Cultural Impact of Atomic Bomb

CulturalImpact of Atomic Bomb

Majorityof the movies acted before World War II, and more specifically beforethe America brought the war to an end through the atomic bomb, weremainly influenced by the events that had taken place in the firstquarter of the 20thcentury (Reeves1).In 1930s, many audiences were interested in movies rich in escapiststhemes, an aspect that significantly resulted into the reduction ofspeculative movies. For example, after the massive failure of themovie JustImagine thathad used huge sums of money, many studios were not ready to fundexpensive futuristic films. Even though some classical films such asthe Thingsto come,predicted how the globe would appear 100 years into the future, andeven the arrival of a world war, such movies did not receiveattention and were a total failure (Henrikson1).

Inthe pre-atomic era, the movie industry was flooded with serial films(Reeves 2). The atomic bomb had two major effects on the movieindustry. First, the atomic bomb significantly increased peoplecuriosity in science, and concern about the potential disastrousimpacts of an atomic bomb on the planet (Henrikson1). In addition, the competition in all aspects oflife commonly referred to as the cold war between the two countries(U.S.A and U.S.S.R) that emerged from World War II as superpowersresulted to a notable increase in the number of scientific fictionfilms (Ingram 2). There was increased communism fear within UnitedStates of America. Movies in this era used science fiction componentslike high-tech widgets, mad scientists, global domination and spacetravel (Reeves 1). Other important parts of science fiction wereincorporated in horror films, science experiments, and monster filmssuch as Doctor X. In addition, serials of patriotic superheroincorporating war propaganda were also very common (Morrow, 1). Forexample, one of the famous master pieces named Destination Moonindicated the background competition between United States andU.S.S.R. It shows a nuclear power-driven spaceship on its journey tothe moon with four men on bode. It was clear that many studios werebeginning to increase their financing of science fiction movies. Theword atomic had became synonymous to anything grand, powerful andinnovative (Ingram 2).

TheMovie the Day After

Themovie ‘’the day after’’ is such one movie that use sciencefiction to illustrate the tragic effects of nuclear war betweenUnited States and Soviet Union. It is in the 1980s and aconfrontational U.S.S.R president deploys his soldier to the borderof West Germany. In a matter of moment, the troops are ordered toattack West Germany which at this time was under the authority ofU.S.A. With numerous army divisions and armored vehicles the troopsmatch into West Germany (Ingram2).On the other side of the globe in Lawrence, Kansas near the borderwith Missouri, a nuclear family is setting up the stage and gettingready for an upcoming wedding. Another main character Dr Oakes isoccupied with his duties as the principal of surgery in small healthinstitution at Lawrence.

Thetwo groups of people carry on with their daily chores but are drawncloser to the prospect of a nuclear warfare, as the Soviets employballistic missile to capture cities in West Germany and United Stateswarships in the Persian Gulf. United States respond by targeting theU.S.S.R ship and Soviets react by hitting the North Atlantic TreatyOrganization (NATO) area headquarters with a missile. Out of fear ofthe eminent disaster ahead, people begin constructing makeshift safehavens in the basement of their apartments, but unfortunatelymajority are caught off guard moment after another nuclear warheadsare initiated from their storage tower along the Kansas. USAFofficers then make an announcement that more than 300 warheads areinbound to the United States and two of these are bound to hit KansasCity. Many people lose their lives and those that are not killed mustface the hazard of radioactive elements. The day after is a moviethat depicts how a day would look like after a nuclear warhead islaunched. As can be witnessed the consequences are disturbing.Individuals who are not killed by the direct impact of the missileare shown living in a barren land, troubled world with no power, foodor clean drinking water. It is also a world full of radioactivematerials, starvation and disease in the horrendous upshot of ‘TheDay After’ (Ingram2).It highlights the intense fear that encompassed the nation in theface of a threat of a nuclear war.

TheMovie Twilight Zone

Themovie twilight zone is made on the background of a popular legendarytelevision series crafted by the Serling Rod (Canby 1). The movietakes four chronicles that are unique of the primary approach of thelegendary twilight zone series. It recaptures the extraordinary landwhose limits are that of the imagination. In the first part, weencounter a racist who is taken back to the time of the Nazi era inGermany and is coerced to gulp down his own intolerant pills (Canby1). This racist is taught a lesson when he is made to go through theexperience of three different victims of extremism and prejudice.

Inthe episode that follows, a uncanny aged man appears at the home ofthe aged, and literally gives all the residents everything that theydesire. In the third episode an epic about a traveler who divertsfrom the beaten path and consents to the offer of generosity extendedto him by a kid who appears healthy and less disorderly. The woman,referred to as Quinlan, gets inside the roadside cottage where theyoung kid reside, nonetheless the lady is in another facet a strangeworld telegraphically developed by the young boy’s imaginations. Just like in the first episode, the inside of the small house isgiven a wonderland reputation. The young boy traps an entire crowd ofadults in his secret visions (Canby 1). Finally, in the last episodethe movie illustrates an story of a frightened air traveler whoenvisions a tiny green man tearing the engine of the aircraft. It isall too evident that there is no little man but this happens in thetravelers’ imaginations. The atomic bomb had encouraged people topursue science to increase the boundary of their imagination. In thisera, human innovation had threatened human existence and Americanculture was shaped by the anxiety and fear of a looming atomic war.

TheMovie the War Game

Inthis movie, a young boy with good skills on computer games but withpoor academic records accidentally connects into a top secretcomputer which has total control over the United States nuclearweapon. David together with his friend Jennifer decides to hack intothe system of Toy Company in their hunt for a new game. The UnitedStates Air Force had made a decision to alter the warhead launch planand control procedure from human command to an intelligent computerprocess (Morrow 1). The system selected is referred to as WarOperations Plan Response in a super computer situated at NorthAmerican Aerospace commonly referred to as NORAD in the movie.David hacks this system using the password set by the creator of thesystem, a dead scientist called Falken thinking it is that of a toyfirm. He dares the computer to participate in a thermo war gamebetween U.S.S.R and United States of America (Morrow 2). Shortlyafter David realizes that the super computer is participating in areal game and the U.S is altering its condition to wage an attack onRussia. From this movie, it is clear that mentality relating to thethreat that nuclear bombs posed on the world had occupied theimaginations of many American. At this time, scientific knowledge andtechnological knowhow had become one of the most important part inall sectors (Ingram 3).


Itis all too evident that, the use of atomic bomb in World War II madea big impact to the American culture, and more specifically in themovie industry. It shaped the themes, plots and content of manymovies produced in the post-atomic era. To many individuals in theUnited States of America, the atomic bomb was taken as the unifyingelement of harmony and safety. Nonetheless, to a significant part ofthe American population, it represented American insanity,insecurity, rebelliousness and excesses. The three movies are a realrepresentation of the primary feelings shared by many American in thepost-atomic era. Everyone in the U.S was well aware of the terribleeffects of a nuclear bomb after the Japan incidence, and the threatposed by Soviet on Americans increased tension and fear countrywide.


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Henrikson,A. Margot. Dr.Strangelove`s America: Society and Culture in the Atomic Age.Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. xxvi + 451 pp. $35.00(cloth), ISBN 978-0-520-08310-3. Retrieved from:

Ingram,Ambrose. and Dr. Melissa Gormley. ADecade of Frustration: The Impact of the Atomic Bomb in AmericanMedia and Culture during the 1950s. Accessed from:

Morrow, Frank.The War Game: The Reality of Nuclear War.AlternativeInformation Network. 2001.

Reeves,Bob. Thebomb has shaped American culture for 60 years.2006. Retrieved from: