Ralph Burton (Harry Belafonte of Odds Against Tomorrow) is an engineer working underground when he is trapped for several days. When no one comes to rescue him he manages to make his way to the surface, and discovers that everyone has vanished. Newspapers report that millions fled the cities because of a radioactive dust that flooded the world after an apparent nuclear holocaust. Ralph makes his way to a deserted Manhattan where he moves into a luxurious apartment building, turns on a generator so he can have electricity, and sends out radio messages in the hopes of finding someone else alive. Then he meets Sarah (Inger Stevens), who was in a decompression chamber. As the two grow closer she claims that the difference in their races doesn't matter to her, but Ralph isn't sure he can believe her. Then new arrival, Benson (Mel Ferrer of Born to Be Bad), comes to town, and a melodramatic triangle situation develops.
|Inger Stevens and Mel Ferrer|
|Abandoned cars on bridge -- where did all the people go?|
|Menage a trois? Belafonte, Ferrer, Stevens|
On the Beach was released the same year, and Five, which also included racial tensions in its storyline, came out eight years earlier. Ranald MacDougall also wrote and directed Queen Bee with Joan Crawford.
Verdict: A major missed opportunity but not without points of interest. **1/2.