Ladybug Ladybug (film)

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Ladybug Ladybug
Film Poster for Ladybug Ladybug.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Frank Perry
Produced by Frank Perry
Written by Eleanor Perry
Lois Dickert (story)
Starring Jane Connell
William Daniels
Nancy Marchand
Estelle Parsons
Alice Playten
Music by Bob Cobert
Cinematography Leonard Hirschfield
Edited by Armond Lebowitz
Frank Perry Films Inc. (as Francis Productions Inc.)
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • December 23, 1963 (1963-12-23)
Running time
82 min.
Country United States
Language English

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.[1] It was the motion picture debut of William Daniels, Estelle Parsons and Jane Connell.[2]

The film was inspired by a McCall's magazine story about an actual incident at an elementary school.[3]


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. Unsure whether or not the alarm was false, 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 and yells "Stop!" repeatedly as the camera moves closer to his face, goes out of focus and then fades to black.


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.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Reviews for Ladybug Ladybug". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  2. ^ Trivia for Ladybug Ladybug. IMDb. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  3. ^ Dickert, Lois (April 1963). "They Thought the War Was On!". McCall's. 

External links[edit]