Film / Countdown to Looking Glass
Countdown to Looking Glass
is a 1984 Canadian Alternate History
and Speculative Fiction film
starring Scott Glenn
and Helen Shaver among others, centered around the events that lead up to a nuclear war
between the USA and the Soviet Union, as depicted in a series of evening newscasts that becomes a 24 Hour News Network
Notable for its realism at the time (though not so much anymore) and for occasionally being Harsher in Hindsight
. One of the less famous of the nuclear war movies of the 1980s along with Threads
, The Day After
, and World War III
. Notable along with Threads
for being on the "hard" end of the Speculative Fiction
spectrum in that, at the time, such an attack could have happened exactly as it depicted *and* that it even bears some relevance in the present.
It is available in its entirety on Youtube.
Tropes included in this film are:
- Book Ends: The film begins and ends with a video clip of Looking Glass taking off
- California Doubling: More like Canada Doubling. The entire production was made in Canada but was supposed to be occurring in the US. This becomes very, very obvious at points.
- Deadline News / Red Shirt Reporter: Michael Boyle, aboard the USS Nimitz in the end when the nuclear war begins. Even were the war to have stopped then and there, the initial radiation from the first blast would have been deadly at that range...
- Downer Ending: Once you go nuclear, you can't go back...
- Emergency Broadcast: At the end of the film, the Emergency Broadcast System is activated with an EAN.
- Emergency Presidential Address: Of the "not the President, we're all screwed" variety.
- Everybody Smokes: That said, for being set in the 1980s and during the Cold War becoming very, very hot it is a Justified Trope.
- Hope Spot: Several times. Unfortunately, neither reason nor an Intrepid Reporter can stop the race to war...
- Honor Before Reason: Because one source just wasn't enough to go forward with a story that could have saved the world. A large dose of sexism seems to be involved too - it is implied that had Dorian been a man, the men would have been willing to go forward on one source due to the extremity of the situation.