Five people are sitting in a New York bar with a mysterious Mr. Ohman, when they hear the news that the godless Communists are invading the good ol' U.S. of A. The five rush off to various sections of the country to do their part to stop the invasion, when an A-bomb crashes down upon Manhattan. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film shows Boulder City Nevada as a flatland farm community downriver from Hoover Dam being flooded by water after the dam is bombed. Boulder City is on a hilltop seven miles from the dam and some 1300 additional feet in elevation. See more »
In the little time we have left I want to tell you how proud you can be of the average citizen of New York. It seems every man and boy today has become a guerrilla fighter. I saw taxi drivers use their cabs as weapons to mow down enemy troops. I saw high school boys attack enemy tanks with pop bottles full of gasoline. I saw mounted policemen become a fighting cavalry.
We take over now.
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"Invasion U.S.A." (1952) comes across as propaganda, promoting fear of the Soviet Union without ever mentioning it and standing up for post-war mobilization and the military-industrial complex. However, was that the intent? I wonder, because the writer-producer, Robert Smith, also produced "The Magic Face", and that movie also capitalizes on a fantastical scenario, which is that Hitler is killed and an actor replaces him and undermines Germany's war machine. "Invasion U.S.A." is similar in constructing an unrealistic scenario in which a sneak attack occurs on America, replete with bombers, paratroopers, A-bombs and an unprepared and undefended country. So, it's possible that we have here only a case of a producer attempting to make a movie that sells and is profitable. According to the IMDb numbers, it did both. It cost $127,000 and took in $1,200,000. Nevertheless, the point of view adopted is heavy-handed and definitely supports high military spending, a peacetime draft and no de-mobilization, while promoting fear of an external enemy.
Robert Smith was a top script writer, doing such great pictures and film noirs as "I Walk Alone", "Quicksand", "Sudden Fear", "99 River Street", and also "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms". The problem here is that the situation is so unrealistic, an attack being so unmotivated and so subject to immense retaliation. This unrealism is compounded by the stock footage that's used.
The movie itself has a decent cast and acting. It has a ton of stock war footage from World War II, from contemporary military footage (possibly domestic and foreign), possibly air shows, and some possibly from Korea that involves jet airplanes. This in itself is not bad for those who enjoy such footage. There are some nice shots of different kinds of airplanes such as the six-engine B-36. Famous photos of attacks by aircraft on U.S. ships are included and footage of one carrier that was hit and billowed huge amounts of smoke, possibly the U.S.S. Yorktown, but my knowledge of its name is limited. However, in the context of a World War 3 that the movie depicts, the footage just doesn't cut it. It's all too contrived.
Even though the writer-producer's intent may have been only to make money, the film becomes a sociological document, a sign of its times. In that respect, it is not different from some similar movies being made today that have made a lot of money and been acclaimed. "Zero Dark Thirty" is an example. The latter is worse in this respect than "Invasion U.S.A." because it fabricates activities and passes them off as truth, whereas "Invasion U.S.A." is clearly fiction and doesn't pretend to be anything else.
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