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Duck and Cover (1951) (United States)

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:47 am
by trevor826
Duck and Cover (1951)

Without a doubt, the star of the public information films released in the US during the period of the cold war.

Part animation, part live action this short is so brilliant in its absurdity that even Bunuel could not have created a more surreal enterprise.

Aimed at children in particular, we are first introduced to the film by an animated turtle, above his head a monkey sits in a tree holding a fishing pole with dynamite hanging from it. Just before it explodes the turtle ducks into his shell and all thats left is the wreckage of the tree and the turtle.

Switch to real life and a classroom full of young children duck under their desks on the instructions of their teacher, why? Because this is going to save their precious little lives when the nuclear bomb explodes!

Absurdity after absurdity is relayed in front of your eyes; a family duck and cover under a picnic blanket while other children through themselves into walls to protect themselves. All the while a jolly little ditty plays along advising children that when they see the flash, they should duck and cover.

Stunningly brilliant in its stupidity and ridiculousness, of course they cant really tell the kids that once they see the flash from a nuclear bomb, they will be dead but this public information film is just so bad, it's worse than useless but utterly brilliant.

A must see testimonial to the imbecility of humanity from an incredibly dark period of recent history. This should be shown in history lessons, itll be far more effective in bringing this time in history to life rather than just reading about the cold war, the Cuban missile crisis etc.

I was laughing so much the tears were rolling down my face but am grateful that we have the opportunity to look back on wonderfully naive films like this little gem.

Cheers Trev.

From a collection of short films released on dvd "Nuclear Scare Stories of the Cold War".

Re: Duck and Cover (1951) (United States)

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:49 pm
by A
My oh my.
Sometimes it can be really scary to see what "educational" material was made some fifty years ago in our "progressive" countries.
I still remember some of the older educational films we were shown at school, and how this often became a laugh-fest, much to the dislike of the teachers.

I hope such times won't return very soon...