Crack in the World (1965) - full transcript

Dr. Stephen Sorenson plans to tap the geothermal energy of the Earth's interior by means of a thermonuclear device detonated deep within the earth. Despite dire warnings by fellow scientist Ted Rampion, Dr. Sorenson proceeds with the experiment after secretly learning that he is terminally ill. This experiment causes a crack to form and grow within the Earth's crust, which threatens to split the Earth in two if it is not stopped in time.

Mr. Charles...

The project entrance is
half a mile further on.

I know, Mrs. Sorenson. I wanted
to stop here to take a better look at that.

That's your drill tower, isn't it?

Yes, it is.

What's that missile doing up there?

I thought we came here
to discuss with your husband

the posibbility of using
an atomic warhead.

Half a missile, Sir Charles.

If you look closely, you'll
see it's not armed.

I'm sure Dr. Sorenson will be able
to explain it to your satisfaction.

Yes, I'm quite sure he will.

This way.

This will take us down
to Center of Operations.

Dr. Sorenson will meet you there.

We prepared a demonstration,
a progress report

and what we have to achieve.

Tell us, Mrs. Sorenson

your husband feels that the project
finally is about to prove itself.

You're a scientist in your own right.

Do you share his confidence?

We all do.

The entire staff is behind him.

How far down is Central Operations?

In about two miles.

It's the deepest natural
shaft in the earth.

That's why we're here.

Since we studied the earth's crust,

it's only natural we should wish
to get as deep as possible.

You haven't made much progress
in the last few weeks, we understand.

No, in recent weeks
we haven't gained much.

As a matter of fact,
in the last 17 weeks

you haven't gained an inch,
isn't that right?

This entire area is pressurized
and air conditioned, of course.

Otherwise the temperature
would be well over 200 degrees.

Now I can see where all that
money went!

These instruments relay
impulses that have picked up

from the various distant
places indicated.

This is professor Gupal,
from India.

He's in charge of all seismographs.

Here, on this TV screen, we can
monitor any part of the project,

also any major network on the globe.

This is John Masefield,
Columbia University, United States.

Mr. Charles!

My husband's second in command.

Would you please inform Dr. Sorenson
the comission has arrived?

Sorry to disturb your reading Stephen,
but we're finished.

Dr. Sorenson, the commissioners are here.

Well, thank you, Angela,
I'll be in in just a minute.

Now, the same time tomorrow, Bill?


Look at your hand!

Maybe you better put something on it.

A soothing ointment?

It ought to cover it up.

You know the commissioners might
be a little squeamish.

You've had a big dose of x-rays.

Just about the limit that you can take.

Alright, I'll lay off a day.

Two days?


Get yourself another doctor.

No, they always say the same thing.

I'm not trying to play Russian roulette,

I've only been married a little
over a year.

You know "September Song"?

"And these few precious
days I'd spend with you."

I think of that song.

Someone once said...

If a man had a chance to
spend his life fishing, making love...

watching things grow
and didn't choose to do it, he was mad.

I made that choice a long time ago.

Alright Stephen, you win.

Better make it early!

Saturday is going to be a busy day!

We're firing the missile on Saturday.

Has the commission approved?

No, not yet.

But it will.

Oh. Reynolds...

You don't want the comissioners to think
we're all mad scientists.

Dr. Sorenson, please
come to Center of Operations.

I am coming.

You all know the purpose
of our target is the magma.

If we can succeed in bringing
this molten mass to the surface,

under controlled conditions, we'll
have all the energy we could use.

All the electricity for
all kinds of industries.

We've drilled down to this point.

The only thing that stands between us
now and success is this thin layer.

Nevertheless, that thin layer has held
us up for 17 weeks.

No drill that exists
will bore through it.

Not the toughest steel
or the hardest diamond.

Conventional explosives are useless.

What do you mean conventional
explosives are useless?

I mean there are other types.

I was thinking of a thermoneuclear device.

The United States' defense department
has made available to us

a missile, capable of delivering a
blast effect of 10 megatons.

Which is enough in our opinion

to break through this last
barrier between us and success.

And you asked us here
to give you permission to fire?


You must be pretty sure of yourself.

We saw the missile
already in positioning.

It was quite a shock.

Then you must have also noticed that
the actual warhead was not in place.

Are you as sure of this project's succes
as you seem to be of our permission?

Isn't there some risk involved?

Yes. Yes, there is, some.

Gentlemen, I'm not going to try to conceal
from you the fact that the project's geologist

Ted Rampion, one of my former students,
does not agree with me.

