The Atomic Cafe - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Atomic Cafe Reviews

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½ July 31, 2011
More disturbing than retro hilarious. Got me thinking about the red/nuke scare we went through in the 80's...was Reagan nostalgic for the 50's cold war? Almost want to see someone make a "sequel" that covers that later era. This film is brilliantly arranged, priceless newsreels and training films.
July 30, 2011
there are some remarkable scenes indeed, and the ending is simply priceless.
½ July 10, 2011
A really cool documentary based entirely on old cold war propaganda. I had a blast watching this.
April 30, 2011
Jason's movie night choice. Enjoyed it.
½ April 8, 2011
It's supposed to be sort of funny, but barely. Only the absurd propaganda such as the classic "duck and cover" and fear of the commies made me chuckle. I guess in light of Japan it's just frightening. Some parts should have made me cry but I was so shocked that I couldn't manage it. The testing on unknowing people and animals is the most chilling to watch. It's really disturbing, and I don't know that much has changed, frankly. Sad.
April 5, 2011
A real must for understanding Cold War Era America. Plus, great evidence of the U.S. Government putting its own citizens in danger all in the name of defeating communism.

That being said, there're some tough scenes in the film to watch involving human victims of the bombing at Hiroshima as well as victims of other U.S. test bombings.
½ March 7, 2011
At times funny, but over all a frightening look at how our own leaders tried so hard to convince a nation that no matter what happened after an atomic bomb went off, they have everything under control.

At least, that's what they wanted you to think. With 50 years of hindsight, we understand now that they really didn't know what they were getting themselves (and us) into.

My mother used to tell me about the "duck and cover" films of the 50's and how funny they were to mondern eyes. And she was right!
January 6, 2011
A nostalgic look on the development of the bomb and society's attitude living in the nuclear age. Some of the nuclear ideas in the 50's are down right scary!
November 28, 2010
"What are you supposed to do when you see the flash? Duck and cover." This is a great source of nuclear age propaganda, consisting of a wealth of footage from newsreel and government archives regarding nuclear weapons and the hysteria and paranoia they generated. Alternately hilarious and horrifying, the footage in this documentary is very illuminating about nuclear age fears. I think my favorite is a video demonstrating an "actual meal" prepared in a "modern day cave" in case of nuclear war.
Super Reviewer
½ November 14, 2010
This is easily the most bizarre documentary I've ever seen. Most documentaries use interviews, have a host who guides people through the film (example, Morgan Spurlock in "Super-Size Me"), and have some form a commentary with a narrator. "The Atomic Cafe" is very different. This film is made up entirely of newsreels and propaganda films to tell the story of the world after the atomic bomb and the paranoia of the Cold War. The only alterations the film makers have made is some editing and subtitles so we know who the people are. That's it. The rest is up to the viewer to gather for themselves. I know a lot about this period in history and some of the footage in this is almost as funny as it is disturbing. For example, a happy kids film with a cartoon turtle mascot who cheerfully reminds us "When you see the flash, remember, duck and cover, duck and cover, duck and cover!" If you want to kill an hour and a half, give this a shot. It can get a bit slow at times, but its definitely worth watching.
½ October 2, 2010
Dark Humor abot A Bomb
August 15, 2010
A documentary on the atomic war paranoia during the 50s, told entirely with govt propaganda, military training, and civil defense films from the time. The black humor that results from looking back is laugh out load funny.
August 15, 2010
Everyone should watch this. How easily we forget. The similarities between the paranoia / justifications of the past with those of todays.

Communism is not the enemy, democracy is not the enemy - its the people in power who abuse their power that is the enemy.
½ August 10, 2010
Classic cold war paranoia footage in this amusing take on an era when global destruction was only a push button away (and incidentally still is)
August 9, 2010
brilliant montage of footage.
anti-propaganda at its best.
the soundtrack deserves special kudos.
July 2, 2010
ok doc on cold war and atomic paranoia
½ June 21, 2010
Awesome. Wasn't sure what to expect from this little gem. Now I think I get 100% of the jokes littered throughout "Fallout 3!"
½ May 23, 2010
Definately an interesting look back in time. It's interesting to note this came out in 1982, pretty much while the Cold War was going on full stride w/ no end in sight. The humor is this film doesn't get much darker than this & is a nice touch.
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