With Staff Picks, we would like to offer recommendations from our staff to you. These picks will be from a variety of reading, listening or viewing tastes. You might find stuff you've checked out before, or you might be intrigued enough to find a new favorite.

On the Beach [DVD]

We tend to think of post-apocalyptic movies as being a recent genre anticipating 'the end' in various scenarios. Our movie pick this week dispels that notion in a dramatic way. On the Beach is a 1959 movie starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and a young Anthony Perkins. The movie is about a post-nuclear environment where only the residents of Australia and 1 American nuclear submarine have survived a nuclear war.

This movie could be considered part of the Film Noir genre that we pointed out before in the discussion of the Best of Film Noir: volume 1 and volume 2. That genre of films tends to have morbid themes and to include the darker areas of life. This film is no different as people prepare for the 'end of the world' on a beach in Australia.

The U.S. government objected to the filming in Australia because they didn't like the suggestion that America had enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world. There are several themes of conflict brought out in this movie that maintain interest in the plot. This movie also has one of the best versions of "Walking Matilda" that has ever been recorded.

Note: The film version of On the Beach was an adaption of a novel by Australian author Nevil Shute.

If On the Beach interests you, feel free to request and check it out. We'll be back next Wednesday with a different Staff Pick.