This story is told as an extensive flashback: "It's hard to believe that only 90 days ago..." I like this movie. I like Leo McKern better every time I see him.
It can be viewed at veoh.com, but you have to install their player on your computer. I've done that and had so much trouble with it I will never do it again. trailer:
Moria has a review that says,
The Day the Earth Caught Fire concerns itself with the sweeping climactic changes of an entirely hypothetical (and scientifically rather ludicrous) situation. But whatever the film lacks as science, it more than makes up for with the entirely credible social portrait of the situation – water-riots, images of queues for communal showers, people buying water on the blackmarket just to tend their garden.
Million Monkey Theater likes it:
1961‘s The Day the Earth Caught Fire is an excellent movie.
I strongly suggest that any sci-fi fan find a copy of this one and give it a watch.
Val Guest's The Day the Earth Caught Fire, one of the best science fiction films made anywhere by anybody, turns the world topsy-turvy and gives us a glimpse of what it might be like to have to live through it. If Sci-Fi really is about 'future shock', huge pieces of this film will still resonate for audiences 40 years after it was released to critical acclaim and good boxoffice.
Wolf Mankowitz' crisp, intelligent writing style would be welcome in any genre, and here he constructs an absorbing group of characters with which we immediately identify.
With good production values and Guest's fluid direction bringing out every aspect of the script there isn't a scene that doesn't work, a compliment indeed considering the phenomena the actors must react to.
Because it's about people and not warfare or wholesale slaughter, this is the most thoughtful and persuasive of the doomsday films. It's also not a morbid soap opera
2/24/2009: Edward Judd, who starred in this film, died today. obits: The Independent, TimesOnline, Flickr, The Herald