The World, the Flesh and the Devil

The World, the Flesh and the Devil

DVD - 2010
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'Millions Flee from Cities! End of the World!' From a Manhattan skyscraper, Ralph Burton surveys the emptiness announced by that chilling newspaper headline. Nuclear doomsday has come. Ralph is sure he is the last person alive. Then a woman appears and the two form a cautious friendship that's threatened when a third survivor arrives.

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voisjoe1_0
Aug 20, 2015

Produced by Harbel Productions, a company started by Harry Belafonte (because Hollywood refused to produce movies with intelligent African-Americans) - Post nuclear war - Harry Belafonte finds himself alone in New York City. Prior to films like this, Hollywood portrayed Blacks as either absent or an inferior species. In the late fifties, brave filmmakers begin to show Blacks as regular human beings. Perhaps the subjugation of Blacks in Hollywood film started when Southern white racist president Woodrow Wilson showed the 1915 racist film Birth of a Nation at the White House and gave the signal that Whites were superior to Blacks and that Whites really need not treat Blacks as fully human (in films and in life in general, both as Jim Crow in the South, and as de facto segregation in the North). Now in this 1959 film, perhaps, we get the first sign that there could be a romantic attraction between the two races. The film contains a shocking close-up of a black male hand perhaps romantically clasping a white female hand. This may be a first for Hollywood films. On the other hand, the ending of the film may be a capitulation that the time was not yet ready for interracial romance. A newly announced 2015 film, entitled “Z for Zachariah”, seems to be similar to this old 1959 film.

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