Why this film isn't available on VHS, DVD or Blu-ray astonishes me. It's a Frank Perry masterpiece.
At a secluded rural school a nuclear alarm goes off and the principle cannot seem to find out why it is going off. He then proceeds to evacuate the school as per the rules of the times.
Some of the children are bused home but others are split into two groups and taken on foot by teachers to their respective homes. Along the way we learn of the children and their likes, dislikes and their thoughts on nuclear war. Some of the children are terrified and when they arrive home they cannot their parents to believe them.
When several children go to one girls house they hold up in a bomb shelter and the conflicts start almost immediately. This film is a master work in dealing with how children of all ages and many different backgrounds would react to imminent nuclear war.
The end of the film is both shocking and totally unforgettable. Two very interesting characters meets tragic ends by no fault of their own. I guess what this boils down to is that good intentions can go seriously wrong.
I saw this many years ago on a PBS station and hadn't seen it until last week, but it was always in my mind. A truly stunning film and one that should be more widely available.