Movies and musical influences on popular culture have always remained strong throughout the nuclear age. Nuclear radiation developed in to a cultural icon on which several major Hollywood films are based. The Incredible Shrinking Man! is a perfect example of how much nuclear weapons infiltrated the American public’s minds. The film was released in 1957 as public concern over radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons tests increased. In The Incredible Shrinking Man! a radioactive cloud device from a nuclear weapons test is the twist in the plot that affects an ordinary man as he becomes contaminated with “atomic dust” one day while boating with friends. He gradually begins to shrink at a rapid rate until he is so small he is able to fit through the screen and ends the movie with the infamous line “I guess it’s all relative,” as he looks up to the night sky and stars, realizing how small and insignificant man really is on this planet, when nuclear weapons come into play. In relation to more modern times, there have been dozens of films released such as the James Bond spy thriller, Goldeneye in 1995. With this particular Bond movie, he is trying to prevent an arms syndicate from using the Goldeneye satellite weapon against London in order to cause a global financial meltdown. Yet another film portraying nuclear weapons, "The Sum of all Fears",
This film depicts how Hollywood became infiltrated with the fear of atomic weaponry throughout the nuclear age. Radiation embodies some of the most paradoxical iconography of the early Cold War and continues well into the 1970s. Of course, we must not forget the British-American black comedy, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb directed, produced and written by Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick began writing the script with little idea of a plot, but he focused mainly on the “what if” scenario of a nuclear thriller based on the ideas of the “balance of terror” between the major nuclear powers of the Soviet Union and the United States. This film truly satirizes the nuclear scare and incorporates a slew of famous actors and actresses of the time including Peter Sellers, (The Pink Panther, Lolita) and George C. Scott (Patton, A Christmas Carol.) These hilarious actors formed a combination of nuclear nonsense and dry wit culminating the epoch of the nuclear scare.
Since the debut of nuclear weapons, there have been numerous songs pertaining to the topic of nuclear weapons that have permeated throughout the ages. During the rebellious decade of the 1960s, numerous songs were written and recorded to include the nonproliferation movement. Singers and songwriters work, especially during the nuclear age reflect the times. An example of this is a small clip from Bob Dylan’s famous song, “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”, which debuted shortly before the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963. Another famous bomb ballad is “99 Luftballons”, premiering in 1983 by the German group Nena, which is about an accidental nuclear war that began due to balloons with enemy missiles and bombers.