Nuclear Films: Updated July 11, 1996

Note: Experimental films by independent film-makers are marked "EF". Films that are so marked usually aren't available at local video rental stores. However, they can be rented from companies that specialize in selling and renting works by independent film-makers. The notes on experimental films are usually based upon the descriptions written by film-makers for the listings in rental catalogues. The brief remarks about the films are not intended as aesthetic evaluations or as complete iconographic descriptions. They simply indicate the salient nuclear features.

"Above and Beyond"; 1952. Dir: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama. (The story of Col. Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the B-29 "Enola Gay",the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. With the exception of the dropping of the bomb at the end of the film, "Above and Beyond" sets the pattern for later films that deal with SAC's training for war. Also, as in later SAC dramas, war seems secondary to the personal problems of airmen, and the dropping of the atomic bomb seems less a turning point in world history, than an episode in Col. Tibbet's life.)

"Amazing Colossal Man (The)"; 1957. Dir: Bert I. Gordon. (Sequel: War of the Colossal Beast. An American colonel is irradiated by a nuclear explosian in the desert. Unlike Grant Williams, the Incredible Shrinking Man, who shrinks to molecular size after a dose of radiation, the colonel grows into a giant.)

"Amazing Spider Man (The)" A 1977 TV series. (Peter Parker, a student, is bitten by a radioactive spider. As is usual in nuclear iconography, radiation bestows unconventional powers. Parker becomes The Amazing Spider Man.)

"Amerika"; 1972-1983, EF. Dir: Al Razutis (This is a feature-length film that tries to serve as an antidote to commerical media myths about Western culture. Reel 1 contains a segment called "Atomic Gardening". Synopsis is in "Canyon Cinema, Catalog 6", p100.)

"Andromeda Strain"; 1971. Dir: Robert Wise. (Based on the novel by Michael Critchton. The "Andromeda Strain" combines nuclear and biological mythology. A town has been wiped out by a virus from outer space, one for which human beings have no natural immunity. Scientists plan to destroy the infected town with a nuclear bomb. Also, they plan to use a nuclear weapon to destroy and decontaminate the research lab in which the Andromada Strain has broken free. As in the film version of "War of the Worlds", nuclear weapons fail to provide an effective defense. Scientists realize at the last minute that a nuclear blast will simply cause new mutations in the Andromeda Strain.)

"Any Given World"; 1982, EF. Dir: Eames Demetrios (This is the story of a man on a submarine four years after the end of the world. He has nothing to do all day but watch videocasettes of commercial television over and over...The film includes a 20 minute flashback equating architecture with nuclear war,...a concert in a post-nuclear parking lot, and a dance on an unfinished freeway. The plot centers on the use of a nuclear power plant to restrict civil liberties in San Francisco, just before Armageddon.) Demetrios' statement from Canyon Cinema Catalog 6. p65.

"Around the World, Under the Sea"; 1966, Dir: Andrew Marton (An atomic submarine tries to stop an earthquake before the latter can destroy the world.)

"Art of Survival (The)"; 1985, EF. Dir: Beth Block ("The Art of Survival" is a documentary film about "Target: L.A.", an anti-nuclear arts festival which was held in downtown Los Angeles in 1982." Canyon Cinema, Catalog 6, p24.)

"Atlantis, the Lost Continent", 1960. Dir: George Pal (Zaren, the evil tyrant of Atlantis, uses nuclear power to defeat his enemies.)

"Atoll K"; 1950. Dir: Leo Joannon (Also called "Utopia" and "Robinson Crusoeland". By 1950, even Laurel and Hardy rely on a nuclear theme in this, their final film together. They inherit an island which contains a uranium deposit. )

"Atom Age Vampire"; 1961. Dir: Anton Giulio Masano (Italian. What is of interest in this Italian film is that the mad scientist has done research on the victims of the atomic bombing at Hiroshima. Also, he doesn't suffer from the usual radiation burns and other classic attibutes of mad nuclear scientists. Instead, he betrays the corruption of his soul by turning into a reptile from time to time. A scientist-reptile also appears in "The Hideous Sun Demon" of 1959.)

"Atomic Brain, (The)"; 1963. Dir: Joseph V. Mascelli (A woman asks a mad scientist to remove her brain and put it into the body of a beautiful young woman. The scientist's assistant/shadow bears the physical signs of moral decay.)

"Atomic Cafe", (The); 1982. Dir: Kevin Rafferty ( A classic use of documentary footage to capture the "feel" of the Cold War. Also, the film demonstrates the extent to which nuclear fear and fervor penetrated American culture after World War II.)

"Atomic City (The)"; 1952. Dir: Jerry Hopper (An atomic scientist's son is kidnapped.)

"Atomic Kid (The)"; 1954. Dir: Leslie H. Martinson ( Even Mickey Rooney is a victim of nuclear testing. His special nuclear powers include the ability to cause slot machines to pour out their coins.)

"Atomic Man (The)"; 1956. dir: Ken Hughes (British. Another film about an irradiated scientist. This time, the "sign" that the scientist has been transformed by radiation is his ability to "see" 7 seconds into the future.)

"Atomic Monster (The)"; 1941 Dir: George Waggner (When the movie was re-released in the 1950's the title was changed from "The Man Made Monster" to "The Atomic Monster". Lon Chaney, Jr. is immune to the electric chair. Interesting because the title change reflects the waning of electricity as a symbol of modernity after 1945.)

"Atomic Rulers of the World"; 1959-60. Dir: Tevro Ishii, Akira Mitsua, Koreyoshi Akasaka (A Starman series that was re-edited from the Japanese originals for American television. American gangsters use an atomic bomb to threaten the Japanese.)

"Atomic Submarine (The)"; 1959; Dir: Spencer Bennet (Another film that features the wonder weapon of the day: the atomic submarine. In this film, the atomic sub is earth's best defence against a biological "flying saucer" that can operate under water.)

"Attack of the 50-Foot Woman"; 1958. Dir: Nathan Hertz ( A woman is irradiated by an alien and then mutates into a giant. Her colossal size enables her to settle scores with her husband.)

"Autopsia de un Fantasia"; 1967. Dir: Ismael Rodriquez (A Mexican comedy that ends with a nuclear holocaust.)

"Back to the Future III". (A tongue-in-cheek play on anachronisms. Michael J. Fox returns to the old West, but wears a cowboy vest that sports the atomic symbol. Thanks to David Nickels for this nuclear note.

"Back to the Future"; 1985. Dir: Robert Zemeckis (Features an atomic powered DeLorean that runs first on Plutonian, stolen from Lybian terrorists, and then on a "Mr. Fusion" device that converts garbage into nuclear energy. The terrorists want Dr. Brown to build an atomic bomb, which he refuses to do. Unlike classic mad nuclear scientists, Dr. Brown is cute and loveable, and he has not been horribly scarred and deformed by radiation: the sure signs of a morally corrupt scientist. The film conveys the message that nuclear energy has a great potential for evil [the terrorist bomb plot] but that a morally responsible scientist [Dr. Brown] can channel nuclear energy into safe energy sources and produce technological wonders. Thanks to Dan Smid for this note.)

"Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (The)"; 1953. Dir: Eugene Laurie (Animation by Ray Harryhausen, based on Ray Bradbury"s story "The Fog Horn". In the Arctic North, atomic bombs melt the ice in which a giant dinosaur has been frozen for centuries. The meaning seems to be that atomic energy releases an evil power of unimaginable dimesions, a mythic theme to be picked up in the great sci-fi films that followed, such as "Forbidden Planet".)

"Beast of Yucca Flats (The)"; 1961. Dir: Coleman Francis (Tor Johnson, a massive and nearly inarticuate wrestler, plays a Russian atomic scientist who wanders into an atomic blast in the desert and is transformed into a cave man.)

"Beginning of the End"; 1957. Dir: Bert I. Gordon (An example of the mutant insect genre, giant grasshoppers this time. The film's appeal is strictly camp but its iconographic twists are interesting. A female reporter immediately guesses that some kind of nuclear energy has destroyed the town of Ludlow, although the army refuses to confirm her suspicions. Later, as she tours the town, she compares Ludlow to Cologne and Dresden, cities that had been destroyed by Allied bombing in World War II. The implication is that the devastation at Ludlow was as bad as Hiroshima, although the latter city is not mentioned. Peter Graves is a scientist who does research on the irradiation of vegetables, but he does not not display the usual physical or mental abnormalities of nuclear scientists. His mute and deaf assistant, a classic Jungian "Shadow", bears the physical signs of nuclear tampering. When Graves' is visited by the reporter, he immediately remarks to her that "radiation is dangerous", thus explaining the plight of his assistant. Of course, Ludlow was destroyed by giant grasshoppers, mutations caused by Graves' experiments.)

"Beginning or the End (The)"; 1947. Dir: Norman Taurog (First feature length film about the development of the atomic bomb.)

"Bells of Nagasaki (The)"; 1950: Dir: Hideo Oba (This seems to be the first Japanese feature film about the atomic bombings. When it was made, the Americans still forbade any overt criticism of the bombing in Japanese films. Instead of showing devastation the film dwells upon the heroism of Dr. Takashi Nagai, upon whose memoirs the film was based. See Tadeo Sato's "Currents in Japanese Cinema", pp 197-198)

"Beneath the Planet of the Apes"; 1987. Dir: Ted Post (After a nuclear war, many survivors of the human race go underground and worship the only surviving ICBM.) TEXT TEXT ü

"Beyond the Time Barrier"; 1960. Dir: Edgar G. Ulmer (A pilot goes through the time barrier and arrives in the future, after a nuclear war. As in the later film, "Beneath the Planet of the Apes", the survivors have created an underground civilization.)

"Black Rain"; 1990?, Japanese (Based on the novel by Ibuse. The film maintains the low-keyed approach of the novel. The title refers to the black rain that fell on a young woman at Hiroshima, and which caused her to fall ill from radiation sickness after the war. The film explores the lingering effects of the war both on victims of the atomic bombings and on those experienced by ordinary soldiers. A classic example of "post-traumatic-stress")

"Blond Piano"; 1981, EF. Dir: David White ("A man in a radiation suit discovers objects for the end of the world one one last rare spring day...The film's main character is sick [due to radiation poisoning]...He pursues the Blond Piano [a piano but actually a woman I once poved], finds it being played by a fish and decides it is best to leave it (her) alone..." The artist's description is from Canyon Cinema Catalog 6, p243.)

"Bombers B-52"; 1957. Dir: Gordon Douglas (A Natalie Wood romance is set against the backdrop of SAC's preparation for global thermonuclear war.)

"Boy and His Dog (A)"; 1975. Dir: L.Q. Jones. (A tale of the post-nuclear holocaust. As is often the case, the underground survivors have mutated into superior but mostly sterile beings while the surface dwellers, including Don Johnson, are barbaric but virile scum. The mutant talking dog, who is much brighter than Don Johnson, gets the last and funniest line.)

"Brain From Planet Arous (The)"; 1958. Dir: Nathan Juran (An alien, floating brain takes over the body of John Agar, a nuclear physicist.)

"Bride of the Monster"; 1955. Dir: Edward D. Wood, Jr. (With Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson. Lugosi experiments with atomic energy on human beings with the usual results. Tor Johnson plays the mutant assistant. After Lugosi battles with a mutant octopus, the octopus explodes and there is a not-so-subtle cut to stock footage of a real nuclear explosion. The recent film "Ed Wood" featured the stirring speech by the aged, dying Lugosi in "Bride of the Monster", as well as his fight with the rubber octopus.

"Brides of Blood"; 1968. Dir: Eddie Romero, Gerrado de Leon (American-Phillipine. Mutants are spawned by radiation, and one of them eats his "brides".)

"Caltiki, The Immortal Monster"; 1959. Dir: Riccardo Freda, Robert Hampton (Italian.People melt and go insane if they touch Caltiki, a radioactive blob from Mexico . The theme of "melting" is popular in nuclear films, perhaps because of the numerous accounts of melting flesh and eyes at Hisroshima and Nagasaki.)

"Canadian Mounties Versus the Atomic Invaders"; 1953. Dir: Franklin Adreon (A Republic serial that was reedited into a movie called "Missile Base at Taniak".)

"Captive Women"; 1952. Dir: Stuart Gilmore. (After a nuclear war in the year 2000, small bands of people struggle to survive in the ruins of Manhattan. This film is a nuclear updating of an earlier, pre-nuclear theme: the tenuous survival of the human race after the "next" great war. The classic example of the genre was "Things to Come", 1936, adapted by William Cameron Menzies from H.G.Well's novel "The Shape of Things to Come", 1933. In the 30's it was still possible to believe in Well's speculation that scientists could bring rational order to a chaotic world, but by the 1950's the stereotype had begun to reverse: science brings about the end of civilization.)

"Children of the Atomic Bomb"; 1952. Dir: Kaneto Shindo (A film that caused controversy in Japan because it suggested that something should actually be done for the children of the bombed cities. A reminder to Americans that the survivors of the atomic bombings were often shunned. At the time, the children were often treated as untoucheables. Sekigawa's "Hiroshima" was made in the following year to restore the politically correct theme of passive suffering. See "The Japanese Movie" p. 101.)

"China Syndrome"; 1979. Dir: James Bridges (Refelcts an iconographic shift away from the threat of nuclear war to the more immediate danger posed by "peaceful" uses of nuclear engergy.)

"Chosen (The)"; 1978. Dir: Alberto De Martino (Nuclear energy is literally the work of the devil. As Kirk Douglas builds a nuclear power plant in the Arabian Desert, he comes to realize that his son, the Anti-Christ, plans to use the plant's output to control the world. Like "The China Syndrome" of the following year, "The Chosen One" marks an iconographic shift away from the theme of global thermonuclear war to the threat posed by "peaceful" nuclear energy.)

"Class of Nuke 'Em High"; 1986. Dir: Richard Haines (About a nuclear waste dump in New Jersy that spawns mutant teen-agers. Can Mutant Ninja Turtles spawned by radioactive yellow ooze be far behind?)

"Cosmic Man (The)"; 1959. Dir: Herbert Greene (A benign alien, John Carradine, visits earth. Of iconographic interest is the fact that only two scientists believe that Carradine's intentions are peaceful.)

