A-Bomb Blast Effects (film #281 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Military & Propaganda]

This is a silent fragment of a color military film of an early atom bomb test. Even without the soundtrack, it's pretty interesting, as it is filled with fascinating images and it gives a real feel of what such tests were like to the soldiers who had to endure them. Some arresting images include several signs promoting secrecy (such as “If You Wouldn't Tell Stalin, Don't Tell Anyone Else"––I want these for the Film Ephemera Museum of Quirky Devices), GIs prematurely emerging from their foxholes only to be surprised by the bomb's aftershocks, comparison footage of war materials and dummy soldiers before and after the blast, and the final uninterrupted footage of the blast itself, which makes the camera shake and almost burns out the film with the intenisty of its light. Again, it's too bad the soundtrack is missing, but this is a great historical document anyway and it would make wonderful footage for documentary filmmakers.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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