Atom Sub: President Officiates at Laying of Keel (film #74 on Universal Newsreels). [Category: Military & Propaganda]

Early 50s newsreel documenting the keel-laying of the first atomic submarine, the Nautilus. This is fairly standard, but the narrator’s assertion that the sub is a “deadly weapon for war or peace” leaves you scratching your head. Also included are stories about a POW uprising in Korea, a new bomb targeting system, a transit strike in New York City, the Rose Parade in Oregon (including disturbing floats and a beauty queen taking a simulated bath on one float––all I could think of was the thorns! Ouch!), a British soccer match, and a rodeo in Oregon. This complete newsreel gives you a feeling of the contradictions of the early Cold War period, with disturbing war stories alternating with lighthearted entertainment. A great snapshot of the early 50s.

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

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