Atomic Energy Can Be a Blessing (film #3 on The Educational Archives, Vol. 6: Religion (Fantoma, 2003)). [Category: Military & Propaganda]

This film, made by the same folks as Atomic Energy as a Force for Good, is much more didactic than the other film. Fred MacMurray apppears, but only to introduce Father James Kelly, a Catholic priest who seems to be bucking for canonization as Patron Saint of Atomic Energy. Father Kelly earnestly lectures us on how atomic energy is God-given and therefore good, despite all the nasty rumours you may have heard about bombs and stuff. A bunch of government film footage of atomic experiements is shown, while the beneficial uses of atomic energy are rattled off, mostly involving cancer cures and agricultural uses. For some reason, Father Kelly reminds us of atomic energy's teensy downside by showing us the a-bomb test scene from Atomic Energy as a Force for Good. Then he lectures us some more in a confusing fashion about how "one person can make a difference"––I bet this guy was a real snooze-inducer in the pulpit. He tells us about his "organization," the Christophers, which has no membership, meetings, or dues, but it does have a newsletter that we all can subscribe to for free. Despite the clips from Atomic Energy as a Force for Good, I'm surprised that this overly-earnest, clunky film was made by the same people. Perhaps Father Kelly was desperate to get in front of the cameras, and the film was made chiefly to satisfy that. It does have a lot of camp value, though, as well as historical value in the declassified government footage that is included.

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

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