Rating: ** Threat: Global earthquakes and floods
RKO. Written by Warren Duff & John F. Goodrich based on a novel by S. Fowler Wright; Photographed by Norbert Brodine; Special effects by William Williams & Russell Lawson (matte drawings); Edited by Martin G. Cohn & Rose Loewinger; Music by Val Burton & Edward Kilenyi; Produced by Samuel Bishoff, Burt Kelly & William Saal; Directed by Felix Feist. B & W, 70 minutes.
Sidney Blackmer (Martin Webster, lawyer and survivor); Lois Wilson (Helen, his wife); Ronnie Crosby (Ronnie, their son); Billy N. Williams (Mary Ann, their daughter); Peggy Shannon (Claire Arlington, champion swimmer); Fred Kohler (Jepsen, brutish survivor who pursues Claire); Ralf Harolde (Norwood, Jepsen's partner); Matt Moore (Tom, survival community member who befriends Helen); Lane Chandler (Jack, community member); Philo McCullough (Bellamy, gang leader); Harry Semels (his sidekick); John Elliott (preacher); Samuel S. Hinds (meteorologist); Edward Van Sloan (top astronomer).
For many years Deluge was considered lost, known principally for the clip of the tidal wave that obliterates New York City that was recycled as the climax of the serial King of the Rocketmen (1949) and other Republic efforts. Then a virtually complete Italian print was located under the title La Distruzione del Mondo. The original soundtrack is lost, and this print is dubbed in Italian. It made its way onto video in several versions, primarily as a silent movie, with the Italian dialogue removed, replaced by an ineffectual organ score while the dialogue is related with English subtitles. In this edition, the only occasion when the original soundtrack is heard is during the earthquake and tidal wave destruction of New York City.
The story opens as meteorologists are puzzled by an unusual phenomenon. The barometric pressure is falling to a record low, indicating that an unprecedented tremendous storm is brewing. All aircraft are grounded and all ships are ordered back to port. Claire Arlington, a champion swimmer, is forced to cancel her proposed swim around the island of Manhattan. When an unexpected eclipse occurs, the chief meteorologist goes to consult with the American Astronomical Society. Their leading astronomer reports the conditions are worldwide, and in Europe, a cycle of major earthquakes has started. Panic is breaking out in the general populace. Next, the astronomer receives a report that the entire West Coast has been wiped out by a massive quake, and all means of communication