He has developed a Rampion theory,

which like all theories of course,
has not been proven.

I asked him to address you
here today,

but he had a previous engagement...
with a volcano.

However, his theory is that
the crust has already been cracked

by the numerous underground explosions
set off by the nuclear powers

in their years of testing.

He believes that an atomic blast
at this depth

now runs the risk of
doing this to the earth.

Far-fetched, huh?
We think so, too.

The rest of the staff
and I believe

that an atomic missile
would penetrate the crust more like this.

A missile would burn
its way through the crust.

To obtain limitless energy

has been a dream of
mankind for about thousands of years.

Now, for the first time, we can
obtain it without poisenous waste material

without spoiling our oceans.

We have within our grasp
the limitless clean heat of the inner earth.

And if this pilot plan is successful,
we can transform all the continents

and make a life of plenty
for all mankind for the proceedable future.

The decision, gentlemen,
is up to you.

I hope you don't mind
bunking down here, dear.

After all, I could not
very well put Sir Charles...

That's alright. Anything for the cause.

Here, let me.
- No, I can manage.

The rash is getting worse,
isn't it?

Oh, it will be alright.

Take a vacation, this tension is psychosomatic.

Yeah, I could break some hazards.

Are you worried?

No, it's the commisssion.

They're acting up.

Is Rampion's theory bothering you?

No, it's the budget, the thought of it.

I could blow up
the whole world with their weapon

if I did it cheaply enough.

That reminds me.

I forgot to tell you.

There's a letter for you,
there, on my desk.

From Rampion.

Thank you.

From Tukamoa. Message from
the bottom of a volcano.


Oh, aren't you going to read it?


I thought you were worried about him.

If he can write, he hasn't
fallen in.

That's very logical.

You read it.

Not addressed to me.

Stephen, for the umpteenth time,
Ted Rampion is not my pinup.

He's young, briliant, dances divinely
and plays very good tennis.

But he isn't the one I picked.

I picked you.

You are my husband.

You picked him once.

That was before I took
thermodynamics with you.

And picked an old man with two left feet
and no talents

to speak of physical or otherwise.


this afternoon, when you were
talking to the commission

about changing the face of the
world and the future of humanity,

I made a decision, an important one.


I want a baby, Stephen.

I want something of my
own to worry about.

Humanity can take care
of itself for a while.

Well, there are so many
things to do, Maggie.

It's just little time.

It doesn't take all
that much time.

I mean being parents.

We could take him to work with us
he could play with the slide ruler.

I'm not a young man anymore.

If anything should happen to me
you'd be left...

with a part of you
for the rest of my life.


Hi, Steele.
- Hello, Dr. Rampion.

When did that happen?

They flew the missle down
a few days ago.

You're just in time for the fireworks!

But the commission what about their OK?

The commission's been here and gone.

Didn't you know?

Looks as if I wasn't
suppose to know.

Not until it was all over.

You mean the old man
wanted you out of the way?

What does it look like to you?

To the Center of Operations.
As fast as you can.

You have the figures yet
on residual radioactivity?

We'll have them ready
for you in half an hour.

Half an hour?

Better get Obermeyer to help you.

Maggie can handle it.

We don't cover for favoritism,
especially my wife.

They must have turned them down.

No, he's just nervous because
he hasn't heard from them yet.

Can I help you?

Dr. Sorenson, this cable
just arrived.

It's from Sir Charles.

Hello, Stephen.

Hello, how are you Ted?

I've seen the missile.


You decided to go ahead.

You had to get me out of the way.

You weren't taking any chances.



I just didn't want
the commissioners to become involved

in a long drawn out highly technical
discussion we just don't have the time.

What's the hurry, Stephen?

Can't you wait for another Nobel Prize?

As a scientist, I'd like
to take a year.

Two years.

But as an administrator, I know
that if we don't produce some concrete

results here soon, this project
is going to be closed down!

You're not worried about our job!

Now they care about the idea
our idea.

If this happens, it will be written off
completely from another generation, at least!

You'll save the world or destroy it.

You're mad, Stephen.
You want to play God!

Hello, Ted.


I'm sorry about the delay.

That's all right.
Thank you.

See you later.
- Don't go, Maggie.

There's something I want you to hear.

It's alright, Maggie.

It's all in the family.

What is it?

I'm going to the commission,
over Stephen's head.

I'm going to stop him if I can.

Don't you see? Don't you see?

The insane risk you are taking?

It was a decision that had to be made,
and as head of the project, I made it.

It was a decision you had
absolutely no right to make.

Not without being
one-hundred percent certain.

Oh, I know. The famous Rampion Theory.

But the fact still remains that no other
member of the project will support you.

No other member of the staff
will stand up against you!

Ted, your objections were
raised to the Comission.

Sure, Stephen explained
my point of view... and disposed of it.

You couldn't afford to let me do my own
talking and present my own evidence.

That might have upset your plot.

Yes, it might have.

You're right about that.

You were frank with us, Stephen.

Let's see if you were just
as open with the commission.

You're too late, Ted.

The commission has already
given us the go ahead.

It's not too late.

When do you fire the missile?

The missile will be fired Saturday morning.

Perhaps... I can help you?

Where is the report I turned in
on the documentation.

If you wish to take it to the commission
go right ahead.

This is on my own.

I resigned as of now.

He's so sure.

Do you think if you called a meeting and
opened the question to discussion...

Maybe you should have resigned with him.

Now, if you'll excuse me.

Come in!

You can't leave like this.

It will be difficult for you to get another job.
They'll label you a crackpot.

I can always sell newspapers.
If there are any.

What's wrong with those?

Now they've got holes in them.

I'll fix them.

If the world is going to come to an end...

at least you won't get caught
with holes in your socks.

That's a comforting thought.

Ted, you can't quit Stephen now.

You owe it to him.

Do I?

Well, he's got out on a limb
too many times for you.

The scholarships, the research grants.

And the professorship in Tokeo
so he could be alone with you.

By then, it was over
between you and me anyway.

Only I didn't know it.

It just happemed that way,
nobody planned it.

He plans everything.

He's got a computer mind.

Did he suggest this visit?

I'm here on my own!

I came because he needs you.

He's been working
under a terrible strain.

There is a limit to how
one man can carry.

I can't stay, Maggie.

And I'm not fighting
among personal grounds.

I'm fighting because I'm right.

Of course! You're only doing
what you think you have to do.

You're both such noble scientists.

Attention all personnels.

The missile will be fired in
nine minutes from... now.

Alright, fellas. Take your places.
Nine minutes to go.

Check the P.A. system.

1, 2, 3, 4, testing. 1, 2, 3, 4 testing.
1, 2, 3, 4 testing.

Check the tape.

Eight and a half minutes to go, Jack.

I know what time it is.

I thought you couldn't see
with your gloves on.

Alright, Stephen. That's all.

Alright, Bill, I can manage.

Well, in about eight minutes
we'll have an answer.

Don't you want to wish me luck?

There's something I must tell you,

There's no stopping the disease.

It's out of control.

Is it malignant?


Why didn't you tell me before?

I wasn't sure. Now I am.

I didn't know how you'd take it.

How did you expect me to take it?
Stop the project?

No, I'll go on with my work.

After all, how many men had had the
opportunity to turn the page in history?

Newton, Pasteur, Einstein.

If you can look at it that way.

Good luck, Stephen.

Thank you, Bill.

Positions, everyone.

Six minutes to go.

All channels clear.

Instruments on full automatic.

Six minutes to firing time.
Check your instruments.


Dr. Rampion is here to see you, sir.

Oh, good. ask him to come in.

Come this way.

Hello, Dr. Rampion, how
very nice to see you.

Come in, did you have a smooth flight?

Yes, quite busy, thank you.
Did you get my cable?

Oh, yes, I got your cable.

Gave me quite a turn, I must say.

You shouldn't send cables like that.

You never know who's going to read them.

I'm serious, that missile
must not be fired. You've got to stop it.

The commission's already decided.
I'm afraid it's out of my hands.

Delay it 24 hours.

Give me a chance to prove my case.

Look, these are eco soundings and deep
vibration tests made in the fault area.

Now, compare them with normal soundings.

You see the difference?

What causes the difference?

They're due to flaws, stresses,
tiny fissures in the mantle.

Probably the result of many years of
underground atomic testing.

Another major explosion
and even deeper,

and these tiny
fissures will become cracks.

Suppose the Masato Trench
splits open under the ocean.

A crack a thousand miles long

bringing super heated
magma in contact with the ocean.

Earthquakes, tidal waves, mass
destruction on an apocalyptic scale!

You showed this work to Dr. Sorenson?

Two months ago.

Curious he didn't explain it to us.

Didn't he bring it up?

