Recently in a special showing at the Director’s Guild in Hollywood, I saw Hal Lindsey’s newest media effort, The Late Great Planet Earth (produced by the Peterson company, Hollywood). The film, after his book of the same name, is a combination of Thief in the Night, Future Shock, Consumer Byline, and War of the Worlds. The cast is not impressive (nor extensive). The film focuses on garden shots of Hal Lindsey and extensive narration by Orson Welles, whose very tone of voice adds importance to the film.
And movie critique must speak to two separate issues: form and content. In regard to the first, the film is a good but by no means great documentary. Director Robert Amran has managed to integrate an acceptable dramatic performance (in the beginning) with assorted newsreel film clips and cameo shots of Lindsey, Welles, and a host of “important” spokesmen. The list reads like an advisory board to Futurist magazine or membership list of the Club of Rome (indeed, club president Dr. A. Peccei is the first to be interviewed). George Walk and Norman Borlaug (Nobel Prize Winners), Emile Benoit (Columbia University economist), Desmond Morris (author of The Naked Ape), Paul Ehrlick, William Paddock, and several others from such schools as M.I.T. join astrologers and Babetta the Witch in foretelling the future of the race.
The movie opens with a chase scene in which a supposed Hebrew prophet is pursued and finally stoned to death by a small band of irate Jewish townsfolk. In the next shot Orson Welles picks up the decomposed skull of the prophet and announces that “Such was the fate of any Hebrew prophets whose predictions were proven to be false.” Briefly alluding to true biblical prophets such as ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 63+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more