Red Scare Theater

I’m watching the 1952 "classic" film Invasion U.S.A. in all of it’s Cold War glory. It is really quite a piece of atomic age schlock, with very liberal use of combat footage from both World War Two and Korea, along with atomic test footage. There is lots of interesting 1950’s aviation footage, including these planes: MiG-15, F-9F Panther, F-80 Shooting Star, F-86 Sabre,  B-24 Liberator, B-29 Superfortress, B-36 Peacemaker, Lockheed Constellation, and the C-119 Flying Boxcar. The Enemy is never named, but it is obviously the godless communist Soviet Union, complete with badly done Boris Badenov accents. The enemy bombers shown are B-29’s, but it turns out that in real life, the Soviet Union had a reverse engineered copy of the B-29 called the Tupolev TU-4 Bull, that was actually in service when the movie was made.

They also use scenes from London during the blitz, and Japanese kamikaze attacks at Okinawa in 1945. The plot, such as is, features a group of affluent, complacent Americans in a Manhattan bar, all complaining about how taxes are too high and how the government interferes in their business too much. Then they are hypnotized by a mysterious "seer" (who uses a brandy snifter), who shows them the error of their ways.

One interesting item in the bar is a wall mounted Admiral television set that must be about 50 inches diagonally. TV sets in 1952 were more typically in the 12-15 inch range. Another highlight is the very pretty Peggie Castle. For some unexplained reason, the President is always shown making live television addresses with a camera angle looking over his left shoulder!  One campy seduction line used on Miss Castle is "War or no war, people have to eat and drink; and make love!"

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