THE ATOMIC MAN (1956)
Article #705 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 2-18-2003
Posting date: 7-18-2003
Directed by Ken Hughes
Featuring Gene Nelson, Faith Domergue, Peter Arne
An unidentified man in the hospital who has been saved from drowning bears an uncanny resemblance to a nuclear scientist.
I have omitted in the above plot description the intriguing science fiction concept that is included in every other description of the movie; the man in the hospital is living exactly seven and a half seconds in the future. This is definitely an offbeat idea, and I’ve been wondering for some time just how a movie would handle that concept. This movie, however, does precious little with it; it’s merely a gimmick, and could have easily been replaced with the more conventional “he’s in a delirious state” cliche, for all the effect it really has on the story. This is basically an industrial espionage story, very ordinary at best, though there’s some nice acting to liven up the proceedings, but the science fiction aspects are poorly used, and the scientific explanation for his condition is one of the least convincing explanations I’ve heard since the single-cell heart theory in THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN.