The Atomic Cafe | Chicago Reader

The Atomic Cafe

One's interest in the subject—the selling of atomic war to the American public of the late 40s and 50s—is quickly subsumed by one's disgust with the dishonesty of the filmmakers, who have used every editing trick in the book to make these old propaganda films look as ridiculous as possible. It's hard to respect the fundamental seriousness of the enterprise when the directors resort to mismatched reaction shots, overdubbed comic music, and the presence of Hugh Beaumont to garner cheap laughs. In the end this 1982 film only proves that Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader, and Pierce Rafferty are shrewder media manipulators than the poor mopes who made the original films for the Pentagon. 92 min.

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