"Creation of the Humanoids"; 1962. Dir: W.E. Barry (Robots are used to rebuild the world after the Third World War.)

"Creature with the Atomic Brain"; 1955. Dir: Edward L. Kahn (Atomic zombies appear in this early synthesis of the zombie theme with that of nuclear energy.)

"The Crawling Eye"; 1958. Dir: Quentin Lawrence (English. A tenacled monster is hidden in a radioactive cloud.)

"Crisis in Utopia"; 1981, EF. Dir: Ken Ross (Renee Shafransky, writing in "The Villager", October 29, 1981, described it as an avant-garde version of "War of the Worlds". See Film-Maker's Cooperative, Catalogue No. 7, pp414-415.)

"Crossroads"; 1976, EF. Dir: Bruce Conner (Uses documentary footage from the tests at Bikini Atoll, July 25, 1946. The repetition of the explosion 27 times gradually makes the Bomb seem akin to god or nature itself. Canyon Cinema Catalogue 6, p54.)

"Cyclops (The)"; 1955. Dir: Bert I. Gordon (Radioactivity turns a man into a gaint.)

"Cyclotrode X"; 1946. Dir: William Witney (A movie edited from the Republic serial "The Crimson Ghost". The Crimson Ghost tries to steal a machine called "Cyclotrode X", which seems to be a hollywood version of a cyclotron. Like a nuclear blast, CyclotrodeX interferes with electricity.)

"Damnation Alley"; 1977. Dir: Jack Smight (A tale of the post-nuclear apocalypse. Survivors of a missile silo leave the midwest and head for Albany, New York.)

"Dark Star"; 1974. Dir: John Carpenter (A funky satire of science fiction films. The crew of "Dark Star" is on an interminable mission: to destroy "unstable" planets that wobble out of orbit and pose a threat to the colonization of space. The radiation shield that screens the crew from the engine has broken down, but cutbacks in space funding means that earth cannot send a replacement. Also a threat is posed by the nuclear missiles that are used to destroy the unstable planets. The smart bombs are so intelligent that they talk and think for themselves.)

"Day After (The)"; 1983. Dir: Nicholas Meyer (TV movie. A bland study of the effects of nuclear war. Again, there is a typically American focus upon familiy crises generated by global thermonuclear war. The best scenes are the shots of American missiles streaming out of their silos: the first warning to citizens that nuclear war has begun.)

"Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb (The)"; 1981 (A documentary about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the atomic Bomb.)

"Day One"; 1989. Dir: Joseph Sargent (TV Movie. The story of the making of the atomic bomb, with Brian Dennehy as General Leslie Groves.)

"Day The Earth Caught Fire (The)"; 1962. Dir: Val Guest (Atomic explosians knock the earth out of orbit.)

"Day the Earth Stood Still (The)"; 1951. Dir: Robert Wise (The classic film in which a wise alien warns earthlings to abandon nuclear weapons. Klaatu and his invulnerable robot, Gort, land in Washington. Klaatu is a Christ figure: he warns of the dreadful punishment if the human race fails to heed his message, he is killed by those whom he is sent to save, and he is then resurrected from the dead and returns to the heavens.)

"Day the Fish Came out (The)"; 1967. Dir: Michael Cacoyannis (Greek-British. Two Atomic bombs are lost over the Aegean. Candice Bergen's contribution to nuclear iconography.)

"Day the Sky Exploded (The)"; 1958. Dir: Paolo Heusch (The nations of earth fire nuclear missiles at threatening asteroids.)

"Day the World Ended (The)"; 1956. Dir. Roger Corman (A tale of the post-nuclear holocaust. Most human beings become mutants, but some "normal" people survive in a mountain cabin.)

"Deadly Mantis (The)"; 1957. Dir: Nathan Juran (The giant mantis is not a nuclear mutation, but as Spencer Weart pointed out in 'Nuclear Fear", it is tracked and intercepted as if it were a Russian nuclear bomber.)

"Def-Con 4"; 1984. Dir: Paul Donovan (A familiar theme: astronauts return to earth after a nuclear war.)

"Dernier Combat (Le); 1984. Dir: Luc Besson (A French equivalent of the "Road Warrior", although it is less mythic than the Australian film.)

"Desert Bloom"; 1986. Dir: Eugene Corr (A girl grows up in Nevada during the time of the nuclear tests. Another example of the American obsession with how atomic bombs will affect the American nuclear family.)

"Destination Moon"; 1950. Dir: George Pal (Based on Robert Heinlein's novel "Rocketship Galileo". The Americans are determined to beat the Russians to the moon, because the first country to land on the moon can set up a missile base. The Russians aren't mentioned by name, but they are obviously the "Threat", to use the name which the U.S. Army applies to enemy forces in war games. Ironically, in Heinlein's original story, the Nazis had been the first to reach the moon, and had established a missile base before the Americans arrived.)

"Devil Girl from Mars"; 1954. Dir: David MacDonald (A female invader arrives in a ship with a nuclear engine. The Martians need earthmen to supplement their declinging supply of virile males, and the Devil Girl is the one to ensnare them.)

"Doomsday Machine"; 1967. Dir: Lee Sholem (Passengers on a spaceship headed for Venus learn that earth has been destroyed in a nuclear war.)

"Dr. Cyclops"; 1948. Dir: Ernest Schoedsack (Dr. Cyclops is a classic example of the type of the mad, disfigured nuclear scientist, a man for whom radium symbolizes unlimited power. The title reflects Dr. Cyclops giant size compared to the people whom he shrinks in his radium chamber.)

"Dr. No"; 1962. Dir: Terrence Young (Dr. No is a worthy successor to Dr. Cyclops, a mad nuclear scientist in the classic mold: physically and mentally damaged by his experiments, and dedicated to achieving domination over the world.)

"Dr. Scorpian"; 1978. Dir: Richard Lane (Dr. Scorpian thwarts a mad scientist who steals atomic missiles.)

"Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb"; 1964. Dir: Stanley Kupric (The classic satire of nuclear war strategies and of stodgy SAC movies. Dr. Strangelove is one of the greatest of the mad nuclear scientists of the movies: totally insane, mutilated, and charismatic. Strangelove easily persuades the President and the top brass that the American elite must collect young girls for breeding stock and take refuge from fallout in deep mine shafts; an ironic twist on the convention that "civilization" survives underground after nuclear war. By far the funniest movie ever made about the annihilation of the human race in global thermonuclear war.)

"Dr. Who and the Daleks"; 1965 Regal Films. (Movie adapted from the British TV series, with Peter Cushing as the Doctor.)

"Empire of the Ants"; 1977. Dir: Bert I. Gordon (Another of H.G. Well's stories that is updated by addition to it of a radioactive theme: a vacation spot is ruined by giant mutant ants.)

"End of the World"; 1977. Dir: John Hayes. (Christopher Lee is an alien priest who, with alien nuns, is sent to destroy the planet earth. The earthlings are contaminating the universe, and Lee punishes them by blowing up the world. )

"Enola Gay: The Men the Mission, The Atomic Bomb"; 1980. Dir: David Lowell Rich (TV Movie)

"Escape from New York"; 1981. Dir: John Carpenter (The President's plane crashes in New York City, which is now a penal colony. In order to prevent nuclear war, Kurt Russell must rescue the President and retrieve a secret tape.)

"Equalizer 2000"; 1986 (A lone warrior fights a dictatorial government after the nuclear holocaust)

"Fahrenheit 451"; 1966. Dir: Francois Truffaut (Interesting because nuclear war is not included. In Ray Bradbury's original story, two nuclear wars have already occurred when the story begins and a third is pending at the end.)

"Failsafe"; 1964. Dir: Sidney Lumet (A straight nuclear melodrama of the type satirized in "Dr. Strangelove". The Americans accidentally nuke Moscow, then offer to destroy New York City in order to prevent Russian retaliation.)

"Fall"; 1971, EF. Dir: Tom De Witt (According to one reviewer, the film uses the fall of Icarus as a metaphor of our possible "fall" though nuclear war. Canyon Cinema, Catalog 6, p67)

"Fat Man and Little Boy"; 1989. Dir: Roland Joffre (A melodrama about the making of the Atomic Bomb.)

"Fiend Without A Face"; 1958. Dir: Arthur Crabtree (A scientist's mind causes the materialization of flying brains. As is conventional, the brains are attracted to atomic installations.)

"Final Countdown (The)"; 1980. Dir: Don Taylor (A nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Nimitz, goes through a time warp and discovers the Japanese invasion fleet just before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The film seems to express a fantasy: if only nuclear energy systems had been available in a sophisticated form in 1941, the Americans could have defeated the Japanese fleet with a single, nuclear-powered carrier, and could have avoided the atomic bombings of Japan.)

"Final War (The)"; 1960. Dir: Shigeaki Hidaka (Japanese. Also known as "World War III Breaks Out". The world is drawn into a nuclear war after the Americans accidentally detonate an atomic bomb over Korea. Oddly, only Argentina survives.)

"First Spaceship on Venus"; 1960. Dir: Kurt Maetzig (German. Based on a story by Stanislaw Lem, who, like many authors, denounced the film that was based on his work. Astronauts learn that a civilization on the planet Venus had been destroyed by nuclear war.)

"First Time Here"; 1964, EF. Dir: Richard Myers (Uses a model of a city to show the effects of the atomic bomb. Canyon Cinema, Catalog 6, p174.)

"Five"; 1951. Dir: Arch Oboler. (Five stereotypical Americans talk things over after a global thermonuclear war.)

"5000 Fingers of Dr. T"; 1953 (A boy dreams that he and 499 other children take piano lessons from an authoritarian music teacher, hence the 5000 fingers. He builds an atomic bomb to retaliate.)

'"Flight that Disappeared (The); 1961. Dir: Reginald LeBorg. (Another film in which a a plane goes to another dimension in time and space. This time, the passengers are not astronauts who discover a future earth that has been destroyed by nuclear war: they are atomic scientists who are indicted and tried by the unborn, the people of future generations. The charge: conspiring to destroy planet earth.)

"Forbidden Planet"; 1956. Dir: Fred McLeod Wilcox (The film uses Shakespeare's "Tempest" for a story line and draws upon psychoanalysis to modernize the source of demons: they come from the violent, primordial instincts within the Id. A now-vanished race, the Krell, combined mental power with nuclear energy. The latter was generated by hundreds of vast computer/power plants that extended deep into the earth. The story line is vague at the crucial point, but somehow the Krell's nuclear/mental power gave material form to their very nightmares: monsters from the Id destroyed their civilization. What is "forbidden" is obviously the kind of knowledge that created nuclear fission. Once the Pandora's Box of nuclear energy is opened, innate human evil virtually guarantees a tragic ending to the story. The film suggests that the seeds of future destruction have already been planted on earth: the astronauts use a nuclear engine in their ship, and atomic symbols abound on their clothing and equipment.)

"Fourth Protocol (The)", 1987. Dir: John Mackenzie. (A nuclear thriller in the manner of James Bond movies. The plot recalls "Octopussy". Russian agents plan to set off a nuclear bomb at an American base in the British Isles, thus creating friction within Nato.)

"Frankenstein Conquers the World"; 1964. Dir: Inoshiro Honda (Japanese. During World War II, the Germans take the obvious strategic step of sending the heart of Frankenstein's monster to their allies, the Japanese. The heart is irradiated at Hiroshima. As one might expect, the heart is then eaten by a boy and the radiation causes him to grow into a giant.)

"Frankenstein Unbound"; 1990. Dir: Roger Corman (Combines relativity physics, nuclear themes, the Gothic horror genre and the Wellsian theme of space travel. A scientist in 2031 accidentally blows himself and his nuclear-powered car back into the days of Mary Shelley and Dr. Frankenstein. Thanks to Pat Davidson for this note.)

"Gamera the Invincible"; 1965 Dir: Masaichi Nagata, Sandy Howard (U.S./Japanese. This time around, the atomic bomb frees Gamera, a giant flying turtle.)

"Gamma People (The)"; 1956 Dir: John Gilling (British. In an East European dictatorship, children are used in experiments with gamma radiation.)

"Gathering of Eagles (A)"; 1963. Dir: Delbert Mann (Another example of the SAC-in-Peacetime genre, this time centering around the personal problems of Rock Hudson.)

"Genesis II"; 1973. Dir: John LLewellyn (An unsuccessful pilot for a TV series. A man sleeps for 60 years and awakens to find that a nuclear war has occurred.)

"Georg"; 1964, EF. Dir: Stanton Kaye (A German veteran of World War II emigrates to the United States, then seeks to escape from civilization by fleeing to the mountains. "Civilization" cannot be escaped so easily, however, and his mountain refuge is threatened by the construction of a missile base.) Film-Makers' Cooperative Catalogue No.7, pp 286-287.)

"Giant of Metropolis"; 1962. Dir: Emimmo Salvi. (Italian, Seven Arts, 92 min.. "Metropolis" is Atlantis, and it is destroyed in a nuclear blast.)

"Glen and Randa"; 1971. Dir: Jim McBride (After World War III, two young people set out to find "Metropolis", a place they learned about from a comic book.)

"Godzilla, King of the Monsters"; 1956. Dir: Terry Morse, Inoshiro Honda (Godzilla is the most famous mutant spawned by the atomic bomb. He seems to be thethe bomb itself, as he endlessly devastates Japanese cities. The Japanese military is as defenseless against Godzilla as it had been against the great B-29, the bomber that torched and then atomized Japan in World War II.)

"Gojira"; Toho, 1954 (In English with additions, 1955)

"Gold"; 1934. Dir: Karl Hartl (A German futuristic classic. Scientists use atom smashers in an attempt to create gold in the laboratory. An early example of the alchemist as the mythic forerunner of the scientist, and of nuclear energy as the modern equivalent of the philosopher's stone, the source of unlimited power and of the deepest insight into nature. The nuclear reactor sets were re-used in the "Magnetic Monster", 1953.)

"Goldfinger"; 1964. Dir: Guy Hamilton (Auric Goldfinger plans to use a portable nuke to irradiate the gold in Fort Knox. James Bond defuses the bomb just as the timer reads OO7 seconds to detonation time.)

"Green Slime"; 1968. Dir: Kinji Fukasaku (An example of a blob-monster of a totally malignant, unfeeling kind. The theme of melting, oozing slime in popular mythology perhaps has its origins in the numerous accounts of melting people from Hirohima.)

"H Man (The)"; 1958. Dir: Inoshiro Honda (Another example of the creation of a melting blob of a mutant by the explosion of an atomic bomb.)

"Hand of Death"; 1961. Dir: Gene Nelson (John Agar wants to create a gas that will prevent nuclear war, but the gas turns him into a monster. Again, a scientist pays the price for tampering with nature's secrets.)

"Hardware"; 1990?? Dir: Richard Stanley (Example of the post-nuclear holocaust genre.)

"Hellfire: A Journey From Hiroshima"; 1986. Dir: John Junkerman, John Downer. (A documentary about two painters, Iri and Toshi Maruki, who saw Hiroshima soon afer the dropping of the bomb. The Marukis painted 15 murals that reflected their experience.)

"Hideous Sun Demon (The); 1959. Dir: Robert Clarke (An irradiated scientist turns into a scaly monster when the sun strikes him.)

"Hills Have Eyes (The)"; 1977. Dir: Wes Craven (A nuclear family, led by "Jupiter", a mutant victim of atomic testing, feasts upon an equally repellent "normal" family from Cleveland.)

"Hiroshima" (An episode from the "World at War", a documentary series for television.)

"Hiroshima"; 1953; Dir: Hideo Sekigawa (Made in response to Shindo's "Children of Hiroshima". The latter had not seemed to support the Japanese idea that passive sorrow and displacement of blame to the Americans was the only honorable course after Hiroshima. Some scenes from Sekigawa's film were reused in Resnais' "Hiroshima, mon amour", another film that seems to revel in passive suffering. See "The Japanese Movie", pp. 101-102.)

"Hiroshima, Mon Amour"; 1960. Dir: Alain Resnais (French. A French woman and a Japanese man become lovers. The story suggests a parallel between French "suffering" brought about by the shame of defeat and collaboration, and Japanese suffering brought about by defeat and the Atomic bomb.)

"Hiroshima/Nagasaki 1945." (Released ca. 1970, but constructed from suppressed footage that had been made in 1945 by Japanese cameramen.)

"Horror of the Blood Monsters"; 1970. dir: Al Adamson (Radiation alters the perception of colors on a planet of monsters.)

"Hunt for Red October (The)"; 1990. (Based on Tom Clancey's novel of the same name. The theme is a Russian equivalent of "Dr. Strangelove", except that the rouge Russian naval officer is not insane like General Jack Ripper. Rather than trying to initiate global thermonuclear war, Sean Connery's character tries to prevent it by defecting to the Americans, along with his missile submarine.)

"Incredible Hulk (The)"; 1977. Dir: Kenneth Johnson (TV Movie. Also, a TV series. Bill Bixley is exposed to radiation when an experiment backfires. Once gain, radiation creates a mutant: The Incredible Hulk.)

"Incredible Invasion (The)"; 1969-70. Dir: Dave Gregory. (Includes flying saucers which destroy a city. Canyon Cinema Catalog 6, p 97.)

"Incredible Shrinking Man (The)"; 1957. Dir: Jack Arnold (After passing through a radioactive cloud at sea, Grant Williams begins to shrink at an alarming rate and is soon small enough to be menaced by such common things as a house cat and a spider.)

"Independence Day", 1996 (Combines the mythologies of electricity, the bomb and the computer. The world is saved by a laptop.) "Invaders from Mars"; 1986. Dir: William Cameron Menzies (Another classic from the 1950's. The nuclear theme is understated in the film, but it provides the cause for the alien invasion: the little boy's father is a scientist who is working on an "atomic missile".)

("Invasion U.S.A."; 1952. Dir: Alfred E. Green An unnamed foreign power nukes the U.S.A., launches an invasion and finally captures Washington, D.C.. It turns out that the entire invasion was a kind of mass hallucination, a warning of things that could come to pass if the American public did not take a more active role in political affairs. The film makes use of documentary footage of atomic explosions, in the manner of an even earlier film, "Shadow of Terror". A later non-nuclear film called "Invasion, U.S.A." was made by Chuck Norris in 1985.)

"Invisible Ray (The)"; 1936. Dir; Lambert Hillyer (With Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Karloff discovers "Radium X" in a meteor. After touching the radium, he becomes radioactive, glows in the dark and becomes a mad killer.)

"It Came from Beneath the Sea"; 1955. Dir: Robert Gordon (The first nuclear submarine encounters a giant radioactive octopus. H-bomb tests had contaminated the Mindanao Deep, supposedly the area from which the monster came. The monster isn't a mutant, but its radioactivity scares away its normal prey.)

"It"; 1967. Dir: Herbert J. Leder (Roddy McDowall brings the ancient Jewish statue of the Golem to life, and then uses it to commit crimes on his behalf. An atomic bomb kills McDowell.)

"Journey (The)"; 1984-85, EF. Dir: Peter Watkins (This film is probably longer than a real nuclear war: 14.5 hours. It is a multi-part documentary and commentary filmed in various countries. It includes live interviews and documentary footage of nuclear weapons and their effects to give a kind of "stat e of the world" message. See "Canyon Cinema Catalog 6", pp237-240 for descriptions of the many segments of the film.)

"Journey Beneath the Desert"; 1961. Dir: Edgar G. Ulmer (French/Italian TV movie. The lost city of Atlantis is destroyed by an atomic bomb.)

"Killers From Space"; 1954. Dir: W. Lee Wilder (Aliens resurrect Peter Graves, a nuclear scientist.)

"King Dinosaur"; 1955. Dir: Bert I. Gordon (An atomic bomb ends the problems caused by a giant Gila Monster and a giant Armadillo on the planet Nova.)

"Kiss Me Deadly"; 1955. Dir: Robert Aldrich (Other films of the 50's fused the sci-fi and horror genres, but Aldrich managed to combine nuclear mythology with the detective story. In Mickey Spillane's novel, Hammer tracks down a mysterious box that contains drugs; a very racy and challenging theme for an American novel of the 1950's! In the film version, the box is a mysterious radioactive weapon that puts an ironic end to Mike Hammer. For Aldrich, Hammer was an ugly, authoritarian symbol of the McCarthy era and deserved atmomization. The ploy is t he familiar one of amending a non-nuclear story by adding a nuclear theme, thus enhancing the effect of evil and malignancy.)

"Kronos"; 1957. Dir: Kurt Newman (As in "War of the Worlds", the earthling's nuclear weapons are unable to protect them from attack. This time, the "enemy" is Kronos, a giant computer-robot that is absorbing the earth's energy, including nuclear power.)

"Kurosawa's Dreams"; 1990. Dir: Akira Kurosawa (The theme is the dreadful consequences that follow if man fails to respect the natural order of things. In one segment, the traditional Japanese landscape is filled with mushroom clouds. The clouds do not signify nuclear war, but the destruction wrought by nuclear powerplants.)

