then shrinks back to two. The ending is one that Rod Serling may have had in mind a decade later when he presented a TWILIGHT ZONE episode with Charles Bronson and Elizabeth Montgomery in a similarly themed post war Adam and Eve allegory.

FIVE is a brute demolition of the hope that in an emergency people will overcome their cultural and moral divides to reach a living compromise. In Arch Oboler's hands, the reality is unsettlingly different."