Atomic Attack (Motorola Television Hour)

A family struggles to survive in the aftermath of an nuclear attack. Plus the bonus short subjects "Operation Doorstep" (1953) and "The Atom and Biological Science" (1953).
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  ALP 8072D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 12 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: May 15, 2018
  • Originally Released: 1954
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , &
Directed by

Entertainment Reviews:

Description by

On May 18, 1954, The Motorola Television Hour presented Atomic Attack, a gripping portrayal of a suburban family struggling to survive after a nuclear bomb is dropped on U.S. soil. Fifty miles away from a decimated New York City, the Mitchell family are trapped inside their house, with looters and poisonous radioactive fallout right outside their door. As the hours drag on, their nerves are stretched to the breaking they realize that not all of them will survive this holocaust.

Atomic Attack was produced in conjunction with the Office of Civil Defense, and opens with the disclaimer, "The happenings that will now follow on your screen might be taking place in a suburban community some 50 miles from New York...but are entirely fictitious, of course." It is directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ralph Nelson (Requiem for a Heavyweight, Lilies of the Field, Charly) and features an all-star cast. Versatile actress Phyllis Thaxter had a long career, beginning opposite Spencer Tracy in the WWII picture Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) and ending as Clark Kent's adopted mother in Superman: The Movie (1978). Patty McCormack is best known as the homicidal child in Mervyn LeRoy's The Bad Seed (1956). Character actor Robert Keith was in two of Marlon Brando's standout pictures, The Wild One (1953) and Guys and Dolls (1955), and had a memorable role in one of the most popular episodes of The Twilight Zone, "The Masks" (1964). A young Walter Matthau appears a year before his film debut in The Kentuckian (1955). A decade later, he would star in another film about a nuclear crisis, Fail Safe (1964).


OPERATION DOORSTEP (1953): A haunting Civil Defense film in which two houses in Yucca Flats, NV (populated entirely by frighteningly lifelike mannequins from J.C. Penny) are subjected to an open-air atomic blast. The parts of the houses most affected are emphasized in order to get viewers to avoid those rooms in the event of an attack – but the complete disregard for the dangers of radioactive fallout meant the government declared this film obsolete in 1959, recalling all copies from schools.

THE ATOM AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE (1953): An Encyclopedia Britannica film on the (seemingly benign) effects that radioactivity has on plants and animals. A rat is fed radioactive table sugar, and doesn't seem to mind. You might want to avoid that nuclear-saturated corn, however.

This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 1,090
  • UPC: 089218807298
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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