Red Nightmare (1962)
Documentary / Drama
Directed by George Waggner
Jack Kelly as Jerry Donavan
Jeanne Cooper as Helen Donavan
Peter Brown as Bill Martin
Pat Woodell as Linda Donavan
Andrew Duggan as Judge
Peter Breck as Russian Officer
Robert Conrad as Pete
Mike Road as Prosecutor
Jack Webb as On-Camera Narrator
Host Jack Webb tells of what America would be like under communism. Produced in the early sixties,this is a frightening tale of a typical American family, and what that same family would look like under the "Red Nightmare". Just the facts. maam.
Before anyone criticizes this film, you have to judge it in terms of the the time it was produced. Anyone of us who lived through the cold war can well remember the strong concern (or fear or paranoia if you like) that was ever present at the time. We remember as kids being told to go under our school desks, to roll on the ground when a flash was heard and to memorize exactly where the nearest fallout shelter was. We as a people were still new to explosives that could destroy the world in one blast. It was frightening as it should have been. Remember air raids (in addition to fire drills) in school? Remember conelrad?
Although this film is somewhat 'over the top', we didn't know that at the time. We, as a nation were scared. Did you have a fallout shelter in your home, complete with rationed food and water in it? How about all those civil defense volunteers running around with their white helments? And don't forget radiation which could could carry for miles; killing it's victims at a slow, painful rate. This was all new to us and we didn't know what do expect.
This short film should not be viewed as funny or camp. It is, instead, a reflection of what we, as Americans were fearing at the time. And with good reason.
Rhino Video released this film on video in 1985 under the title "The Commies are Coming, the Commies are Coming".
Actors: Peter Breck, Peter Brown, Robert Conrad, Andrew Duggan, Jack Kelly, Jack Webb