Civil defense film promoting the well-maintained house as part of America’s line of defense against nuclear attack. Cosponsored by the paint and coating industry’s national trade association and the federal government, The House in the Middle uses footage shot at the Nevada Proving Ground (now the Nevada Test Site) to demonstrate how a clean, freshly painted house has the survival edge in the event of a nuclear blast.
Note: Released in 16mm Kodachrome and in black and white. Abridged version for television broadcast. Selected for the National Film Registry.
November 28, 2021 Subject:
Duck and Cover Versus Home Renovation
The House in the Middle is a film that reminds us just how naïve the government thinks people are. It is a pure unadulterated propaganda aimed at scaring folks into maintaining the exterior and interior of their homes.
The timeless film Duck and Cover taught us that we are safe from nuclear blasts if we hide under our desks or take shelter in a doorway. As every school boy and schoolgirl knows wood and clothing will protect you from the effects of the flash, thermal and blast waves, and radioactive fallout.
Thanks to The House in the Middle, we also know that if you paint your house, maintain your fence, and don't leave any trash lying about, your house, the neat and tidy house in the middle, will survive a nuclear bomb. It's the untidy, poorly maintained, and unkempt houses on either side of you will burn to a crisp.