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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Atomic Angst Films

A great many classic science fiction films had Cold War themes at their roots. There were also many non-sci-fi films in the same era that sprang from the same roots. Listed below is a collection of those films that voiced Atomic Angst in a more direct, less allegorical, way. Devotees of old sci-fi will be able to recognize similar plot themes and tropes.

 Below is a list of AtomicAngst films in chronological order:

 Golden Age Motivation -- Introduction to this Atomic Angst collection.

The Red Menace -- A down-on-his-luck ex-G.I. becomes entangled in a cell of ruthless communists.

Seven Days to Noon -- An upset nuclear scientist steals an atomic bomb and threatens to blow up London if the UK doesn't abandon nukes.

The Whip Hand -- A reporter checks out a mysterious dead lake and stumbles upon a nest of communist agents.

High Treason -- British agents uncover a plot of home-grown communists to sabotage London's power grid.

Five -- A very early post-apocalypse tale of five people who survive the global nuclear war.

The Atomic City -- Communist agents kidnap the son of a nuclear scientist. The ransom is the secrets to the H-bomb.

Duck and Cover -- Civil Defense public service film to teach school children how to survive an atomic attack.

Split Second -- Escaped convicts take some hostages to aid their escape, but choose to hide out in a nuclear test area.

Hell and High Water -- A former WWII sub captain is recruited to discover a secret communist plot to drop an atom bomb.

Atomic Attack -- Television drama about a suburban family's life after New York City is bombed.

Rocket Attack U.S.A. -- Via collective hypnotism, several people in a bar experience what a communist attack and invasion would be like.

On The Beach -- Landmark movie about the last survivors of global nuclear war and how they each face their inevitable doom.

The World, The Flesh and The Devil -- Two men and one woman, sole survivors of a nuclear war. New hope clashes with old thinking.

The Last Woman on Earth -- Something kills all animal life on earth except a husband, wife and business friend who were scuba diving.

The Flight That Disappeared -- A nuclear physicist, mathematician and rocket designer are hijacked by the "unborn" of the future and put on trial.

The Beast of Yucca Flats -- Odd film about a Russian defector exposed to a nuclear test and becomes a deranged killer.

This is Not a Test -- A highway patrol deputy stops people at a roadblock before a nuclear attack. Tensions flare.

Panic in the Year Zero -- Atom bombs fall while a family vacation in the hills. They fight to survive amid privation and armed thugs.

Dr. Strangelove -- A dark comedy satire of errors that lead to the dropping of atomic bombs.

Fail Safe -- A serious drama about a chain of errors that lead to the dropping of atomic bombs.

The Bedford Incident -- A US Navy destroyer hunts a Soviet sub. Tensions run high and mistakes are made. The ship and sub exchange nuclear weapons.

The War Game -- A banned BBC film about how government and society break down after a nuclear attack on Britain.

The Last War -- 1961 Japanese film about a family caught in a world where a chain of errors unleash total nuclear doom.

Panic in the City -- A rogue communist agent builds a nuclear bomb in L.A. Agents have only a little time to discover where it is before it blows up.


Will said...

Loved this as a kid, and is a nostalgic favorite

charlie013 said...

I hope you didn't overlook this excellent movie: Seven Days in May (1964)
Or, perhaps, you just have't got around to it yet!! :)

Nightowl said...

Actually, I have been collecting other Atomic Angst films that aren't sci-fi, for a different review blog. Seven Days is a great film.

Anonymous said...

I believe the movie Rocket Attack USA is incorrect. It should be titled Invasion USA. Rocket Attack USA is about a secret agent trying to stop the communists from launching a missile at the United States.