Oh, yes he did. But he didn't
seem to make it very important.

Put through an urget call to Tanganhica.

I want to speak to Dr. Sorenson.

One minute to zero.

Make a final check of all the points.

Positions four, five, nine, report in.

Five: All clear.

Fuel bombs all clear.

On your way! Nine: All clear.

All clear, sir.

40 seconds to zero.

Circuit One.

Circuit Two.

30 seconds to zero.

Circuit Three.

Outside call for Dr. Sorenson, urgent!

Not now, secure all telephones!

20 seconds to zero.

Circuit Four.

Circuit Five.

Ten seconds.













Yes, I think I can get
through now. Hold on.

It's Sir Charles, from London.

Sorenson speaking.

Hello, Sorenson, can you hear me?

Go ahead, Tanganhica. Go ahead.

Yes, I can hear you quite well.

Sorenson, I want this shot postponed.

We've had second thoughts back here.
We're calling a panel of consultants.

Well, I'm afraid it's too
late for that now, sir.

The missile has been fired.

We hit magma!

You did?

Ask him about the side effects.

Did he notice anything
out of the ordinary?

Any side effects, anything
out of the ordinary?

No, everything went off
according to plan.

As of now, I would say the shot
is an unqualified success.

Well, Sorenson. You know far
more than I do about what this means.

My profoundest congratulations!

Well, thank you, sir.

Thank you very much.

I called a press conference
for tomorrow.

You chaps can prepare
a news release by that time, I suppose.

I think so, I don't see why not.

Of course you know you'll have correspondents
popping in on you like flies.

You just have to
put up with that, I guess.

No trouble at all.

Oh, and by the way. If you see
my friend Rampion,

tell him to get back here.
His work is piling up.

Yes, I will if I see him.

And once again, many congratulations.

He did it.
The old boy did it.

A new era.

You know, somehow, it's harder
to take in when it's real

then when it's pure speculation.

I'm sorry I bothered you, Sir Charles.

Nonsense. You did quite right.

I'm very glad you have mistaken.

- Goodbye.

Ah, there, in the middle
under the magma

is the wall that has crusted
itself over like a cooling volcano.

There's no chance
of it starting up again, is there?

No, that's not likely.

The borehole has provided itself with
a very solid cap, like concrete.

Can we take some pictures now, Dr.Sorenson?

Just a minute.

Can we take some closeups
of the magma, Dr. Sorenson?

Oh, yes, go ahead.

I'm so glad you came back.

Congratulations, Stephen.

I'm glad you're back Ted.
We missed you.

Well, I was wrong.

I suppose it's that stubborn streak in me.

But you know? I still
can't help thinking that...

You are stubborn, aren't you?

No, it wasn't just stubbornness.
I was scared.

Don't think I wasn't scared myself.

But you went ahead anyway.

Making a decision like that,
would scare anyone.

But we had to know.

Well, jow about taking a
peak into the future? Come on.

Niquel, molybdenum, manganese, iron.

And not all are already melted down.

The metals alone would start up
whole new industries.

And all these metals,
they're only a bonus.

The heat we'll use to
generate electricity.

We just have to separate the metals.

That's it, exactly.

There's simething strange
going on up there!

Must be animals moving fast.

A big herd.

Maybe a grass fire.

Maybe smoke.

I don't see any.

What else could scare them?

Let's go find out.

They're running scared.

No fire.

I can't figure it out.

I think I can.

The first turn we hit at 5 am
it lasted 11 seconds.

The second turn we hit about an hour later.
They were both force 9.

Force 9?

Have you located the epicenter yet?

11 degrees east about 320 miles.

The nearest town is Port Victoria.

"Here are the earliest reports
from Port Victoria."

"The earthquake left a
burning ruin of a city

which this morning was a thriving
community of 50,000 people."

"At 5:00 am, local time,
the schocks began."

"Damage to property
was estimated

close to 200 million dollars,

and the number of homeless
was put at 17,000."

"All roads to the
city are destroyed."

"Since dawn, fleets
of helicopters have been flying in

with medical agents
and supplies for the engines."

"The number of victims is not known."

But preliminary estimates give a
figure of 5,000 dead or missing."

"Normal programs will be interrupted to give
later on the spot reports from Port Victoria

as they are received by the station."

"Meanwhile, we go back
to our scheduled program."

You're thinking you were
right all along, aren't you?

I don't think that's the point.

The question is are we responsible?

There have been earthquakes
in that area before.

We have no proof that this
one was caused by our bomb.

