Sing along, kiddies! Just follow the bouncing ball!
[Bert, wearing a standard issue GI helmet, meanders blithely along a tree-lined suburban road, smelling the flowers.]
There was a turtle by the name of Bert
and Bert the turtle was very alert.
When danger threatened him he never got hurt;
he knew just what to do:
[A strangely emotionless monkey dangles a stick of cartoon dynamite next to Bert's head. Bert disappears into his shell, leaving the suicide bomber to vaporize himself alone.]
[Flashback! Monkey! Oh shit! Kaboom! Goddamn monkey!]
He did what we all must learn to do
(you and you and you and you):
Be sure and remember what Bert the turtle just did friends, because every one of us must remember to do the same thing. That's what this film is all about: duck, and cover.
THIS IS AN OFFICIAL CIVIL DEFENSE FILM PRODUCED IN CO-OPERATION WITH THE FEDERAL CIVIL DEFENSE ADMINISTRATION AND IN CONSULTATION WITH THE SAFETY COMMISSION OF THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION.
This is followed by what modern audiences could only describe as spectacularly cheesy footage of children (with only token adults present, sort of like a Disney film) attempting to prepare for or cope with nuclear assault. They line up in neat rows, turn their faces away from the windows of school buses, drop their bikes to hide in the gutter, obey passing authority figures, duck, and, yes, cover. Everyone remains eerily calm throughout, and no one ever even pretends to be hurt.
Duck and Cover! is available for download in various formats courtesy of the Prelinger Archive at
According to the "Rights" statement at http://www.archive.org/movies/prelinger.php, all movies in this collection are in the public domain. (CST Approved.)