A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema

By Charles P. Mitchell | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Where Have All the People Gone? (1974)

Rating: ** Threat: Solar flare

Metromedia. Written by Lewis Carlino & Sandor Stern; Photographed by Michael Margulies; Edited by John A. Martinelli; Music by Robert Prince; Produced by Gerald I. Isenberg & Charles Fries (executive); Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. 73 minutes.


Peter Graves (Stephen Anders, manufacturer from Malibu); George O'Hanlon Jr. (David Anders, his son, a science major in college); Kathleen Quinlan (Deborah Anders, his daughter); Jay W. Macintosh (Barbara Anders, his wife, a scientist); Verna Bloom (Jenny, catatonic woman); Michael-James Wixted (Michael, young boy whose parents were shot); Nobel Willingham (Jim Clancy, Sierra Mountain guide); Doug Chapin (Tom Clancy, Jim's son); Dan Barrows (truck thief); Ken Samson (Jack McFadden, survivalist who settles his family at a ranch).


This unpretentious telefilm has a narrow focus, but it is a respectable and moderately entertaining production. It was first shown by NBC as the Thursday evening feature film on October 10, 1974. Working within a modest budget, Where Have All the People Gone nevertheless presented a credible and effective portrait of an apocalyptic event. The inconclusive ending suggests that it may have originally been intended as a pilot for a series, with Peter Graves as Stephen Anders leading his clan of survivors through new adventures each week. It is very doubtful if a series would have been successful, since the concept seems pretty well exhausted by the end of the picture.

The story opens with the Anders family on a two-week camping trip in the High Sierras with their guide Jim Clancy. Stephen's wife, Barbara, is a scientist and has to return home early. Their guide's son drives her to the local airport. Stephen and his children explore a cave where they are digging for fossils. David is a college student with an aptitude for science. His younger sister, Deborah, is somewhat bored with their vacation adventure and asks her dad if they could spend their next holiday at a resort hotel instead. At the campfire, Jim is preparing rabbit stew for dinner when the the glow from the sun starts to increase to a blinding intensity. The guide stares at the phenomenon, which is immediately followed by earth tremors. Anders and his children run out of the cave, and Jim tells them about the strange light in the sky. David turns on the transistor radio to try to learn more about the event, but all he picks up is static. As Jim lapses


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 315

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?