After opening the movie with a relationship as passionate and believeable as the one between Anthony Perkins and Donna Anderson's characters, the extreme lack of chemistry between Peck's stiff captain and Gardner's irritating, overacted Moira was almost unbearable. Restrained and mature sci-fi in places; a real shame it couldn't find better emotional anchors in its stars.
Well adapted, well paced & well acted. Does anyone play stoic better than Gregory Peck? It captures the book's air of futility startingly well. The shot of Swain watching the submarine never fails to choke me up and the last 20-30 minutes are some of the most depressing scenes in cinematic history. "We're all doomed you know. The whole silly, drunken, pathetic lot of us. Doomed by the air we're about to breathe."
I think this is a remarkable film. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it captures the spirit of the book, the idea of the end of the world approaching inexorably and the population having to cope with it in quiet desperation. "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper". Nice performance by Fred Astaire.