The Night the World Exploded 1957

Dr. Conway has perfected a machine which he believes will predict earthquakes, and has determined that one will strike California within 24 hours. He and his patron, Dr. Morton, attempt to convince the Governor but he cannot bring himself to declare an emergency when there is no proof the machine works - which, within 24 hours, it is proven to do. More significantly, Conway is getting readings which indicate a series of additional, pending quakes around the world, which also begin to occur; and more still seem to be on the way. With his assistant "Hutch", to whose love for him he seems oblivious, Conway takes his equipment to the deepest point of Carlsbad Caverns, in hopes that being closer to the center of the earth will help discern the cause of the earthquake epidemic. It does, when they inadvertently discover a new element which lies dormant in watery pools deep within the earth but, when in contact with air, becomes violently explosive. Forces unknown appear to be pushing this element surface-ward around the globe, and a computer analysis determines that enough will be exposed to explode the entire world within a little more than 28 days.

The Cast

Kathryn Grant-Laura Hutchinson
William Leslie-Dr. David Conway
Tristram Coffin-Dr. Ellis Morton
Raymond Greenleaf-Gov. Chaney
Charles Evans-Gen. Bortes
Frank J. Scannell-Sheriff Quinn
Marshall Reed-General's Aide
Fred Coby-Ranger Brown

The Director: Fred F. Sears
The Writers: Jack Natteford, Luci Ward

Certificate : U

Film Trivia

In 1996, 39 years after this movie was made, a real Element 112 was identified by scientists. After several years of controversy surrounding the discovery, Element 112 was finally admitted to the periodic table in 2009 and named copernicum, after Nikolaus Copernicus, the astronomer who first established that the earth orbited the sun instead of the other way around. But the real copernicum is a highly unstable radioactive element (one isotope has a half-life of just four seconds, another has a half-life of 30 seconds) that doesn't behave at all like the fictional "Element 112" in this film.
In 1957, Columbia Pictures theatrically distributed this film on a double bill with The Giant Claw (1957).