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The Atomic City [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Spies hold the son of a nuclear physicist hostage in exchange for the Los Alamos bomb formula.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Barry, Lydia Clarke, Lee Aaker, Michael Moore, Nancy Gates
  • Directors: Jerry Hopper
  • Writers: Sydney Boehm
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 17, 2013
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DVH20RA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,507 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Egby on March 27, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of the joys of watching old movies particularly those shot on location is that the viewer sees a place, an environment as it was. Such is the case with "Atomic City" starring Gene Barry and Lee Aaker and directed by Jerry Hopper. It was made in 1952 and largely filmed in New Mexico's Santa Fe and Los Alamos regions. It hit the screens while America was still reeling from the shock that the Cold War was real and Communist spies had actually infiltrated the labs at Los Alamos. In fact two American civilians, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were awaiting execution the following year after being convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage during a time of war. Writer Sydney Boehm's story is simple. The young son of a Los Alamos nuclear scientist is kidnapped and the ransom demand is the design of the H-bomb. The 85 minute production is entertaining but its real quality lies in the actual locations such as the famous La Fonda hotel in Santa Fe, the shops of that period and of course Los Alamos known as "Atomic City," a name that still lingers today on the town's bus service. In the longish finale the viewer is treated to scenes filmed at the Bandelier National Monument with its famous Frijoles Canyon and the unique cliff dwellings of the Indian ancestors. The movie is now sixty years old and for lovers of visual history it provides a great treat.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Atomic City" made in 1952, is an interesting tale about what can happen
in real life and no doubt was a controversial issue in its day.

The story takes place in Los Alamos, New Mexico, at the maximum-security
nuclear-weapons research centre and involves top atomic scientist Dr. Frank
Addison (Gene Barry), his wife Martha (Lydia Clarke) and his young son
Tommy (Lee Aaker).

Disaster strikes when Tommy is kidnapped and is held in exchange for atomic
secrets by enemy agents. It shows the anguish that the parents are put
through and the devious methods that the kidnappers use to obtain these
secrets, including killing the boy if they fail to get what they want.

The parents reluctantly hand the case over to the FBI but to them National
Security is top priority. Apprehending the extortionists comes first and saving
the boy is further down the list. To the parents, it is saving the boy first and
apprehending the extortionists next.

The FBI spend considerable time following up every clue but time is fast
running out. The useless formula handed to the extortionists to stall for more
time is confirmed as useless and the boy's life is now in peril.

The climax to the movie comes when the FBI find out by accident where the
boy is being held and they converge on the site - the Puye Indian cliff
dwellings.

Everything is now going wrong for the kidnappers, so they decide to destroy
all evidence and flee. The master-mind of the plot kills his accomplices and
then prepares to kill the boy as he would be able to identify him.

Tommy of course is a bright and resourceful little boy and he knows what is
about to happen to him.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Atomic City" (starring Gene Barry, who also starred in "The War of the Worlds" (1953)), is an excellent nail-biter that blends the fears of the Cold War with the best traditions of 1930's/1940s gangster/film noir films. One could swear that this film is an Atomic age gangster film that replaces the Mafia with "the enemy" (euphemistically referring to the communists of Russia and China.) If you like a sort of "revisionist" gangster film with Atomic Age/Cold War drama, then this might be for you.
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Format: VHS Tape
Here is a much lesser known 50's sci-fi with a little different twist. An atomic researchers son is kidnapped and held for a ransom of the the Father's atomic secrets.

This is a tightly knit atomic sci-fi thriller with great production values and above average acting, even from the kid. The Atomic City actually has a movie feel to it unlike a lot of other 50's sci-fi of this time which which came off more like an episode of a TV show.

The Atomic City was also actually nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay - how many other 50's sci-fi can tout an Academy Award Nomination?

Great pacing, tight direction and some superb location filming in the 'real' Atomic City of Los Alamos, New Mexico make this one worth hunting down. The collectors print in circulation is an above average transfer and makes for a great double feature with the Atomic Man!!

Recommended
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This film captures the fear of America in the early stages of the Cold War. Released just 7 years after WWII, the film demonstrates just how deeply America was entrenched in the Red Scare. The film is entertaining (for those of us who love the old movies), and makes more sense if you consider that McCarthyism was at its zenith as the film was being produced.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A well made, low budget film about an atomic scientist & wife who are dealing with the kidnapping of their small son. The ransom? The "secret" of the nuclear bomb. Shot on many locations in Los Angeles & New Mexico, unusual for the era. Cold war themes are abundant including a scene where the nuclear aware child tell his mom that IF he grows up he wants to be a bicycle salesman. Gene Barry's film debut. Child actor Lee Aaker, age 8 at the time, nearly steals the show.
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