"Last Days of Planet Earth"; 1964. Dir: Shiro Moritani (Japanese. Atomic Bombs are among the calamities that usher in the last days of planet earth.)

"Last War (The)"; 1961. Dir: Shue Matsubayashi (Japanese TV movie. Nuclear missiles are accidentally fired, thus setting off global thermonuclear war.)

"Last Woman on Earth (The)"; 1961. Dir: Roger Corman (Two men and one woman survive nuclear war.)

"Lord of the Flies"; 1963. Dir: Peter Brook (British schoolboys are marooned on an island as they flee the nuclear holocaust. There is an American version made in 1990 that omits the reference to nuclear war.)

"Lost Continent (The)"; 1951. Dir: Sam Newfield (An expedition sets out to recover an "atomic rocket" that has landed on a remote plateau.)

"Lost Missile (The)"; 1958. Dir: Lester William Berke. (Canadian/American. An unidentified country launches a missile toward New York.)

"Lost Planet (The)"; 1953. Dir: Spencer G. Bennet (A serial in 15 chapters. Chapter five is "The Atomic Plane".)

"Mad Max"; 1979. Dir: George Miller (The outback of post-apocalypse Australia is the setting for this drama. An understaffed police force against gangs of bikers which plunder the wastelands. The director has denied that he thought of the Mad Max films as distinctly post-nuclear in setting , but they are inevitably interpreted as such by most viewers.)

"Mad Max 2"; 1981. Dir: George Miller (Australian, retitled "The Road Warrior" for American circulation. Max agrees to lead a breakout from an oil refinery surrounded by bikers and their mutant leader ]"Humongous". "Mad Max 2" is the most potent and m ythic of the post-nuclear holocaust films.)

"Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome"; 1985. Dir: George Miller (Max visits Bartertown, a small city run by assorted misfits and mutants from World War III. In the end Max leads a group of children into the ruins of Sydney to start a new civilization.)

"Madam Curie"; 1943. Dir: Mervyn LeRoy ( Greer Garson stars as Madam Curie.)

"Magnetic Monster (The)"; 1953. Dir: Curt Siodmak (A magnetic, radioactive isotope is stolen and causes problems.)

"Martian Chronicles (The)"; 1980. Dir: Michael Anderson (TV miniseries. Col. Rock Hudson muddles through global thermonuclear war. Perhaps the dullest film ever made about the end of the human race.)

"Massive Retaliation"; 1982. Dir: Thomas A. Cohen (Several couples try to find a place to hide during World War III. The title is taken from one of the most famous American aphorisms of the Cold War: "Our ability to retaliate is massive.")

"Meteor"; 1979. Dir: Ronald Neame ( Nuclear missiles fail to stop a giant meteor. Preparations for the meteor's arrival are akin to preparations for nuclear war.)

"Mothra"; 1962. Dir: Inoshiro Honda American A-bomb testing in the Pacific results in the creation of a giant moth and a pair of telepathic twin girls who are only ten inches tall and who act as Mothra's guardians.)

"Mysterians (The)"; 1959. Dir: Inoshiro Honda (After the destruction of the planet Mysteroid, the survivors travel to Earth in order to obtain Japanese women for repopulating their decimated race. A giant robot and various space vehicles are employed in their futile attack.)

"Next Voice You Hear (The)"; 1950. William Wellman (The voice of God is heard on the radio, warning human beings to mend their ways.)

"Night the World Exploded (The)"; 1957. Dir: Fred F. Sears (Atomic explosions release an unknown element that,in turn, explodes when it contacts air.)

"Mysterious Island"; 1961. Dir: Cy Endfield (Captain Nemo's island spawns giant mutant creatures.)

"Nine Days in One Year"; 1961. Dir: Mikail Romm (Russian. A scientist is exposed to radiation, but decides to continue with his research)

"Nothing Sacred"; 1937. Dir: William Wellman (Carole Lombard believes that she has contracted radiation poisoning from radium. Frederick March, who is looking for a story that will redeem his reputation as a reporter, takes her to New York and turns her into a celebrity. At one point March exclaims about that radium is "eating away at her bones". Complications develop when it becomes apparent that Lombard is not suffering from radiation sickness.)

"Octaman"; 1971. Dir: Harry Essex (Features a walking octopusman. Advertized as "horror from the nuclear trash".)

"Octopussy"; 1983. Dir: John Glen (A maverick Russian general plans to set off a nuclear bomb at an American base in England, but he is thwarted by James Bond.)

"Omega Man (The)"; 1971. Dir: Boris Sagal (Redoing of "I am Legend" by Richard Matheson. Charlton Heston fights mutant Zombies after World War III.)

"On the Beach"; 1960. Dir: Stanley Cramer (Based on the novel by Nevil Shute. Another film that plays down the horrors of nuclear war in order to emphasize the psychological problems that will arise in personal relationships. Follows the convention of featuring a nuclear submarine, in this case, commanded by Gregory Peck.)

"Our Friend the Atom"; 1956. Dir: Walt Disney (Disney domesticates the atom. Famous for showing radiation as sparkle dust.)

"Panic in the City"; 1968. Dir: Eddie Davis (Communists threaten to blow up Los Angeles with an Atomic bomb.)

"Panic in the Year Zero"; 1962. Dir: Ray Milland (Still another example of the post-nuclear-holocaust-family-genre. Ray Milland tries to protect his family in the anarchist world that follows the war.)

"Pattern for Survival"; 1950. (This is a classic propaganda film: one of the earliest attempts to "instruct" Americans about how to prepare for nuclear war, mainly by setting up fallout shelters and storing food. The script for this film is reproduced in "Film and Propaganda in Americ a",v.4; edited by Lawrence H. Suid and David Culbert, New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.)

"Peggy and Fred in Hell (Prologue)"; 1988, EF. Dir: Leslie Thornton (Two children wander though a post-apocalyptic landscape. Film-Makers' Cooperative Catalogue No.7, p469.)

'"Phantom Empire (The)"; 1935. Dir: Otto Brewer, B. Reeves Eason. (Gene Autry cliffhanger series in 12 chapters. Cowboy Autry fights to protect his Radio Ranch from radium hungry scientists and robot cowboys from the underground atomic city of Murania. The Muranians live in a classic example of what Spencer Wearth calls the "White City of the Scientists". Muranian technology includes radium-tipped anti-aircraft missiles and a radium machine that can bring the dead to life. Of course, the entire city runs on radium energy. Note by David Nickels.)

"Plan 9 From Outer Space"; 1959. Dir: Edward D. Wood, Jr. (Plan 9 has often been misleadingly ridiculed as the worst film of all time. But it is bad in ways that make it charismatic. It can best be described as a demented remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still". The aliens are determined to stop earthlings f rom destroying the universe with nuclear weapons. Accordingly, they devise Plan 9 in order to demonstrate their power. The dead, including Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson, are resurrected and sent on a futile mission to frighten the human race into submissio n.)

"Ploutonium Incident (The)"; 1980. Dir: Richard Michaels (The story of a woman who protests dangerous incidents in a nuclear power plant.)

