Cinepro/Pillsbury Films - 90 minutes
DVD UPC # 5050232705582; 013131414691; 4041658221375; 013131585094; 6416548539119; 300000007
Cast: Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, Peter Smith
Writers: Bill Baer, Bruno Lawrence, Sam Pillsbury(based on the novel by Craig Harrison); Photography: James Bartle; Music: John Charles; Production Designer: Josephine Ford; Editor: Michael Horton; Director: Geoff Murphy
A scientist wakes up one morning to discover the world is strangely silent - everyone has disappeared, thanks to a botched atomic experiment that has rendered the fabric of the galaxy unstable. At first he has fun doing anything he wants to but gradually isolation take hold. Then he discovers he is not alone - two more emerge to join him. New Zealand's first, and best, contribution to the sci-fi genre. The 36 minute solo beginning performance by Bruno Lawrence is unequaled in film history. The original soundtrack is certainly one of the best to be found in a New Zealand film. Highly recommended.
Censor rating: M - Review rating: B+
AVAILABILITY OF COPIES
Used PAL VHS have been seen for about 5#. Used NTSC VHS copies can be found via ebay and amazon auctions at $10us.
On June 13, 2006, Anchor Bay released a new R1 NTSC dvd package in widescreen, enhanced for 16x9, that contains dolby digital 2.0 surround and has closed captions. It contains the trailer, an optional audio commentary track by Sam Pillsbury, as well as an eight page booklet containing a lengthy article written by Richard Harland Smith. It is packaged in a "Steelbook" case, with a metal exterior and a plastic interior. As of February, 2011, it is OOP and therefore new copies are selling for about $35us.
An R4 Pal is available in New Zealand, selling for about $25nz, and in Australia for about $25au. It also contains the optional audio commentary track by Sam Pillsbury and the theatrical trailer. An R4 re-issue is scheduled in New Zealand for 23 March 2011, selling for about $15nz, but no info concerning any extras yet.
In July 2011, an R0 Blu-ray version was released in Germany. It sells for $15-22eur. Unfortunately it is 1080i and although the English language 2.0 tracks and 5.1 tracks are fine, both German language 2.0 and 5.1 are full of problems and then there are the video problems. There are German subtitles, but no English subtitles. I would suggest that you read the following review at the German HD Reporter before you purchase.
An R0 PAL bare-bones version is available from UK sources for about 7# or from NZ sources for about $20nz.
"A multilevel picture, the film discusses the ethics of science, and who has the right to own knowledge." - (Geoff Murphy, Onfilm, Wellington 1985)
"The Quiet Earth obviously is deeply felt. It's no accident that these tragic visions of depopulation come from a tiny country that has declared itself a nuclear- free zone. Or that one of the central characters is Maori, a tribe very nearly extinguished by the early white settlers, then earnestly 'saved' and assimilated in this century, at the cost of their tribal culture" - (Sheila Benson, "'Earth,' Star Are Out Of This World", Los Angeles Times, October 18, 1985)