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Reviews by Contributor: Milland, Roy (1)

No More Ashes, No More Sackcloth

Panic in the Year Zero!

By Roy Milland

1 Dec, 2018

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Ray Milland’s 1962’s Panic in Year Zero! is a film about surviving an atomic war. John Morton and Jay Simms’ script was based (without credit) on Ward Moore’s Lot” (1953) and Lot’s Daughter” (1954).

Los Angelinos Harry Baldwin (Ray Milland), wife Ann Baldwin (Jean Hagen), son Rick Baldwin (Frankie Avalon), and daughter Karen Baldwin (Mary Mitchell) set out early one morning for a camping trip at rustic Shibes Meadow, a trip for which Harry seems the main enthusiast. Their timing proves fortunate. Soon after they reach country roads, mysterious bright flashes signal the end of the Baldwin’s comfortable middle-class life. 

The mushroom clouds growing over Los Angeles confirm what the bright flashes suggested. America’s enemies have struck with atomic force on Los Angeles. Although Ann’s mother may still be alive in flaming LA, Harry soon gives up any hope of rescuing the superfluous old lady (played by nobody, as she never appears on screen). Instead, he focuses on saving his family from the chaos to come. 

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