The Atomic Cafe

A hot spot in a cold war.
6.4K ratings
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Format:  DVD
item number:  6REYY
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DVD Details

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 28 minutes
  • Video: Black & White / Color
  • Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
  • Released: December 4, 2018
  • Originally Released: 1982
  • Label: Kino Classics

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Directed by , &
Produced by , &

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 26


User Ratings: 2,515
Rating: 3/4 -- The Atomic Cafe is a chilling memory of life in the first years under the mushroom umbrella. Full Review
Chicago Sun-Times
May 8, 2019
Rating: 8/10 -- While some of the specific elements of The Atomic Cafe were already passe at the time of the film's release in 1982, the prevailing spirit of Loader and the Raffertys' documentary remains just as potent. Full Review
The Gate
Dec 20, 2018
Rating: B -- This poignant, often funny docu consists of revelatory clips used by the government as propaganda about the Atomic Bomb. Full Review
Jan 8, 2013
Viewers old enough to remember "duck and cover" drills and homemade fallout shelters (and suits!) will get a special charge out of "Atomic's" many archival gems. Full Review
Los Angeles Times
Aug 10, 2018
The Atomic Cafe provokes a surprising number of laughs, from a soundtrack of awe-inspiringly tasteless '50s pop songs to its extracts of horribly acted army films warning of Commies on the home front. Full Review
The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
Oct 10, 2018
Deserves national attention.
New York Times
Aug 31, 2004
Rating: 10/10 -- Compilation essay film of the propaganda celebration of the nuclear age, both in cartoonish and apocalyptic form... So long as there are unstable madmen with nuclear codes clutched in their fists, fear rightfully abides. Full Review
Sep 21, 2018

Product Description:

Armageddon has never been so darkly funny as in The Atomic Café. This 1982 cult classic juxtaposes Cold War history, propaganda, music and culture, seamlessly crafted from government-produced educational and training films, newsreels and advertisements. Taken together, these sources cheerily instruct the public on how to live in the Atomic Age, how to survive a nuclear attack (!) ... and how to fight and win a nuclear war. As a U.S. Army training film advises, "Viewed from a safe distance, the atomic bomb is one of the most beautiful sights ever seen by man." Returning to home video in a sparkling 4K digital restoration created by IndieCollect, The Atomic Cafe is an absurdist blast from the past that would be downright laughable if it weren't so eerily relevant to our fake news present.

Special Features: Selection of government propaganda films (courtesy of the prelinger archives) | Filmwax radio interview with Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader, and Pierce Rafferty | Audio excerpts from Jayne Loader's CD-ROM "Public Shelter" | Trailer


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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 115,597
  • UPC: 738329235796
  • Shipping Weight: 0.15/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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