Never one to do anything by halves, director Abel Gance delivers just what the title La Fin du Monde promises: The End of the World. As a comet speeds along on a collision course with Planet Earth, the world prays for a miracle. Scientist Victor Francen races against time to avoid the cataclysm, while Francen's religious-fanatic brother (played by director Gance) puts his fate in the hands of God. Meanwhile, the governments of the world adopt near-fascistic methods to keep their panicking minions under control. Once all hope is abandoned, virtually all of civilization degenerates into a drunken orgy, replete with rape and bestiality. The worst is reserved for last, as the ever-approaching comet causes a plethora of natural disasters before the final "Big Bang." For its premiere engagements in 1929, La Fin du Monde was outfitted with a primitive but effective stereophonic-sound system, the aural equivalent to Abel Gance's Cinerama-like "Triptychs" in his 1927 masterpiece Napoleon. With his typical flair for the messianic, Gance originally released his film as Abel Gance's La Fin du Monde.
by Hal Erickson synopsis