Where Have All The People Gone A strange series of solar flares proves fatal for inhabitants of the Earth, except for the fortunate few who are somehow immune to the effects. Animals go insane and human beings turn to white powder, leaving behind only empty clothing. A handful of survivors attempt to rebuild their lives on the depopulated Earth
Intelligently-crafted doomsday thriller on a tight budget…
Where Have All The People Gone Thoughtfully considered, well-acted made-for-TV drama stars Peter Graves as a family man on an excavation excursion with his kids in the California mountains who survives a radioactive blast followed by an earthquake; slowly, the family comes to realize the astronomical proportions of the accident when they get back to town and find desolate streets. Writers Lewis John Carlino and Sandor Stern do not trivialize the situation with soap opera; the budget may be slim, but the emotional experiences on hand for Graves and his children (and two others they pick up along the way) are harrowing. Cinematographer Michael D. Margulies does terrific work behind the camera, and the direction is solid except for some stiffness at the beginning and a voice-over narration that was unnecessary. Television movies really came into their own in the 1970s, providing capable TV actors with meatier roles than what was otherwise available to them in the form of popular weekly shows. This is certainly the case with Peter Graves, who retains his laconic, low-key persona but who also excels with some hard-hitting scenes (such as a moment of private grief up in his bedroom); Verna Bloom is also terrific as a mother who has seen her entire family decimated, and young Kathleen Quinlan is outstanding as Graves’ warm, maternal daughter (this is a very underrated actress giving an early performance worthy of high praise). Worthwhile, unpretentious fare, a precursor to “Damnation Alley”, “The Day After”, and many others.
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