Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2/12/09: Ladybug Ladybug (1963)

I bought this DVD because it features one of my favorite actors, William Daniels (he played John Adams in 1776). The idea sounds intriguing: teachers and students at a school react to the news that a nuclear bomb may be imminent. Cold War jitters culminate in a bomb shelter, where a group of nervous young students have sequestered themselves. It's not quite Lord of the Flies, but the story did remind me of the Twilight Zone episode "The Shelter," with the identical scenario, from two years earlier. The movie would undoubtedly have been more effective half a century ago; viewers who write about having seen the film as a child speak of how horrifying it was. I found it reasonably watchable but far from truly terrifying (although there is a troubling scene near the end where a girl hides in an abandoned refrigerator she'll clearly never escape from). The ending is weirdly abrupt and ambiguous, and William Daniels' role amounts to precious little. An interesting curio. Rating: 3/5.

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