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The Atomic Kid (December 8, 1954)

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The Atomic Kid
 

Released on December 8, 1954: A man wandering in the desert outside Las Vegas stays in an empty house built on the spot that an atomic bomb is scheduled to explode.

Produced by Mickey Rooney

Directed by Leslie H. Martinson

The Actors: Mickey Rooney (Barnaby 'Blix' Waterbury), Robert Strauss (Stan Cooper), Elaine Devry (Audrey Nelson), Bill Goodwin (Doctor Rodell), Whit Bissell (Doctor Edgar Pangborn), Joey Forman (Military Policeman in hospital), Peter Leeds (Secret Agent Bill), Hal March (Secret Agent Ray), Fay Roope (General Lawlor), Stanley Adams (Wildcat Hooper), Robert Emmett Keane (Mr. Reynolds), Peter Brocco (Comrade Mosley), Charles J. Conrad (scientist), Paul Dubov (Anderson, peanut butter advertiser), Sig Frohlich (photographer), Milton Frome (communications man), Don Haggerty (Lieutenant), Trustin Howard (Corporal), George E. Mather (First Sergeant), Robert Nichols (Bob), Allan Ray (first Military Policeman), Frank Richards (casino officer), Dan Riss (Jim), Joe Rocca (second Military Policeman), Billy Snyder (croupier), Ray Walker (newspaper reporter), Tommy Walker (enlisted man), Guy Way (Lieutenant), Bill Welsh (commentator), Dick Winslow (second Sergeant)

 
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Short, Red-Headed, and Radioactive

It is a very rare movie that has only one female actor, and this one of those rare movies.

Thelma Elaine Mahnken was born in Compton California in 1930. Her mother Hortense Davis-Mahnken was an artist/animator for the Walt Disney Studios.

As a young adult Elaine married a basketball player from Compton who became an armed robber and addicted gambler who eventually would kill himself in a Las Vegas hotel room. Elaine posed in the nude for a photographer to earn money while her gangster husband was in prison. In 1952 when he got out of prison Elaine divorced him, and soon met the short, red-headed movie star Mickey Rooney at the Woodland Hills golf driving range.

When this movie was made, Elaine was in her second year of marriage with Mickey Rooney, and became the only female character in the story. She is credited with the screen name of ‘Elaine Davis’ for this movie, but before her movie career ended in 1999 she would change her screen name to Elaine Devry.

In this story she is the nurse at Atomic City who cares for the Atomic Kid, Mickey Rooney. It seems incredulous today, but apparently back in 1954 we were not aware of the disastrous world-wide effects from above-ground nuclear explosions, and our story begins with an A-bomb test in the desert outside Las Vegas.

Soldiers were planted only 2 miles from the bomb to witness the blast and become Guiney pigs for scientists to examine after the blast. Mickey Rooney, as Blix Waterberry, is sitting in a house constructed at ground zero, and amazingly survives and becomes the Atomic Kid.

The scientific facts that we know today about radiation and its effects on humans is out the window in this comedy farce, leaving only laughter and amazement, much like the comedy of the Three Stooges from this same time period . . . . Antics to laugh at and wonder at, knowing that it is all fake movie magic intended to entertain but not educate.

By the way, a few years after this movie was made Elaine and Mickey Rooney would get a divorce and while Elaine never chose to marry again. Elaine would later comment that Mickey Rooney wasn't the easiest man to live with, and six women can't all be wrong. . . . . After she made that comment Mickey Rooney would marry two more women, giving him a total of eight wives. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Mickey Rooney and Elaine Devry
Mickey Rooney and Elaine Devry
Robert Strauss watches the atomic blast
Robert Strauss watches the atomic blast
The atomic blast
The atomic blast
Allan Ray and Mickey Rooney
Allan Ray and Mickey Rooney
Allan Ray
Allan Ray
Bill Goodwin and Dan Riss
Bill Goodwin and Dan Riss
Bill Goodwin and Mickey Rooney
Bill Goodwin and Mickey Rooney
Bill Goodwin and Robert Strauss
Bill Goodwin and Robert Strauss
Bill Goodwin, Robert Strauss and Elaine Devry
Bill Goodwin, Robert Strauss and Elaine Devry
Bill Goodwin
Bill Goodwin
Bill Welsh and Fay Roope
Bill Welsh and Fay Roope
Bill Welsh and Stanley Adams
Bill Welsh and Stanley Adams
Bill Welsh
Bill Welsh
Dan Riss and Bill Goodwin
Dan Riss and Bill Goodwin
Elaine Devry
Elaine Devry
Elaine Devry and Mickey Rooney
Elaine Devry and Mickey Rooney
Elaine Devry and Robert Strauss
Elaine Devry and Robert Strauss
Elaine Devry
Elaine Devry
Elaine Devry kisses Mickey Rooney
Elaine Devry kisses Mickey Rooney
Elaine Devry
Elaine Devry
Fay Roope
Fay Roope
Frank Richards
Frank Richards
Hal March, Mickey Rooney and Peter Leeds
Hal March, Mickey Rooney and Peter Leeds
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney and Elaine Devry
Mickey Rooney and Elaine Devry
Mickey Rooney, Robert Strauss and Robert Emmett Keane
Mickey Rooney, Robert Strauss and Robert Emmett Keane
Mickey Rooney and Robert Strauss
Mickey Rooney and Robert Strauss
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney kisses Elaine Devry
Mickey Rooney kisses Elaine Devry
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
Paul Dubov and Robert Strauss
Paul Dubov and Robert Strauss
Peter Brocco
Peter Brocco
Peter Brocco
Peter Brocco
Peter Leeds and Hal March
Peter Leeds and Hal March
Robert Emmett Keane
Robert Emmett Keane
Robert Emmett Keane
Robert Emmett Keane
Robert Emmett Keane
Robert Emmett Keane
Robert Nichols
Robert Nichols
Robert Strauss and Allan Ray
Robert Strauss and Allan Ray
Robert Strauss and Elaine Devry
Robert Strauss and Elaine Devry
Robert Strauss and Hal March
Robert Strauss and Hal March
Robert Strauss and Mickey Rooney
Robert Strauss and Mickey Rooney
Robert Strauss and Robert Emmett Keane
Robert Strauss and Robert Emmett Keane
Robert Strauss and Robert Emmett Keane
Robert Strauss and Robert Emmett Keane
Robert Strauss
Robert Strauss
Stanley Adams
Stanley Adams
Whit Bissell and Bill Welsh
Whit Bissell and Bill Welsh
Whit Bissell and Mickey Rooney
Whit Bissell and Mickey Rooney
Whit Bissell
Whit Bissell