Ladybug Ladybug (1963)
Directed by Frank Perry
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
Director Frank Perry picked a bunch of unknown child and (at-the-time) adult actors to take part in this commentary/diatribe against the Cold War. In the film, the nuclear bomb alarm at the elementary school begins to go off and, after determining that the alarm went off at the nearby high school, the principal decides to send all the children home despite having no information as to whether there is a true attack imminent. Since many of the children live close to the school, groups led by teachers begin to walk back home, all the while talking about the possible causes and effects of a nuclear bomb dropping on their small rural community, none of them knowing if this is simply a drill or prep for a real attack.
And that's it...it's a talky picture with children doing most of the talking. Unfortunately, some of the child actors fare better than others and while there are a few interesting moments, for the most part, the conversations are basic and elementary -- which, while making what the kids say seem apropos for people their age, didn't really make for very interesting commentary for the adults watching.
Still, Ladybug Ladybug is an interesting film. I realize "interesting" is an adjective that doesn't really convey a sense of "good" or "bad," but I'm kind of landing in the middle on this film. On the one hand, it's a nice glimpse at our country's neuroses at a certain point in our history. On the other hand, its 88 minutes seem incredibly drawn out, despite carrying a solid amount of realism. And -- SPOILER ALERT -- I now know that the infamous refrigerator bomb shelter scene in the latest Indiana Jones movie simply copied that outrageous moment from this flick.
The RyMickey Rating: C