On Countercultural Chicken in Fahrenheit 451 and A Raisin in the Sun

  • Michael Wainwright


That other countries eventually but successfully responded to the asymmetry of power afforded to America and the Soviet Union by nuclear weapons comes as no surprise. On October 3, 1952, Operation Hurricane witnessed the first British test of an atomic device. This successful trial, which took place on HMS Plym—an obsolete frigate moored in the Timor Sea at Main Bay, Trimouille Island—made Britain an additional danger to Soviet security. A third player had joined the Prisoner’s Dilemma predicated on MADness. British cinema tangentially anticipated this situation with Michael Powell (director) and Emeric Pressburger’s (screenwriter) treatment of the Pimpernel legend. The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), with Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon, had been a box-office sensation, and “Powell and Pressburger,” as James Howard relates, “saw no reason to remake a story which had already been definitively filmed” (70). To Pressburger, “who had always striven above all to do something original and fresh,” as Kevin Macdonald chronicles, “the thought of a remake was anathema.” Producer Alexander Korda, however, persisted. Pressburger turned to Emmuska Orczy’s series of Pimpernel novels for inspiration. “Emeric,” reports Macdonald, “went ten rounds with Baroness Orczy’s Pimpernel books trying to squeeze a decent script from them” (303).


Game Theory Nuclear Weapon Science Fiction Emphasis Original Mutual Cooperation 
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© Michael Wainwright 2016

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  • Michael Wainwright

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