Suspense (1949–1954)
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Nightmare at Ground Zero 

The Nevada Proving Ground is set for another nuclear bomb blast at 4AM. A harried artist is rushing to finish the mannequins he's been hired to construct that will populate a house at ... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
George Vance
Louise Larabee ...
Calvin Thomas ...
Tom (as Lonnie Chapman)
Ken Buckridge ...
Radio Announcer
Robert Willey ...
Henry Garrett ...
Cy Chermak ...
Norman Shelley ...
Mort Marshall ...
Painter (as Wyrly Birch)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:


The Nevada Proving Ground is set for another nuclear bomb blast at 4AM. A harried artist is rushing to finish the mannequins he's been hired to construct that will populate a house at ground zero. His nagging wife, who does nothing but complain about his work, finally pushes him over the edge. As contracted, he delivers five "people" to the house that's about to be destroyed. Written by Jay Phelps <>

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Release Date:

18 August 1953 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Nifty bit of live television
12 January 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

SUSPENSE "Nightmare at Ground Zero" 1954

This is a "live" episode of the long running anthology series, "Suspense". "Suspense", which ran for 260 episodes between 1949 and 1954, was a television off shoot of the popular radio series of the same name.

This one takes place at Yucca Flats just before an atomic bomb test. The army has built several buildings etc at the sight of the upcoming blast. They want to see what damage the explosion will cause. They are putting life like mannequins in the buildings.

O.Z. Whitehead, the supplier of the mannequins is running a bit late on delivery. He has 8 hours to get them all in place. The officer in charge is giving him a bad time about the delay. Whitehead returns to his shop to finish the dummies. His, wife, Louise Larabee, is also there. Larabee is not amused with her lot in life. She considers Whitehead a failure and rides him hard. Complain, complain, and complain is the only thing that makes her happy.

Whitehead finishes his work and loads up the mannequins for delivery to the bomb site. The wife decides to tag along in order to keep up the non-stop nagging.

Larabee gets bored on the drive out and pops a couple of her nerve pills. She is soon fast asleep. Whitehead makes it through the several guard posts to the house. He carries in all the mannequins and sets them up in their assigned spots.

As he drives off we see that there is a mannequin now sitting in the front seat instead of Larabee. Whitehead has had his fill of the dear wife. He placed her inside the soon to be destroyed building with the mannequins.

Back at his shop, Whitehead starts to have second thoughts about what he has done. Back in the car and off he roars to retrieve the shrew. The problem here is he only has 90 minutes to get there, and then back to safety. He roars through the check-stops and reaches the house. He grabs up Larabee and heads back to the safe zone. They only have 25 minutes to evacuate the blast zone.

Do they make it?

Of note here is both the writer and the director. The writer was Rod Serling. His work of course includes, THE TWILLIGHT ZONE, PLANET OF THE APES, SADDLE THE WIND, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY and REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT. The director Robert Mulligan was best known as the helmsman of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

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