Movie Morsel: Ladybug Ladybug
Have you ever stumbled upon an older film that you have never heard of and decide to give it a try? Then you watch the movie and you find yourself completely riveted? That is what happened to me when I came across Ladybug Ladybug. It’s a small film, there is nothing lavish about it, but it definitely crept into my psyche and has stayed there for years. Made in 1964 and directed by Academy Award nominated director Frank Perry, the film is a chilling exploration of the Cold War and how it promised unbelievable horrors. The premise: It is 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. At a rural school, teachers are asked to walk their students home, when a nuclear bomb alarm goes off. The teachers try to hold it together as they walk the terrified children home. The kids fear that their parents won’t be there when they arrive. One girl, hoping to save herself from nuclear annihilation when her classmates won’t allow her to join them in a bomb shelter, locks herself inside an abandoned refrigerator where she will most assuredly suffocate. It’s a harrowing film, only 82 minutes in length, and yet the tension is so palpable that you feel as though it will overwhelm you. The cast includes a handful of wonderful character actors of the stage and screen including William Daniels, Estelle Parsons, Jane Connell, Alice Playten, Nancy Marchand, Judith Lowry, and James Frawley.
Fun Fact: The film was inspired by an article that appeared in McCall's Magazine about a true life incident that happened at a country school.