Jonathan Lethem reviews the 1959 adaptation of Earth Abides, starring Burt Lancaster

Originally published at:


I can’t find any trace of this movie existing. Neither Burt Lancaster’s nor Stanley Kramer’s entries in IMDB mention it. No video clips pop up in Google or DuckDuck searches.


The picture looks like a publicity still, but the movie being misidentified.

1 Like

I had a friend who bought a lovely craftsman home right by Indian Rock, in Berkeley, where almost all of this story takes place. I went to great trouble (and some reasonable expense) to track down a pristine 1st edition of the Earth Abides as a housewarming gift. I figured nothing could be more appropriate for someone owning such a home.

I gave it to him and… he’d never so much of heard of the book. Oh well.


I love when places in fiction can be traced to their real-life counterparts

I first read Earth Abides years ago, but re-reading it recently with access to google maps and streetview really brought things alive in my imagination

San Lupo Drive in the book is really San Luis Road, where George Stewart lived


Those who ask don’t know, and those who know don’t ask.

1 Like

I suspect there is no evidence because its totally fake. I loved that book when I read it years ago and had never herd of a movie adaptation. Some googling and reverse image search and I found the original photo which was actually a still from BURT LANCASTER in “The Devils Disciple” with the gun changed to a hammer.


That’s funny, I had the exact same experience with a friend who lived in Willow Creek and Redding and was a back to the land hippie in the 70’s, with Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower/Parable of the Talents.


Burma Shave


Ram Tzu knows this…

Every time
You find an answer,
The question
No longer seems important.


wtf?! Which America is this – the one that won or lost WWII?!


I loved that movie when I was a kid.


Forget all this mumbo jumbo about knowing and not knowing, I just want to watch the movie - does it really exist?

1 Like

No. The review is one of a series of fakes.

1 Like

What a bummer, the book is one of my favorites.

The one about the transistor radio in Dr. Strangelove is accurate, though.
Which is confusing.
The whole thing is starting to irritate me.

Thanks for pointing this out, I read the book quite a ways back, and rather enjoyed the unusually calm but melancholic atmosphere of it, and couldn’t quite believe that a film had been made with a high-profile actor that I hadn’t heard of; that’s because it never had.

1 Like

Christopher Mihm, are you reading this? This could be a chance for Danny Johnson to save the world again …

1 Like

I read and thoroughly enjoyed this book as a teenager in the 80’s and was stunned to discover there was a movie. Except there isn’t. Ah, well.

On a side note I have wondered if anyone is taking or took advantage of empty highways and downtowns and filmed a bunch of scenes or stills that could be used/licensed for future projects.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.