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The Late Great Planet Earth (1976)

The trailer for the 1976 film The Late Great Planet Earth, based on the book by Hal Lindsey, follows a formula you're probably familiar with by now.

Apocalypse porn of the 1970s, like The Late Great Planet Earth and Future Shock, push the idea that "my generation" is special. Late Great contends that many people of the past have predicted the end of the world is near, (and though the world is obviously still here), our generation is special! Our generation will truly see the End Times!

The Late Great Planet Earth, like Future Shock, was hosted by Orson Welles. I'm not sure if Welles was just cashing a paycheck or if he believed what he was selling, but as we've seen repeatedly on this blog people seem particularly receptive to apocalyptic messages during tough economic times.

Late Great Planet Earth trailer
Uploaded by paleofuture. - Check out other Film & TV videos.

Then, as now, Man believed himself too sophisticated for prophecies. But now, prophetic pattern exist that cannot be forgotten, cannot be ignored.


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Reader Comments (12)

That's Armageddon!

A Samuel L. Bronkowitz Production

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Hal Lindsey - bringing you 40 years of being a total nutter!

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFaintly Macabre

I've had future shock ever since my mother lost her computer between the sofa cushions. That was back in 2001.

And the My Generation now says "Your generation will truly see the End Times!". And believes that "Well, I suppose we'll all be dead by then" is a satisfactory end to any conversation about it. They're still feeling special.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGlyn Webster

Lindsey was smart enough to give himself a broad timeframe. The Apocalypse was going to occur "withing one Biblical generation" (defined as 40 years) after the refounding of Israel. This could be 1948, when the modern state was founded, or 1967, when they controlled all of Jerusalem. Well, except that it might begin 7 years before or after that.<p>So the earliest the Tribulation could begin was 1981. And the latest it could begin was...2007. While there are loonies who think Obama is "The One," I think we can safely write this particular Armageddon off as "failed."<p>I wonder what new date the LGPEarthers will use next.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill the Splut

Glad you posted this!
Although I haven't seen this trailer since 1976 (when I was nine years old), i could have spoken the v/o right along with it. This was seared into my brain cause it scared the hell out of me at the time! Also, wow, were trailers long then!

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoel

Lindsey turned 80 last year. So far the actuarial tables have a better record of predicting the future than all these rapture forecasts.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark Plus

Wow, Orson Welles really whored himself out in his latter days, didn't he?

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaximusNYC

Welles couldn't get hired in Hollywood, so he needed to make money. I don't think he should be scorned for that--scorn the jerks who ignored him.

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKateC

I seem to recall Welles in yet another apocalyptic documentary, one about Nostradamus. A little Googling, and here it is: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow.

Also, what is a great scientist like Norman Borlaug doing in this movie?

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchroma

I had the same question about Borlaug. The optimist in me wanted to believe that he was taken out of context.

February 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterMatt Novak

The Left Behind series is the reasonably-current version of the Hal Lindsey end-times story.

Though he's currently on a month-long sabattical from Left Behind, Fred at slactivist has been doing a running deconstruction of the Left Behind book/film series for several years now. It is funny/sad/disheartening/enlightening, sometimes all at once.

August 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterspinetingler

Every generation fully believes it is living in the end times. This has been true for thousands of years now. And movies like this feed on this. How did they get the great Orson Welles to narrate this train wreck? This is a documentary about the biblical prophecies of Armageddon. It tries to link the prophecies as well as it can to what was happening in the times it was made, making it obviously dated and kind of silly.

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScrap Gold

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