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It is worth noting the majority of reviewers were living and viewing in Florida at the time of the Playhouse 90 broadcast. I am one of them, we had moved to Miami in 1959 from New Hampshire, and I was 11 when this program aired in 1960. To think we had been cooked for entertainment purposes was one thing, but, two years later when we were living in Satellite Beach during the Cuban Missle Crisis was another. It was real time - there were Davy Crockett missle emplacements right outside my school window. Patrick AFB had always been open, but then it was shut down, and attack aircraft taking off every 20 minutes. I walked to school (8th grade) one morning wondering if I would be alive that afternoon. The story Pat Frank wrote had currency. Those of you not around in those days, well, we have hopes you won't experience similar feelings.
I was a high school student in North Florida when my family watched
this episode of Playhouse 90. It really struck home since the location
was in my state and the different bombs were exploding in locations
that I had family and friends living at the time.
With the Cuban Missle Crisis and the football players of my high school being taught how to drive the school buses in case of an alert the story line took on new meaning. It was required reading in our history class.
Our Explorer Scout post was also taught a two week class by the Civil Defense leader in our town in the event we should come under such an attack. We all felt that we would survive since we were a small town and not be a target of the Russians, very much as in the Playhouse 90 episode "Alas Babylon"
I am rereading "Alas, Babylon" because the last time I read it was in 1970. This will be the third time I read it. The book is great and should be considered a classic. While reading it now, I realized that I had seen it and sure enough, I found it on IMDb. One of the other reviews I read confused it with "The Stand" which is similar, but I still find that Pat Frank's novel to be superior. I would be a good movie for today. Hollywood seems to be rehashing old ideas. "Alas, Babylon" should be considered for that honor. It is time for Hollywood to wake up and do some original stuff. I was born in Pensacola, Fl when I returned there for my last year of High School, this book was required reading. Since I read it before, I did not mind. Read the book. I don't know if you can find on DVD or not.
I too was a student in N Florida - Pensacola - when this aired. In fact Pensacola was specifically mentioned as one of the targets - ".. there goes Pensacola". The hair on the back of my neck stood up. My dad was in the navy which is why we lived there and it was a target. Later in Jr.High school drama almost became reality during the 1962 Cuban Missle crisis - all our desks were turned away from the window - air raid drills, etc. I even had neighbors with fallout shelters in their back yards - we would use them during sleep overs!! Wow In later years while stationed in Germany and facing the East Block for real every time we had NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) training I remembered that episode of Playhouse 90 and the scary feeling because we lived at ground zero.
I have read the book and it was a real eye opener. I remember a movie that was a miniseries that to the best of my knowledge went by a different name. The miniseries was great and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book was a required reading for one of my high school English classes. I loved the movie but have not been able to find it since. I believe Richard Thomas was in it and played the main character. I thought it was out in the 70 or 80's - does anyone recall seeing the miniseries or know if it is available for purchase? This movie would be well worth looking into but I believe the version I saw was more up to date and I would love to see it again.
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