Saturday, September 18, 2010

1950 - SEVEN DAYS TO NOON, brilliant thriller about nuclear terrorism

An excellent film about domestic terrorism in London.  A research scientist working in a nuclear arms laboratory steals an atom bomb which he intends to use if the British government does not abandon their nuclear weapons program.

This is a nearly perfect original thriller.  The film is cleverly divided into three parts.  The first part involves Scotland Yard's realization that the scientist has disappeared along with a nuclear weapon.
The second part of the film focuses on the scientist himself as he hides out in London.  The final section of the film concerns the evacuation of London and the search for the scientist by the government. 

The acting is very good throughout the film.  The scientist is given enough character so the viewer can understand  his reasons for detonating the bomb even though he still comes off as a naive nutcase.   His character, played as a rather mild mannered person makes him even more interesting and scary. 

However  the film clearly stays  on the side of the government.  The British knew what it meant to have their cities attacked since this film came out five years after the end of World War II.  The scenes of the evacuation of London are extremely well done.  The abandoned pets and people walking around with "end of the world" signs were a particularly clever touch.  When you consider this film was made way before the days of computer generated Titanic people the actual logistics of staging these evacuation scenes is impressive.  

This is not a perfect film.  There are a couple of plot points and situations that are not very credible, however good films are not always perfect films.   The filmmakers  John and Roy Bolting, brothers who usually specialized in comedy,  produced directed and edited this film.

A very impressive accomplishment.

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