The Night the World Exploded is a 1957 science fiction film. The film was written by Jack Natteford and Luci Ward and directed by Fred F. Sears for producer Sam Katzman.
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The scientific team of Dr. David Conway (William Leslie), Dr. Ellis Morton (Tristram Coffin) and Laura Hutchinson (Kathryn Grant) has built a machine that can predict earthquakes. After predicting one will hit California, US within the next 24 hours to a uniformly skeptical Governor Cheney (Raymond Greenleaf) and state-level political and Civil Defense body, the earthquake does materialize and does immense damage to northern parts of the state. Now with the support and funding necessary from the reformed skeptics, the team works on further prediction and comes to the conclusion that a wave of earthquakes are pending in and around the southwestern United States. They trace the epicenter of the pending disaster to an area beneath the Carlsbad Caverns and descend to a hitherto unexplored level.
Here they find a strange ore which, when removed from contact with water, becomes highly explosive, and realize that this element, somehow working its way from deep in the Earth, is responsible for the earthquakes. Though the material is not analyzed for specific atomic traits, it is named Element 112 just because so far, 111 chemical elements had been discovered. A computer determines that in approximately one month, enough of Element 112 will emerge from the deep earth so as to cause the entire planet to explode. A desperate operation ensues worldwide to blast and trench the ground to let water in and cover Element 112, keeping it from drying out and expanding.
Kathryn Grant as Laura Hutchinson
William Leslie as Dr. David Conway
Tristram Coffin as Dr. Ellis Morton
Raymond Greenleaf as Gov. Chaney
Charles Evans as Gen. Bortes
Frank J. Scannell as Sheriff Quinn
Marshall Reed as The Generals aide
Fred Coby as Range Brown
Paul Savage as Ranger Gold
Terry Frost as Chief Rescue Worker