The Late Great Planet Earth (1979)

PG | 85 mins | Documentary | 18 January 1979

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HISTORY

Hal Lindsey’s 1970 best-seller, The Late Great Planet Earth, was estimated to have sold twelve million copies by the time a motion picture adaptation was announced in a 22 Nov 1976 Publishers Weekly brief. A 30 Dec 1979 NYT article reported that the book became the number one non-fiction title of the 1970s.
       The picture contains newsreel footage of twentieth century events, including armed conflicts across the globe, nuclear mushroom clouds, U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the founding of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957, the 1967 Six-Day War, military parades in China, Egypt, and Russia, American political leaders, famine in developing countries, genetic engineering, killer bees, Jews and Arabs in the Middle East, natural disasters, and the Dome of the Rock. The documentary also includes interviews with leaders and practitioners of spiritual and occult movements, as well as scientists in various fields.
       The film received unenthusiastic reviews from the majority of critics, and the 14 Feb 1979 Var predicted that the audience would be limited. The 18 Jan 1979 NYT wrote that “the efficacy of the film’s scare tactics is minimized by its applying biblical predictions too generally, and almost cavalierly at times,” while the 13 Feb 1979 HR described the script as “rambling” and the direction as “shapeless.” In contrast, the 27 Mar 1978 Box considered the film a “powerful” and “provocative” adaptation of the ... More Less

Hal Lindsey’s 1970 best-seller, The Late Great Planet Earth, was estimated to have sold twelve million copies by the time a motion picture adaptation was announced in a 22 Nov 1976 Publishers Weekly brief. A 30 Dec 1979 NYT article reported that the book became the number one non-fiction title of the 1970s.
       The picture contains newsreel footage of twentieth century events, including armed conflicts across the globe, nuclear mushroom clouds, U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the founding of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957, the 1967 Six-Day War, military parades in China, Egypt, and Russia, American political leaders, famine in developing countries, genetic engineering, killer bees, Jews and Arabs in the Middle East, natural disasters, and the Dome of the Rock. The documentary also includes interviews with leaders and practitioners of spiritual and occult movements, as well as scientists in various fields.
       The film received unenthusiastic reviews from the majority of critics, and the 14 Feb 1979 Var predicted that the audience would be limited. The 18 Jan 1979 NYT wrote that “the efficacy of the film’s scare tactics is minimized by its applying biblical predictions too generally, and almost cavalierly at times,” while the 13 Feb 1979 HR described the script as “rambling” and the direction as “shapeless.” In contrast, the 27 Mar 1978 Box considered the film a “powerful” and “provocative” adaptation of the book. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Mar 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 1979
p. 3.
New York Times
18 Jan 1979
p. 18.
New York Times
30 Dec 1979
Section BR3, pp. 11-12.
Publishers Weekly
22 Nov 1976.
---
Variety
14 Feb 1979
p. 23.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Robert Amram Films and RCR Productions present
Produced in association with The Petersen Company
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Biblical seq dir
2d unit mgr
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Biblical seq wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Asst cam
FILM EDITORS
Negative cutting
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Cost coord
VISUAL EFFECTS
Opt eff
Titles
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod coord
Casting
Prod asst
Film res
Film res
Selected material
Selected material
Selected material
Selected material
ANIMATION
Globe anim and macro photog
Photo anim
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey, with C. C. Carlson (Grand Rapids, 1970).
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 January 1979
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 18 January 1979
Los Angeles opening: 31 January 1979
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
85
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The correlation between Biblical prophecies and world events demonstrates mankind’s possible path toward extinction. Hebrew prophets, including Jeremiah, Isaiah and Jesus, all accurately foresaw episodes of destruction and rebuilding in Jerusalem’s history. John the Apostle on the island of Patmos, Greece, had apocalyptic visions that he chronicled in the New Testament’s Book of Revelation. It is possible that seventy percent of Biblical prophecies have already been realized, and John’s bleak visions could be imminent. Twentieth century events also show that the Earth is on a course towards destruction. Author Hal Lindsey believes the “pattern,” as predicted in the Bible, begins with the 1948 re-establishment of the Jewish state in Israel, followed by the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and neighboring Arab nations when the Jewish people regained control of Jerusalem’s holy sites. According to Lindsey, a “third condition” of the apocalyptic unfolding, which has not yet occurred, is the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple on Mount Moriah. The oil crisis of the 1970s is an example of the power struggle in the Middle East, which will lead to Jerusalem becoming the center of conflict or “burdensome stone,” as prophesized by prophet Zechariah. Scientists such as Nobel Prize-winner Dr. George Wald believe that mankind will eventually perish, but many citizens trust that human civilization will always exist. As evidence that climate disturbances will precede the end of the world, there has been a current increase in natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes and floods. In 1982, an alignment of the planets may trigger volcanic eruptions and other catastrophes, known ... +


The correlation between Biblical prophecies and world events demonstrates mankind’s possible path toward extinction. Hebrew prophets, including Jeremiah, Isaiah and Jesus, all accurately foresaw episodes of destruction and rebuilding in Jerusalem’s history. John the Apostle on the island of Patmos, Greece, had apocalyptic visions that he chronicled in the New Testament’s Book of Revelation. It is possible that seventy percent of Biblical prophecies have already been realized, and John’s bleak visions could be imminent. Twentieth century events also show that the Earth is on a course towards destruction. Author Hal Lindsey believes the “pattern,” as predicted in the Bible, begins with the 1948 re-establishment of the Jewish state in Israel, followed by the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and neighboring Arab nations when the Jewish people regained control of Jerusalem’s holy sites. According to Lindsey, a “third condition” of the apocalyptic unfolding, which has not yet occurred, is the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple on Mount Moriah. The oil crisis of the 1970s is an example of the power struggle in the Middle East, which will lead to Jerusalem becoming the center of conflict or “burdensome stone,” as prophesized by prophet Zechariah. Scientists such as Nobel Prize-winner Dr. George Wald believe that mankind will eventually perish, but many citizens trust that human civilization will always exist. As evidence that climate disturbances will precede the end of the world, there has been a current increase in natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes and floods. In 1982, an alignment of the planets may trigger volcanic eruptions and other catastrophes, known as the “Jupiter Effect.” There are similarities between the destructive power described by ancient prophets and modern nuclear weapons. Lindsey also reveals that today’s pollution and rise in skin cancer reflect Biblical prophecies about punishing mankind for the depletion of natural resources. Furthermore, killer bees, a result of genetic experiments, illustrate a possible Biblical warning against transgressing natural laws. Witchcraft, astrology, transcendental mediation, and the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, could be realizations of ancient predictions about false prophets. Lindsey forecasts a world dictator, based on the Biblical term, “Antichrist,” who will initially be viewed as mankind’s savior. The Antichrist will gain the public’s sympathy by miraculously recovering from a mortal wound. According to interpretations of the Bible, the period leading to the apocalypse will be marked by four power blocs coinciding: an alliance of Russia and Arab nations, the rise of China as a world power, the Jews returning to Israel, and the formation of a ten-nation empire led by the Antichrist. Lindsey explains that the seven-year countdown to the Armageddon prophecy will begin after the Antichrist signs a treaty with Israel, and a brief peace will be followed by “the final battle of history,” when the four power blocs converge in the Middle East. The prophecy of a “new heaven” and a “new Earth” may be the rebirth of nature. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.