Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
This one starts up with a title card proclaiming it as a "ABC Television" production, something like that. I think it was a feature however. There is a genus of films that are of the form: "A bunch of people from differing backgrounds are thrown together in a pressure situation and sparks fly." The best example I can think of right now would be the old Henry Fonda classic "Twelve Angry Men". It the present case the pressure situation is established when the Ruskie's get ready to drop the bomb 1955 style. Back in the day, before ballistic missiles, there were extensive plans to evacuate cities if enemy planes were sighted. In order to do this all the lanes of outbound roads had to be used and cops had to clear the inbound lanes of regular traffic first. In TINAT we start with a Hicks-ville cop named Coulter (no relation to Ann, I'm sure) getting radio orders to set up a roadblock and clear the road.
Colter's a nasty, officious SOB who likes to snarl at the public. He stops people as they pass through assembling the mixed crew that forms the cast of the movie: the crusty, Captain Jack chicken farmer and his nubile, uptight daughter; the drunk party girl and her just-hit-it-big high-roller boyfriend; the typical 50's white suburban, professional couple, the vaguely ethnic truck driver and his passenger, the nutzo wanted spree killer (he splits as soon as our boy Coulter sees him but hangs around the edges of the story -- just off-screen), one or two others... All the fixin's for a mid-20th century clash of characters.
Other than the odd voices on the radio this handful of people are the cast. Sparks fly as the more free-spirited members of the crew clash with Coulter who keeps up a drill sergeant demeanor throughout. As the Russian planes creep closer to Northern California where the story is set (somewhere about the Sacramento area, I should think), things get more tense (somehow the evacuees never show up). It occurs to somebody that they are about equidistant between two high priority targets and are likely to be well and truly hosed. Officer C. decides that they should ride out the war (and the two weeks or so of radioactive fallout after) in the truck trailer. Yes, that is a dumb idea (ever seen what a relatively small detonation can do to a boxcar? Boxcars are bigger than trucks...) but at the time it seems like all everyone has. He dragoons everyone into emptying the vehicle and converting it into home, sweet home. ("No Drinking!) And the psycho-killer floats around the edges all the time...
This film has two strikes going against it. First is the dime-store production values. The entire production was done on the side of the road, presumably in California somewhere. The sound sounds like it was recorded on-site which it probably was. Everything is very dark, and so on. Strike number two is probably more serious. The charactersare all placed in the unappealing spectrum of humanity. It starts with the nasty Barney Fife cop and works it'sway all through the other characters to some degree or another. OK, I know that in any group of a dozen people selected at random you will find, on average, twelve of them who are disagreeable to some degree or another. However, life isn't movies, and any movie withnobody in the cast to "pull" for has to be done with some subtlety and the direction of this movie can't get that done.
The ending is rather contrived, too.
I saw this movie as part of the nuclear testing DVD I reviewed recently (perhaps the copyright expired). I have no idea what the general release looks like. As this is a product of the early 1960s this movie contains no real swearing or sex and no significant violence -- your kids wouldn't like it anyway. You probably won't either, even for narrow nuke movie fans like me there isn't too much, the "attack" consists of opening the f-stop of the camera all the way and washing out the screen with light. For those seeking an end of the world movie or even a tense character study, you can definitely find better elsewhere.
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Better than Watching TV
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older