To the Ends of the Earth is more important for the fact that it was made rather than for what it is, which is a well-made and involving, if not distinguished, police thriller. But Columbia was forced to mount an extensive, persuasive and ultimately effective campaign to get the Production Code to relax its rules against even mentioning drug smuggling in a motion picture, let alone having the subject be the basis for an entire movie. This eventually helped to open the gates for more "forceful" crime thrillers in future years which were able to take in a wider range of subjects appropriate for the genre. Earth is certainly worth watching as more than a footnote in Production Code history. While the screenplay is often a bit forced, and characterizations are a bit much at times, it's still a gripping and tautly produced little thriller. Even as you moan slightly over an ungraceful plot twist here or there, you find yourself intrigued and eager to see what happens next. Robert Stevenson has directed with verve and uses a semi-documentary style to good effect, and Dick Powell turns in a very solid straight arrow performance that's just right. With effective support from a fine cast, Earth is a gripping little flick that should please fans of its genre.
by Craig Butler review