Duck and Cover


Ad Honorem
Sep 2009
It was may be a year ago or so that I published a thread in the Movies / Television forum concerning the value in reissuing Stanley Kubrick's, “Dr. Strangelove” I did this because nuclear weapons were again in the news. Not to discuss the current situation there is important history regarding nuclear weapons that has been neglected or carefully omitted by the media.

I come from the “Duck and Cover” generation. This was when the entire nation was held in a state of fear about the possibility of an all out attack from the Soviet Union. In my grammar school classroom we would hear a siren go off then they instructed us to get under our desks and to cover our eyes to avoid the blinding flash. We did this until we heard the all clear. This is fact and it occurred several times a year. Supplementing this were films of the death and destruction caused by nuclear weapons. We were all told that the Soviet Union could launch an attack at any moment. This was illustrated with maps of the circumference of destruction caused by an A-bomb and then the H-bomb. However, we were told not to worry because we were protected 7/24 by SAC, “The Strategic Air Command”. Not described as such, the USSR and the US were in a contest to see who could build the biggest bomb. This was culminated with the 50 megatons Tsar Bomb. detonated 57 years ago (1961)..It's equivalent is 50,000,000 tons of TNT...

Daniel Ellsberg worked for the Rand corporation and had the highest security clearance. He was privy to nuclear war strategies. If you view this 16 minute clip and you do not want to be exposed to current events, shut the clip down at 12 minutes.

I believe that some films are like important books and I believe that the 1964 film, “Dr. Strangelove” fills this description. When I first posted this topic in the Film and Television forum, I found the comments falling short and missing the point.

I got responses like, “No one wants to see a black and white movie.” or “It's dated” and finally, “What about a re-make?”

You don't remake a Kubrick film without falling woefully short. Upon seeing the film in 1964, Daniel Ellsberg said, “This is a documentary”.

Because this film is secondary to the topic, I am posting this in “Philosophy and Sociology”

Today, nuclear re-armament is being done on the down low and as students of history, you should be paying more attention..


Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
Thanks for cutting the "Strangelove" clip at that exact moment. Does anyone else think that Slim Pickens' missile is aimed at a pentagon? Just to our left of his thigh?
Jan 2012
South Midlands in Britain
I watched `Dr Strangelove' when it first came out largely because Peter Sellers, a neighbour and a friend of friends played Dr Strangelove.

I have seen it since but the second time lacked the atmosphere of the first viewing. To say the film was an education is to understate it. It was an illumination. Looking back on that period over fifty years later demonstrates that you can get used to any old nonsense so long as it is deemed normal. The trouble is that the government is always in charge and writes the agenda.
Oct 2018
Adelaide south Australia
I love 'Dr Strangelove'

Australia being so far from Europe and North America ,we were encouraged to believe we were safe from nuclear attack.The US facility at Pine Gap was not mentioned. I suspect few Australians were even aware. So no duck'n' cover for us.,and no back yard shelters.

Since the time I was old enough to understand, I have always hoped to be at ground zero in the event of a nuclear attack. I read years ago that should there be a nuclear attack on just one medium size UK city, the entire resources of the country would not be able to cope.

I can clearly remember the game of brinksmanship between the US and Russia , called "The Cuban Missile Crisis". I was16. At school we all thought there was really going to be a nuclear war. We thought Kennedy was an idiot for taking us so close to the brink of the utter devastation of a nuclear war.

There are dozens of dystopian movies around. A couple of the better ones in recent times are:'The Road' and 'The Book Of Eli'. Going back a bit ;the TV series 'Jericho' (2006) is OK ' and the US TV movie "The Day After' (1983) does its best whilst trying not tho frighten the viewers. The most realistic looking film on the subject I can think of is the British TV movie 'Threads' (1984).It''s really quite confronting.

There is also an old film about Nuclear war,"On The Beach" (1959, Directed by Stanley Kramer)where survivors were in Melbourne Australia waiting for the fallout to reach them.One of the stars, Ava Gardner, earned Aussies' ire by declaring Melbourne the perfect place to make a film about the end of the world. In hindsight, she was understating a bit.

Pine Gap - Wikipedia

The Day After - Wikipedia

Threads - Wikipedia

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