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Summary: A dramatised film in which the Warning and Monitoring Organisation gather information and plot fallout patterns after a nuclear attack.
Description: The film is based around the Metropolitan Sector Headquarters in the south east of Britain, the target for several nuclear weapons. Immediately prior to the attack, the BBC is informed and a gramophone record containing an emergency message is broadcast. A Royal Observer Corps team in a post on the Kent coast monitor the blast from a nearby explosion and then retrieve the charts from a pinhole camera device which gives the size, bearing and elevation of the detonation. This information is reported to ROC Group HQ where the actual position of the blast is calculated and passed on to the Sector HQ (staffed by civilian volunteers and situated deep below an anonymous looking building in the country). The chief and his scientific officer decide which areas should issue fallout warnings, and give the RAF clearance to use a base still unaffected by fallout. Back at the ROC post, one of the team sets out to repair the line after a tidal wave from a nuclear sea burst wipes out their communications. Meanwhile, fallout from an explosion on the French coast is heading for the area. Liaison officers at HQ pass on reports to France and Belgium about other fallout heading their way. A radio operator holds back her tears upon hearing that Southampton, where her parents live, is the victim of a bomb. As the situation begins to seem under control (as far as the monitoring is concerned) a second attack warning is received. The commentary stresses the invulnerability of the communications organisation to disruption due to the interlocking nature of the various parts.
Production Details: United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation (Production sponsor)
RHR Productions (Production company)
Cobham, David (Production individual)
Riley, Ronald H (Production individual)
Campbell-Jones, Simon (Production individual)
Gamage, Fred (Production individual)
Goldsmith, Gladys (Production individual)
Barden, Michael (Production individual)
Dayan, Michael Shah (Production individual)
Smith, Dick (Production individual)
Drake, Edward Joseph 'Ted'British sportsman. (Production individual)
Guild Animation (Production individual)
Napier, Russell (Production cast)
Personalities, Units and Organisations:
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: Colour
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 3
Footage: 2675 ft; Running time: 30 mins
Notes: Remarks: a good attempt at making the work of information gathering and collating seem interesting, but the moment of human interest towards the end of the film only serves to point up the extraordinary lack of emotion shown by all the participants in what is clearly a devastating nuclear attack.
Acquisition : source given refers to copy catalogued; IWM also holds copies from other sources.