Panic in Year Zero

1962, Sci-fi, 1h 35m

9 Reviews 500+ Ratings

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Movie Info

As the Baldwin family heads on vacation, their hometown of Los Angeles falls victim to a nuclear attack. Harry (Ray Milland), his wife, Ann (Jean Hagen), and their two teens head to their fishing retreat in the mountains, hoping to regroup and get more information. But they can't escape the frantic and irrational citizens, most of whom are dangerously deranged. Harry tries to stay calm during the nuclear-inspired end of days, but it's tempting to follow the masses' frenzied behavior.

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Critic Reviews for Panic in Year Zero

All Critics (9) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Panic in Year Zero

  • Oct 05, 2015
    Panic views like a stage play and is a window into the morals and fears of fifty years ago. Great for lazy Saturday / Sunday afternoon viewing.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 2015
    Ray Milland directs and stars in this straightforward contemplation on the hysteria the fall of civilization might bring. Its a lean and muscular piece, and better than one might be inclined to think considering the source (American International).
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    This is a really good apocalyptic movie, with an interesting cast, and a good story. I'd really like to re-watch it, though, I can't remember it very well.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jan 29, 2010
    Did Ray Milland's B-movie epic "Panic in the Year Zero" serve as an inspiration for Cormic MaCarthy's "The Road"? I'm not sure. But I do know that just ten short years after starring in "Singin' in the Rain", the beautiful and talented Jean Hagen was reduced to playing Frankie Avalon's mother (and she was only 39 at the time- only in the movies could a 57-year old man be married to a 39-year old woman and have a 22-year old son together). A nice, California family wakes up at the crack of dawn, loads up the camping trailer, and heads out for a weekend fishing expedition. Some miles outside of Los Angeles, they hear sounds they hear sounds of thunder, but when they look back and see a mushroom cloud, they realize World War III has broken out. From then on, it's a race for survival as people become more desperate. Milland not only directs but stars as the Mad Max-ian survialist father, and Frankie Avalon plays a twerpy yet potentially homicidial teenager. The mother and daughter are almost reduced to decorative furniture (apart from an attempted rape scene) and really, the end of the world is no place for a lady anyway. It's at times a fairly dramatic and suspenseful movie and at others it delves down into the cheese, but that doesn't stop it from being entertaining none the less.
    Devon B Super Reviewer

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