A family living 50 miles away try to flee from the fallout of an atomic bomb that fell on New York City.



(teleplay), (novel)


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Episode cast overview:
Gladys Mitchell
Dr. Garson Lee
Dr. Spinelli
Patricia Bruder ...
Barbara Mitchell (as Patsy Bruder)
Ginny Mitchell
Mrs. Moore
William Kemp ...
Jim Turner (as Bill Kemp)
Elizabeth Ross ...
Mrs. Harvey
Daniel Reed ...
Mr. Flood
Virginia Gerry ...


A family living 50 miles away try to flee from the fallout of an atomic bomb that fell on New York City.

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Release Date:

18 May 1954 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Civil Defense authorities acted as technical advisers. See more »


The Mitchell home is located in a suburb 50 miles from New York City. When Gladys goes to the basement to do her laundry, we see the flash of the New York bomb through the window, and the shock wave from the explosion arrives only eleven seconds later. The shock wave would actually move at approximately the speed of sound, about 700 miles per hour. It should have taken 50/700th of an hour, or almost four and a half minutes, to reach Gladys's house. See more »

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User Reviews

"How To Cope With Stress."
18 November 2016 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

The air was filled with REAL threat during the fifty-year-Cold War. And not just the air but the movies too. Features were filled with spies and espionage and sabotage and wearing white after Labor Day. John Wayne had to put them down in Hawaii in "Big Jim McLain." But it's understandable that there should have been so many threat movies during the Cold War. A population needs to be inoculated against the possibility of a horrible war, in case the possibility is realized.

These films are actually training films in how to play a new role. I remember training films in boot camp -- one about the Universal Code of Military Justice in particular, in which Lee Marvin played a deceitful sailor on the witness stand. There was some other one about venereal disease and another that showed us how to swim with perfect safety through a sea of burning oil, very amusing.

"A Day Called X" is about how to assume the role of disaster survivor in the event of a nuclear war -- how to prepare yourself emotionally and materially.

Phyllis Thaxter is a middle-class Mom who takes care of the house and her two children in Westchester, a well-to-do suburb of New York, while well-groomed Dad goes off to work in the city. A hydrogen bomb is dropped on the city by "the enemy".

All of a sudden the Thaxter house is turned into a chaotic scene of intrigues, arguments, desperate, visitors and survivors -- a rogue doctor who was once a pacifist, kids too young to understand radiation, a woman who becomes hysterical, another who is benumbed, another who gets constantly smashed. But in the midst of all this hubbub, Thaxter is a pillar of stability.

Frankly, it has a hasty look about it. There's a good deal of rushing from place to place on the single stage set. No one is sure of himself except for the local doctor who is -- Walter MATTHAU, looking great in the tumult.

It's more of a historical curiosity now. Thank God for small favors.

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