Nov. 11 was Remembrance Day and in remembering that the Williams Lake Film Club will bring you a special film, On the Beach.
It will be shown on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Gibraltar Room.
On the Beach is one of the first films directed by Stanley Kramer and still considered one of his best.
It is a classic.
It also has many of the classic Hollywood actors of that time, 1959, like Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Anthony Perkins, and Fred Astaire.
And even the subject matter has become a classic.
It is the time of the strange years of the Cold War, around the Cuban Crisis.
The threat of nuclear war was heavy, imminent.
What could happen? What could we expect?
The war happens, but we do not see it.
It is over and nobody won.
All of the people of North America have been killed — or have they?
The crew of the American submarine Sawfish is still alive.
And people in Australia are still alive. The nuclear cloud is approaching Australia, the last shore, and the crew of the Sawfish will try to determine how quickly this deadly cloud is approaching.
It might come much faster than first anticipated.
You keep on thinking, these people know there is no way out.
Someone pushed that button, the nuclear cloud is coming fast … now what? How does everyone face their last months, maybe only weeks or hours?
And that is where the film simply excels.
The underlying, basic desires show up.
Fred Astaire is amazing.
He is a nuclear scientist, full of guilt, but also realizing he really wants to be a race car driver.
There is Gregory Peck, playing the captain of the submarine Sawfish.
His wife and two children were in America when he left on his assignment.
He knows they must be dead, but he cannot think about that.
There is Moira, Ava Gardner, the luscious but scarred unmarried woman.
She yearns for love. Will she find it in these last months, weeks, days, or hours?
With the captain of Sawfish, Gregory Peck?
There is Anthony Perkins, playing a young father with his first child, not even a year old.
The film is totally amazing, playing out these last hours, however many there are left.
We see love, happiness, however, short lived, fulfillment of dreams, desperation, and then finally it happens.
It happens so quietly, it leaves you desperate.
How could something so unfathomable like this happen?
How could we let this happen?
What could we have done to avoid this? Please, dear God, this cannot be, no ….
OK, this is only a film, but it is strong, and it will make you think.
It has a message that will resonate as long as the world has the power to self-desruct at its own fingertips.
Look around you.
Back doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $9 regular, $8 for Williams Lake Film Club members, and $6 for seniors (65+) and students, HS and TRU.