Markov, get me the
fact sheet on Port Victoria.

Where is Port Victoria?


That's 250 miles on the
borehole where the missile was fired.

What proof have we that there's
any connection between the two?


Not yet.

"Earthquake tremors recorded
in 1890, 1903, 1920."

"A series of earthquakes in 1934."

"No subsequent activities."

Seems they were all ready for this.

Dr. Sorenson, this just
came in to communications.


Where is Kutamauan?

It's an island east of Porto Vitoria.

Look up Kutamauan.

"Kutamauan has been hit by
a violent tremor and a tidal wave.

Wiped out!

"Loss of life: 7,000."

What is the record of
earthquake activity?

None. No earthquake activity ever.

They're all on the line of
the Masato fault.

I expect the next tremor
along here, near Sheer Water island.

I'm going out there to look at the
ocean floor for signs of any activity.

I'm taking Steele.

Anything you need.


Steele, wire ahead to
get the observation sub ready.

Tell them to check the pressure changes.

We're going deep.

I'll take care of the cameras.


"Sheer Water Island, severe shock."

Take it down deeper.

Over that shoulder ahead.

I hope this thing holds together.

Deeper. There's something
down there. Just follow that disturbance.

5.000 feet.

Outside temperature 200 degrees.

We're getting there.

Haven't you had enough?


Well, I have.

We're going up.

We took this photograph at 5,000 feet.

We took this one at 7,000 feet.

And this one at 9,000 feet.

Direct observation and analysis of
samples being brought to the surface

lead us to the conclusion that a deep
fissure has opened in the ocean floor.

And this final proof.

This photograph taken at the deepest point.

Can I see the negative?

Is it moving?

Along the Masato Trench.

How fast?

At about 3 miles per hour.

Then the Rampion Theory is no
longer a theory, it's a fact.

Which means you were right.
And I was wrong.

Well gentlemen, the
evidence speaks for itself.

I don't know if we can stop
a destruction that's been unleashed,

but we must face the fact

that we have caused a crack
in the earth's crust.

A crack in the world!

Gentlemen... gentlemen...

Let's fall apart, we have
work to do. Please.

We must hear Dr. Rampion
complete his report.

You were saying that the crack
is extending to the east.

Along the Masato Trench.

It's following a geological
flaw in the earth's crust.

Known as the Masato Fault,

that runs from here to
the tip of India.

And veers across Indonesia and terminates
off the Australian Continental Shelf.

How do you know
the crack will stop there?

We don't.

What if the crack keeps going
right around the world?

What happens then?

Where the landmasses split,
the oceans will be sucked in.

And the collosal pressure generated by the steam
will rip the earth apart and destroy it.

You mean... the world
will come to an end?

The world, as we know it, yes.

As a cloud of astral dust will continue
to move within the solar system.

It isn't possible!

It's insane!

You took a calculated risk,
which was more risk than calculation.

Didn't you, as an officer, ever
take a calculated risk?

As an officer, I can.
You, a civilian, cannot.

I always said we should not have left
this in the hands of civilians.


Please, we have work to do.

We're all responsible.
All of us who voted to go ahead.

And all the powers who provoked
the disaster by underground testing.

Dr. Rampion was the only one
who was against it.

The question now is not who is to blame,
but how we can stop the catastrophe.

At present we don't
know any way we can stop it.

First we have to learn and understand
the natural forces involved.

And, if possible, find some way
to control them in the time commited to us.

What is being done, now?

Every university, every scientist,
every thinking military leader, is helping us.

Is there anything that we can do?


Hi, Ted, welcome back.
- Hi.

Hi, Masefield.

Hello there, Ted.

How did London take it?

They all look to us
to come up with something.

How about Numy and Reynolds?
Have they gotten anything?

Reynolds would like to try
his nuclear capsule.

Give me a report on the
latest erruptions.

That's the one we discarted months ago
because the opening wasn't big enough.

I think I can increase it
now to four feet.

How long will it take you
to get down 10 miles?

Two months, with luck.

That's too little or too late.

By then the crack will
be halfway around the world.

No. We have to relieve
the pressure right now.

Another tremendously bigger
scale than a four foot hole.


Oh, yes, Dr. Sorenson.

The spectrographs?
But we sent them in.

Oh, the spectrographs on
the Alamogordo and Bikini?

Yes, yes, we have them here.

Very well, I'll send them right in.

Thank you.

Get all spectrographs on the early atomic
explosions and one on the hydrogen bomb.

How's the pain?

It keeps me from concentrating.

That codeine doesn't seem
to be effective anymore.

I'll give you something stronger.

Take one to start. With a
severe pain, you can take as many as two.

More than that, and you
might not come out of it.

You've been following
the news reports, haven't you, Bill?


How many dead so far?

38,000 more or less.

More or less!

Less than Hiroshima.

Less than the death rate
for lung cancer.

We were trying to help.

Didn't work.
Nobody is infalible.

No, I was in a hurry.

Couldn't bear the thought of
someone else finishing my work.

I told you I was not to be disturbed.

But Doctor, it's Mrs. Sorenson.
She's here.

I can't see her.

Stephen, I must talk to you, please.

You haven't told her?

That's not of kindness.

She has a right.
- I'm not being kind.

I don't want her pity.

Please, Maggie!

Bill, do you mind?

I gave orders.
I was not to be disturbed.

Stephen, please!

What's happening?

Why did you come?

You want to call me a murderer to my face?

I didn't come to call you anything.
I came to see how you are.

You made a mistake, an honest one.
- No, I didn't make any mistake.

What I did, I did deliberately.

I knew there was a risk
and I accepted it.

I was so sure of success!

And you can't face it.
But your judgement was wrong.

Is that why you lock yourself
for three days

and nights, refusing to see
anyone or talk to anyone?

I was working.

Did... Rampion send you?


He's been put in charge
of the project.

You're right, they pretty
well had to fire me, I suppose.

You're lucky, my dear.

You got off the sinking ship in time.

I can't complain that you have
weakness for successful men, can I?

After all, that's the way
I took you away from him.

Oh, Stephen, I loved you!

Not the great man, you.

It's very kind of you, my dear.

Stop hiding. Please, don't shut me out.
Let me stay with you!

I'm not hiding, Maggie.

The fact is... there's nothing
more I want from you.

Stephen, don't!

Also, I'm afraid
there's nothing more I have to give.

I'm sorry...

I thought...

I'm sorry!

Put the spectographs there.

If you are making a comparison,
the Oakridge pictures are here on top.

Welcome back, Ted.

How did you know
what I was looking for?

Just logic.

There can only be one reason
why you're checking all these facts.

To find a common occurence in all of them?
- Or the absence of an occurence.

Here, let me show you
what I'm looking for.

I've assembled a few
of the early atomic explosions.

For study purposes all these shots have been
slowed down 100 times their original speed,

and the action is reversed.

This way, the actual atomic explosion

appears at the end of each
piece of film with a blinding flash.

Now, this flash, later analysed
in a spectrograph,

gives us exact information
about the components of the explosion.

Now look at this.

This is a spectrograph of a
normal atomic explosion.

This is a spectrograph of our own explosion
when the magma came to the surface.

Notice the difference.

Hydrogen in considerable quantities!

But you didn't use a hydrogen bomb!
- Right.

Where did the hydrogen come from?
That is our question.

From the magma. No, from a pocket
below the magma!

Exactly, that was my deduction.

That's why our explosion
was greater than we expected.

That's why it cracked the crust.

Our problem is to harness
the same source of energy to stop it.

With that energy we could blow a hole
big enough to take the pressure off!

Not only take the pressure off, but if we
could find a spot in the path of the crack

with sufficiant hydrogen and set off an
explosion there, we could stop it cold.

Then when the crack gets there, it stops.

Where do you figure on blowing this hole?

A volcanic island on the
Masato Trench: Tukamoa.

It's directly in the path of the crack.

If we can stop Tukamoa errupting
before the crack gets there,

we stand a chance of stopping it.

Yeah, but how do you start up a volcano?

With a nuclear bomb!
- Another bomb?

Now this where you job comes in.

We have to shield the bomb against heat
to avoid premature explosion.

What kind of heat?

Molten lava.

How long does the shield
have to hold up?

While the bomb is sinking
below the lava. About 45 minutes.

25. Thirty tops.

Can you give me 35?

I'll try, but I'd hate
to be the guy holding the stopwatch.

How are you going to place the bomb.

By hand.

You mean somedody's going
down inside a volcano and drop this thing?

It will be a team of volunteers.

You're crazy!

Have you had a better idea?
- Any of you?

This is what we'll do.

How deep are we going, Ted?

Low enough to drop
the bomb directly into the lava.

I knew I shouldn't have
volunteered for this job.

These suits have only been
tested to 1,000 degrees.

