5ive Arch Oboler

Examining the philosophical morality around technological advancements and a hollow world of instant gratifications, 5ive is extremely dark in tone and makes no qualms about its condemnation of blind exploration. It is surprisingly contemplative and deliberate in structure for a film of the early '50s, eschewing comic relief and optimism for overly grim, if simplified, notions of the nature of humankind. The implication is that we are victims of our curiosity and that an inability to weigh the pros and cons of exploration will lead to our downfall, which, truth be told, was quite prophetic, given when the film was made. Structurally, some of the character motivations are bizarre, as are many directorial decisions involving candid angles and uncomfortable close-ups, but the film is entirely functional given its budgetary limitations. Made with relatively unknown actors in 1951, 5ive follows a pregnant Roseanne (Susan Douglas), a seemingly lone survivor, after a nuclear bomb destroys the world, as she searches for signs of life. Eventually she finds Michael (William Phipps), a philosopher who's pleased as punch that everyone is dead, given his disdain for his fellow man. Initially, Michael tries to rape Roseanne but quickly moves past this as the pair settle in at a country house, living off canned food from the local convenience store. Eventually two bankers (James Anderson and Earl Lee) show up to join the couple, agreeing to forge a simpler life away from the cities, which is all fine and good until an explorer named Eric (Charles Lampkin) shows up, violently opposing this way of life. As Roseanne is on the fence about her life path, missing her dead husband and looking after a newborn, Eric preys on her to divide the gang. The DVD release includes the original trailer for the film and some martini recipes for those who wish to get drunk while watching the film. (Sony)