"Queen of Sheeba Meets the Atom Man (The)"; 1963-1982, (EF. Dir: Begun by Ron Rice in the 1960's and then completed by Howard Everngam. (Film-Makers' Cooperative Catalogue No. 7, p407)

˜"Quiet Earth (The)"; 1985. Dir: Geoff Murphy (New Zealand. An experiment with an Anti-missile "grid" misfires and leaves only three survivors on earth.)

"Radar Men from the Moon"; 1951. Dir: Fred C. Brannon (Also named "Retic the Moon Menace". Commander Cody, the prototype of the recent "Rocketeer", stops the moon men from using an atomic gun against earth.)

"Radio Bikini"; 1988. Dir: Robert Stone (The first part of the film uses documentary footage of the atomic tests at Bikini Atoll, much in the manner of "The Atomic Cafe". The second half focuses upon the medical plight of a sailor who was exposed to radiation during the tests.)

"Radioactive Dreams"; 1986. Dir: Albert Pyun (About life in a fallout shelter)

"Radium City"; 1987. Dir: Carol Langer (About women who paint radium numbers on clocks)

"Raise the Titanic!"; 1980. Dir: Jerry Jameson (The Titanic is linked anachronistically to the Cold War. The ship supposedly contains a rare mineral called "byzantium" that will make it possible to build an anti-missile shield.)

"Ravagers (The)"; 1979. Dir: Richard Compton (Post-nuclear holocaust tale set in 1991.)

"Record of a Living Being"; 1955 Dir: Akira Kurosawa (Japanese. A man is obsessed with a fear of nuclear bombs.)

"Repo Man"; 1984. Dir: Alex Cox (Radioactivity is taken for granted as part of the natural order of things. A radioactive scientist glows in the dark but passes as a normal American. Thanks to Pat Davidson for this note.)

"Robot Monster"; 1953. Dir: Phil Tucker (The Robot Monster tries to destroy the human race with a deadly ray. Believing that the ray is a nuclear attack from earth, the human beings wage atomic war among themselves. Ranks with "Plan 9 From Outer Space" as a camp classic.)

"Rocket Attack U.S.A."; 1959. Dir: Barry Mahon (The Russians nuke New York City in response to American spying.)

"Rocketship X M"; 1950, Dir: Kurt Neumann (Astronauts land on mars only to discover that the planet has been ravaged by nuclear war. Only radioactive mutants survive.)

"Run for the Hills"; 1953. Dir: Lew Landers (Sonny Tufts turns a cave into a fallout shelter for his family.)

"Seven Days in May"; 1964. Dir: John Frankenheimer (Burt Lancaster, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, plots to overthrow the government after the President concludes a nuclear arms treaty with the Russians.)

"Seven Days to Noon"; 1950. Dir: John Boulting (English. A guilt-ridden scientist threatens to destroy London if the atomic bomb isn't banned.)

"Seventh Seal (The)"; 1956. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. (Although Bergman's film is set in the middle ages, it is intended as a filmic premonition of nuclear war. When Bergman was asked if the film was indeed about nuclear war he replied "That's why I made it." See Weart's "Nuclear Fear", p 413.)

"Shadow of Terror"; 1945. Dir: Lew Landers. (Spies attempt to steal the plans for a secret bomb, which is obviously atomic but which is unnamed in the film. The movie was finished before the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945, and stock footage of nuclear explosions was added later. This is probably the earliest theatrical film featuring the atomic bomb and actual footage of the explosion.)

"Silkwood"; 1983. Dir: Mike Nichols (A docu-drama about a woman who works in a nuclear factory. )

"Simpsons (The)"; animated TV series on the Fox Network (Based on characters created by cartoonist Matt Groening. Homer Simpson, Bart's father, is an inept worker in a nuclear power plant. In the opening sequence of each episode, Homer leaves the plant with a radioactive particle stuck in his clothes and carel essly tosses it out the car window. Homer, who used to work in a miniature golf course and in fast foods, got a job at the nuclear plant by promising the boss that he would be an uncomplaining lickspittle. Bart's favorite comic book is "Radioactive Man".)

"633 Squadron"; 1964. Dir: Walter Grauman (British. A squadron of Mosquito bombers try to knock out a German heavy water laboratory in Norway.)

"Slithis"; 1978. Dir: Stephen Traxler (Slithis is a monster generated by nuclear pollution.)

"Space Children (The)"; 1958. Dir: Jack Arnold (An alien, who happens to be a brain, tries to stop the launch of a nuclear missile.)

"Spacecruiser Yamato" ( A Japanese animated TV series. Shown in the U.S. as "Starblazers". Also available in comic books. After radiation from an interplanetary war forces civilization underground, the Japanese rebuild the remains of their World War II battleship, the Yamato, as a space craft . Spacecruiser Yamato tries to find a cure to the radiation contamination. Thanks to David Nickels for this note.)

"Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone"; 1983. Dir: Lamont Johnson (Canadian. Three women are rescued from a mutant named "Overdog".)

"Speak Up, Uncle Sam is Hard of Hearing"; 1984, EF. Dir: Karl Cohen (Short films that are intended as anti-nuclear "public service" messages. Their intent is to help galvanize viewers and to enlist them in the anti-nuclear movement. Includes a "Newsbreak" that announces the coming of UFO's to warn us about the perils of n uclear armaments. Canyon Cinema Catalog 6, p 52-53)

"Split Second"; 1953. Dir: Dick Powell (Kidnappers take refuge in a nevada town that is a site for nuclear tests.)

"Spontaneous Combustion"; 1989. Dir: Tobe Hooper (A man has unusual powers because his parents were exposed to radiation during the 1950's.)

"State of Things (The)"; 1982. Dir: Wim Wenders (A film within a film. In the beginning, a director is making a film about live in the post-nuclear world.)

"Stranger from Venus"; 1954. Dir: Burt Balaban (A remake of "The Day The Earth Stood Still". The alien comes from Venus.)

"Strategic Air Command"; 1955. Dir: Anthony Mann (Another peacetime SAC film. This time the grim business of SAC is domesticated by Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson. Stewart is recalled to active duty because SAC is expanding and undergoing intensive training. Frank Lovejoy plays the role of an officer wh o is obviously patterned after General Curtis E. LeMay. The theme seems to be that without a tough, ruthless commander like Lovejoy/LeMay, officers like Stewart would swiftly become unmanned by peacetime marriages.)

"Suicide Mission to Chernobyl"; a NOVA documentary. (A Nova film crew revisits Chernobyl and the result is the most bizarre and chilling of all nuclear documentaries. The most sobering scenes are those of Russian scientists working with crude tools inside the "Mausoleum", the primitive covering over the da maged nuclear plant. In many respects the story of Chernobyl resembles a bad post-holocaust movie. For example, since robots could not work inside the damaged plant, ordinary Russian soldiers were simply nicknamed "Bio-Robots and sent inside. One message is clear: Chernobyl is forever.)

"Superman IV: The Quest for Peace"; 1987. Dir: Sidney J. (Superman goes on a disarmament campaign: he collects Nuclear weapons and sends them to outer space. When the comic first appeared in the 1930's, radium was long established as a mystery substance with a great potential for good and evil. Accordingly, Superman owes his great strength to the fact that he came from a Krypton/radium planet, but on earth, Kryptonite affects superman much as radium affects human beings. He is progressively weakened and will eventually die if he is over-expose d to Kryptonite.)

