"The Atomic City" made in 1952, is an interesting tale about what can happen
in real life and no doubt was a controversial issue in its day.
The story takes place in Los Alamos, New Mexico, at the maximum-security
nuclear-weapons research centre and involves top atomic scientist Dr. Frank
Addison (Gene Barry), his wife Martha (Lydia Clarke) and his young son
Tommy (Lee Aaker).
Disaster strikes when Tommy is kidnapped and is held in exchange for atomic
secrets by enemy agents. It shows the anguish that the parents are put
through and the devious methods that the kidnappers use to obtain these
secrets, including killing the boy if they fail to get what they want.
The parents reluctantly hand the case over to the FBI but to them National
Security is top priority. Apprehending the extortionists comes first and saving
the boy is further down the list. To the parents, it is saving the boy first and
apprehending the extortionists next.
The FBI spend considerable time following up every clue but time is fast
running out. The useless formula handed to the extortionists to stall for more
time is confirmed as useless and the boy's life is now in peril.
The climax to the movie comes when the FBI find out by accident where the
boy is being held and they converge on the site - the Puye Indian cliff
Everything is now going wrong for the kidnappers, so they decide to destroy
all evidence and flee. The master-mind of the plot kills his accomplices and
then prepares to kill the boy as he would be able to identify him.
Tommy of course is a bright and resourceful little boy and he knows what is
about to happen to him. So, he decides to save himself even though he
knows that there is no way off the plateau where he is being held, with a
shere drop to his death on all sides.
Young Lee Aaker, the veteran of numerous movies and TV shows as a
child actor, turns in another good performance as Tommy. His role in the
movie is totally believeable.
Good, absorbing entertainment.