Yeah, I know. Now there
are some ledges down there.

The hardest part will be
to get the bomb over them.

Tomorrow I'm taking
this suit to the tailor.

Call observation on Fortune Island.

Tell them to send the helicopter back
and have it standby.

Headquarters, Fortune Island.

Send helicopter and standby here.

Helicopter on its way.

Have you...

Ask him if he has holes in his socks.

Maggie wants to know
if you have hole in your socks.

Tell her my socks are OK.

Somebody darned them.

Once I release the bomb down there,
we are commited.

We have six minutes to get up,
nine minutes to get to the helicopter.

That leaves us 20 minutes
to evacuate everyone to Fortune Island.

Hold it!

Lift the bomb six inches.

OK. Steele, push.

OK, lower away.

Hold it!

Simpson, come down here
and use the cable over the ledge!

Hook me up, I'm going down.


That does it.

Take us down.

Take the bomb up a foot.

Take it up!

Alright, Steele.

Lower away.

Alright, let it go down.
Easy. Steady.



Full stop!

We're at 400, Ted.
You told me to hold it.

Yes, I know.

We gotta go deeper.
There's another ledge to clear.

OK Steele, let's push it.

It's hung up.

I'll go down and free it.

Lower me five feet.

Don't cross over Steele!
Stay along the side!


Oh, my God.

His cable snapped.

Steele is gone.

Ted, Ted. You want to call it off?


I'm taking the safe yield.

Pick me up five feet!



He doesn't answer.

Bring him up fast.

Hold it!

He's out cold.
Pick us up!

Keep it coming.


Keep it going.

Stand-by to swing him free.

Get the bottles off.


Get him to the oxygen, quick!

He's not breathing.

How do you feel?

Medium rare...

Get him back to the island, quick.

Let's get the hell out of here!



Two minutes to go!

All scientists to take their positions.

Have you got all the recorders running?


Protective glasses!

I hope that stops it.

The crack has stopped!

It's all over.

Let Rampion and his team
know that they've succeeded.

Oh, and send a message to
London and take them off the hook, too.

They must have been
in the same kind of sweat we've been.

If that stuff breaks,
I'll take it out of your paycheck!

Well, things are back to
normal again, I see.


Maggie wants to see you.

What's the matter?

I don't know.

Dr. Evans called her on the radio phone.

I don't know what he said,
but it hit her hard.

Ted, it's Stephen...

He's ill.

Very ill.


He kept it a secret from
everyone, even me.

He said it wasn't serious.

Dr. Evans has been giving him x-ray
treatment to keep him working.

It hasn't helped.

It's out of control.

What did the doctor say?

A week.

Maybe less.


Ted. I've got to go to him...


I'll give you a hand.

Indian Ocean!

Where is the epicenter?

Where are the strongest shocks?

They come from the Indian Ocean!

Yes, but where in the Indian Ocean?

Get Rampion on the hotline and get a fix
from Greenwich on the shocks.

Rampion here.

We've had a... force eight earthquake here.

In our zone.

Indian ocean.

When did it happen, before or...
- After that.


the crack...

has not been stopped.

It's changed direction, but
it's still moving.

Did you locate the epicenter?

Yes, it's halfway.

Between Tukamoa and Sheer Water Island.

Then it's turned
doubled back towards the coast.

Yes, It... it's...

Morrison! Morrison!

Sorenson! Stephen!

Sorenson, can you hear me?


Masefield here.

Listen, Rampion.

What happened?



Do you know what he wanted to tell me?


The crack is moving
twice as fast as before.

Alright, Masefield.

Contact London.

Tell them what happened.

Don't hold back on anything.

Yes, sir.

I'm on my way back.

Have all seismograph records and wave
intensity analysis ready when I get there.

Yes, sir.

You had it all?


Let's get back.

Angela, how is he?

Oh, he won't let anyone in.

I stay around just in case.

Look, you better get some rest.

Oh, no, no I couldn't.
I'll stay. Come on.

I am tired, Maggie.

But what if he asks for me?

I'll tell him I sent you to bed.

Thank you, Maggie.

Who is it?

It's me, Maggie.

Did you ... come for the wake?

I'm sorry.

I shouldn't have said that.

Can't we be decent to each other now?

You can. I still haven't learned.

Please Stephen, don't.

Why did you come?

To be kind?


No, I came because I...

I wanted something for myself.

I wanted our being together
to have meant something.

You want me to say I'm sorry?
Is that what you want?

I don't know.


I'm sorry.

I'm sorry I hurt you.

I'm sorry for everything!

Could I fix anything
to say you're sorry?

One little cup!

No, but it matters anyway.

It matters to me.

a little tired.

I think I'll close my eyes.

Do you want me to leave?

Please, stay.

Thank you.

"Political leaders throughout
the world are in agreement."

"In a joint communiqu?,
issued simultaneously in Washington,

Paris, Moscow and London, they say that
if the crack encircles the globe,

it will mean the end of us all."

"But here in Saint Peter's square, Rome,

countless thousands keep vigilant
pray for divine aid."

"From these scenes of devotion,
we move now to New York"

Where are the reports?

You didn't do so well
in your volcano!

Ah, forget it! So we're right
back where we started from.

Take a look at this.

Even New York?

Shut that thing off.

Clear this mess up!
Give them a hand.

How is he?

What's the latest?

I don't understand!
Signals are getting weaker.

I just sent Maggie to check
through the relay connections.

Weaker? Not stronger?

But I thought the crack
was headed in our direction!

Yes, I know, but the signals
are weaker.

Either the shocks are dying down,
or the crack is leaving this area.

All the relay lines are in order.

Dr. Rampion! Dr. Rampion!

Point Albert reports unusual volcanic activity
about seven miles south, on the beach.

How far from here is that?

About 21 miles.

Marlkov, Brandt, get the open
Land Rover with the two-way radio.

Come on, Maggie, we have to measure
speed and direction!

There it is!

Rampion Mobile Unit reporting
seven miles south of Port Albert.

It's changing direction!

Give me sections 31 and 30
on the detailed map.

Temperature rising.

140? F.

Temperature rising
1-4-0 degrees.

It's picking up speed.

All of section 30 has to be
evacuated immediately.

We're moving out!

Evacuate section 30 immediately.

Rampion Mobile Unit moving in land.

It's another crack!

They seem to be converging!

Yes, on the project!

Go give me section 31,
the district below Port Albert.

There's been no activity in that
section. Nothing whatsoever.

There will be in about half an hour.

There are two fissures now.
Or rather, two ends of the same crack.

One of them has changed direction,
and as the other one does,

if they're extended...
Where will they intersect?

At the burrow were it all started.

A circle cut out of the earth's crust?

Yes, and it will break away.

Acting as a safety valve of
immense proportion.

20,000 square miles of the
Earth's surface thrown out into space.

And the effect on the Earth's rotation?

Do you think the Earth can survive?

No one has ever observed
the birth of a moon, Masefield.

They've got to be stopped.
They're headed into the crack!

Stop it! Stop it!
You're heading for the crack!

You're heading for the crack!

Stop it, stop it!
You're heading for the crack!

We have to stop them in the village!

Evacuate section 28!

Evacuate section 28! I repeat:
Evacuate section 28!

Let's get back to the project.

Reynolds, where was Rampion last?

Section 31, south of Windover
about seven miles from here.

Do you think he's been cut off?
- I don't know.

What about the project?

It will have to be evacuated.
It's coming too close.

"Attention all personnel
out all levels."

"Beginning immediately. The project
is to be evacuated."

"Leave all circuit breakers on."

"Disconnect all instruments."

"The different levels will be evacuated
according to their numbers."

We can't get through in this road.
We have to go around the other way!

Mary, Mary! Where are you?

Masefield, where's my husband?

He left with the others.
At least I think he did.

He's down there! I tried to get him to go,
but he wouldn't.

Maggie, where are you going?

He's down there!


- Maggie,what are you doing here?

You've got to get her out of here!

You're coming with us!
- No, I have work to finish!

Once in a billion years a moon is born,
that's what's happening now.

It may destroy the earth.
It may save it.

Whatever happens,
I've got to be here and record it!

We can't leave you, Stephen!

Don't you realize that the
two cracks are going to meet here?

They'll meet at the borehole,
in a vortex outside the circle.

I saw the whole face of
this touch the ground!

Alright! You better
take the microphone records.

I'll get them.

Would you... get my medicine,

It's on my desk.



Ted! Ted! He's locked himself in!

Open the door!

Destroyed the mechanism!

Sorenson! Stephen!


I'll keep recording everything
that happens, as long as I can.

Sorenson, the whole project is going!
Now, open the door and come out with us!

If you survive, you'll find
all my records in the safe.

If everything goes,
it doesn't matter anyway!

Give me your hand!

Hold on!

Please, help me!

Help me please!

Help me!