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The Atomic Kid

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The Atomic Kid (1954) starring Mickey Rooney, Robert Strauss, Elaine Devry
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The Atomic Kid (1954) starring Mickey Rooney, Robert Strauss, Elaine Devry

The Atomic Kid is a comedy about … surviving an atomic bomb blast? Yes! Surprisingly, it’s very funny!


The basic plot of the Atomic Kid is as follows. Bix Waterbury is following his friend Stan’s latest get rich quick scheme. Uranium prospecting! But, in the middle of the desert, tired and thirsty, they see a small house. They go inside …. But it’s a weird house! Mannequins are sitting at the dinner table. There’s no running water or edible food. It turns out to be ground zero for an atomic bomb test! Stan escapes, but Bix isn’t so lucky. As the bomb’s about to hit, he closes his eyes and puts his fingers in his ears …

To his surprise — and everyone else’s — he survives! How, nobody knows. But, he’s now radiactive. He’s taken to a hospital, and treated. There, Stan becomes a regular visiter — and his publicity agent! And, Bix starts falling in love with his attractive nurse. But, there’s a problem. Lots of people want to find out how he survived. Including Communist spies!


I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by The Atomic Kid. It’s a very funny film, fast-paced with interesting characters. Bix’s romance with nurse Elaine is sweet. In real life, the two were married at the time. Stan’s hilarious, as he’s trying to get Bix’s endorsement on virtually everything. And, there’s a dramatic subplot with the Communist spies trying to figure out “how” he survived. And, the ending is absolutely hilarious!


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