It’s Friday and the week is coming to an end. Time to relax and get ready for the weekend. What better way to unwind than kicking back and enjoying a classic movie about the Cold War, Nuclear weapons, the Strategic Air Command, B-99 bombers and Soviet spies! I agree so your Friday Night movie recommendation is Forbidden Area from 1956. This was actually the debut episode of CBS’s popular “Playhouse 90” television series. A Cold War thriller, its screen play was written by none other than Rod Serling and was based on a novel written by Pat Frank.
It was directed by John Frankenheimer features an all-star cast with Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Tab Hunter, Victory Jory, Charles Bickford and Diana Lynn. In it Heston plays a hard-nosed Air Force Colonel assigned to a Pentagon think-tank. There he uncovers an elaborate Soviet plan to remove the threat of the latest American bombers so they can launch an attack against the US. Is the plot entirely believable? No, but the acting is good and it’s an interesting look back at the early days of the Cold War some 60 years ago. Forbidden Area is a fun romp with action, suspense, dirty Commies and even romance. Heston is at his best playing a 1950s officer who’s talk and actions would trigger your average Millennial giving them a breakdown. Vincent Price adds an interesting flair to the mix as well.
You can watch the movie in its entirety for free at youtube.com. There is an introduction and then the movie kicks off at the 1:55 mark in the Soviet Union.
Pat Frank (1908–1964) is the author of the classic post-apocalyptic novel Alas, Babylon, as well as the Cold War thriller Forbidden Area. He is one of the first and most influential science fiction writers to deal with the consequences of atomic warfare. His novel Forbidden Area is still available and can be purchased at Amazon: