Day the Earth Caught Fire, The (1961; UK; B&W; 99m) ∗∗∗∗ d. Val Guest; w. Val Guest, Wolf Mankowitz; ph. Harry Waxman; m. Stanley Black. Cast: Janet Munro, Leo McKern, Edward Judd, Michael Goodliffe, Bernard Braden, Reginald Beckwith, Gene Anderson, Renée Asherson, Arthur Christiansen, Austin Trevor, Edward Underdown, Ian Ellis. Political science fiction drama about a global ecological disaster caused by nuclear weapons testing. Taut direction and a strong script backed up by an excellent cast add authenticity to the doom-laden political messaging. Strikingly photographed with great matte work, overseen by art director Anthony Masters, to capture a heat ravaged London. Look out for Michael Caine as a traffic policeman.