"Tarantula"; 1955. Dir: Jack Arnold (Based on a TV program "No Room for Thought", on Ziv's Science Fiction Theatre. Professor Gerald Deemer is another well-intentioned scientist who thinks that radiation will enhance the world's food supply. His "atomically stable nutritional formula" accid entally leads to the creation of a giant, mutated tarantula and then to his own demise.)

"Teenage Caveman"; 1959. Dir: Roger Corman (The atomic mutant of the future is a caveteen played by Robert Vaughn.)

"Teenage Mutant Nija Turtles II"; 1991 (They Came From Radioactive Yellow Ooze.)

"Terminator (The)"; 1984. Dir: James Cameron (A robot "terminator" from the future is sent to earth to kill the unborn leader of a future rebellion. Nuclear war occurs in the near future, and the terminator is a creature of the post-nuclear-holocaust era.)

"Terminator II"; 1991. (The opening sequence shows a playground at the moment when Nuclear war begins. A good "terminator" from the future tries to prevent a scientist from creating the possibility of a nuclear war.)

"Testament"; 1983. Dir: Lynne Littmann (A family tries to carry on after the nuclear holocaust. The movie is based on a story by Carol Amen.)

"Them"; 1954. Dir: Gordon Douglas (Radioactive testing in the American South West creates a nest of giant radioactive ants. The queen ant, which is able to fly, escapes from the desert and starts a new colony in the sewers of Los Angeles. Edmund Gwenn plays the role of the wise professorr. He immediately realizes that the giant ants were "a fantastic mutation probably caused by a lingering radiation from the first A-Bomb." Thanks to David Nickels for this note.)

"These are the Damned"; 1961. Dir: Joseph Losey (At a secret base in England, radioactive children are given lessons in how to survive nuclear war.)

"Thing [From Another World] (The)"; 1951. Dir: Christian Nyby. (The "Thing" is one of the most frightening of all alien invaders in science fiction. It is appropriate that a creature so malignant is also radioactive; a sure sign of the fact that he can never be reasoned with, despite his superior intellect.)

"This is Not a Test"; 1962. Dir: F. Gadette (Travelers in a van survive the outbreak of nuclear war.)

"This Island Earth"; 1954. Dir: Joseph Newman. (Based on a novel by Raymond F. Jones. (Earth scientists, including a woman, are kidnapped by Aliens and taken to the planet Metaluna. The rulers of Metaluna want the earth scientists to design a nuclear shield for the besieged planet.)

"Threads"; 1984. Dir: Mick Jackson (British TV Movie. A study of the aftermath of nuclear war in Sheffield, England.)

"Thunderball"; 1965. Dir: Terence Young. (SPECTRE steals two atomic bombs from a British Vulcan bomber. A cold-war iconographic note is that SPECTRE served as a kind of "standin" for the Russians, who are usually not the primary bad guys in the James Bond movies.

"Time Machine (The)"; 1960: Dir: George Pal. (Based on H.G. Well's novel. Rod Taylor, the time traveler, encounters still another breed of mutants in a post-nuclear world of the future.)

"Time Travelers (The)"; 1964. Dir: Ib Melchior (A time portal allows scientists to travel 107 years into the future. As is customary, the time travelers find that a nuclear war has occurred.)

"20,000 Leagues under the Sea"; 1954. Dir: Richard Fleischer

"Twilight's Last Gleaming"; 1977. Dir: Robert Aldrich. (Based on "Viper Three", a novel by Walter Wager. Interesting iconographically because it combines two dominant themes: nuclear war and Vietnam. A demented, former officer risks starting World War III to force the government to reveal its "secrets" about the war in Southeast Asia.)

"U-238 and the Witch Doctor"; 1953. (Clayton Moore searches for Uranium despite the threat of Voodoo.)

"Ultimate Warrior (The)"; 1975 (Another example of the post-nuclear holocaust genre, set in the year 2012. Survivors in Manhattan try to get uncontaminated seeds to an island off North Carolina.)

"Unknown World"; 1950; Dir: Terrell Morse (An expedition tunnels to the center of the earth in order to survive a nuclear war.)

'"Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"; 1961. Dir: Irwin Allen (Also a TV series. A panicky and mutinous crew almost prevents Admiral Nelson from saving the world with the Seaview, his nuclear sub, and a nuclear missile. It is ironic that in this early "disaster" movie, Admiral Nelson uses his nuclear missile to destroy the radioactive Van Allen Belt which, in turn, is threatening to destroy Earth. Admiral Nelson seems to be a maritime version of General LeMay, with a little of Admiral Rickover thown in. The main point seems to be that only strong military leaders have the energy, will and knowledge to use nuclear weapons systems to best advantage.)

"War Game (The)"; 1965. Peter Watkins (Originally done as a documentary of the effects of nuclear war for British television.)

"War Games"; 1983. Dir; John Badham (A child hacker breaks into the NORAD early warning system and nearly causes the computer to start World War III.)

"War of the Worlds", 1953. Dir: Byron Haskin (The earthling's high-tech weapons, including a flying wing and an atomic bomb, fail to stop the Martians. Interestingly, the movie substitutes religion for biological evolution as the cause of the Martian defeat...At the end of the movie, the survivors g ive thanks to God for the sudden death of the Martians. The moral, which probably would have shocked H.G. Wells, is that our reason and science do not bring "security" or redemption, our salvation rests solely in the hands of God. In Well's story, the hum an race is saved because it had paid a steep price during centuries of biological evolution, and not because of divine providence. Because the Martians have evolved on an alien planet, they are not immune to earthly germs and diseases.)

"Warriors of the Wasteland"; 1983. Dir: Enzo G. Castellari (An Italian variation on the Mad Max theme.)

"We Will Never Forget That Night"; 1962. Dir: Kozaburo Yoshimura (Japanese. Story of a yong woman who survives Hiroshima and becomes a bar hostess.)

"World War III"; 1982. Dir: Robert L. Hudson (TV movie. When the Russians invade Alaska, it is up to David Soul to prevent the outbreak of global thermonuclear war.)

"World Without End"; 1955. Dir: Richard Hermance (Astronauts fly through the usual time warp and, as usual, land on a future earth that has been ravaged by nuclear war.)

"World, The Flesh and the Devil (The)"; 1959. Dir: Ranald McDougall (Harry Belafonte survives global thermonuclear war. The only other surviving male is a racist. There is a PC ending, with peace, harmony. etc...

"Wrong is Wright"; 1982. Dir: Richard Brooks (An Arab Terrorist tries to buy atomic bombs from an arms dealer. To prevent a terrorist strike, the Americans launch a pre-emptive attack against the Arab's native country)

"X From Outer Space (The)"; 1967. (Japanese. Features a nuclear powered space ship)

"X The Unknown"; 1956. Dir: Leslie Norman (British. Radioactive mud comes from the earth's core.)

"You Only Live Twice"; 1967. Dir: Lewis Gilbert (SPECTRE steals American and Russian space satellites. The idea is to trick the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. to declare war on each other.)