Ladybug Ladybug (film)
|Directed by||Frank Perry|
|Produced by||Frank Perry|
|Written by||Eleanor Perry|
|Studio||Frank Perry Films Inc. (as Francis Productions Inc.)|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Release dates||December 23, 1963|
|Running time||82 min.|
Ladybug Ladybug is a 1963 American motion picture directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Frank Perry. The film is a commentary on the psychological effects of the Cold War, the title deriving from the classic nursery rhyme. It is also the motion picture debut for both William Daniels and Estelle Parsons.
During the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, teachers at a secluded countryside elementary school are asked to walk their pupils home after a nuclear bomb warning alarm sounds. Unaware that the alarm was tripped by accident, the teacher and children walk through the countryside with a slowly building sense of doom about the upcoming nuclear holocaust. When the children finally gain access to a bomb shelter, they do not allow a female fellow student join them, claiming there isn't enough room. The girl frantically searches for shelter and finds an abandoned old refrigerator to hide inside, suggesting that she is going to suffocate to death (although this is not shown). After a boy from the shelter fails to find her, we hear a loud whining noise overhead. The boy cowers in the shadow of planes passing in the sky above. The film abruptly smashes to black with the words "STOP! STOP! STOP!" written on screen.
It isn't explicitly stated that a bomb was or wasn't dropped; but earlier scenes in the movie specify that the alarm was the result of an error, meaning that the children are victims of the panic and paranoia caused by the Cold War.
Alternatively, consider that a bomb is dropped and the determination that the alarm was the result of an error was erroneous. Movies of this genre (e.g. Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove) played out doomsday scenarios to their destructive conclusions. The alternative interpretation replaces paranoia with what was believed to be objective fear and gives credence to instincts that are aroused under this threatening scenario.
- Doug Chapin as Gary
- Miles Chapin as Joel
- Jane Connell as Mrs. Maxton
- William Daniels as Mr. Calkins
- James Frawley as Truck driver
- Richard Hamilton as JoAnn's Father
- Kathryn Hays as Mrs. Forbes
- Judith Lowry as Grandmother
- Nancy Marchand as Mrs. Andrews
- Estelle Parsons as JoAnn's Mother
- Alice Playten as Harriet
- "Reviews". RottenTomatoes.com.
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