57°F
weather icon Clear

Reinvent your response to fear

In 1952, Columbia Pictures put out a movie about the Russians invading the United States titled “Invasion U.S.A.” While the movie primarily is set in Manhattan, there is a heavy focus on Hoover Dam.

Staring Peggy Castle and Gerald Mohr, the movie centers around people from different walks of life at a bar watching as a Soviet “red attack” takes over the national news. The main characters are a television news personality, a New York socialite, an industrialist and a rancher from Arizona. The movie follows each bar patron returning to his or her life and how they handle the attack. “Invasion U.S.A.” is a reflection of how each class of people is impacted by the destruction of life as they knew it.

The Arizona rancher heads back home and, as he is about to pass through Boulder City, the then-named Boulder Dam is hit by a nuclear missile. This part of the movie’s plot, however, presents one of the more noticeable hiccups in film history. According to IMDb.com, “Invasion U.S.A.” shows Boulder City as a flat, wide farm community that is actually situated downriver from Hoover Dam. When the dam is hit by the Soviet missile, Boulder City ends up being flooded by water and the town is sunk, a casualty of an international attack.

In reality, Boulder City sits seven miles away from Hoover Dam and 1,300 feet above the elevation of the dam. I’m not clear if this movie mistake is a result of poor research done by the writer, Franz Schulz, or if the writer purposely moved Boulder City for dramatic effect. Either way, it’s a heavy thought to think what could happen to any city positioned near a dam given a natural disaster or act of war, which is one of the many reasons this movie terrified its audiences.

Schulz was an emigrant born in Prague. He seemed to have a charmed early life. His family was wealthy. He graduated from college and then had a safe stint in the army. After an honorable discharge, he moved to Germany, working as a journalist before diving into the film industry, where he had sudden success.

In 1933, Schulz lost his film career after the Third Reich forced him to flee Germany. Through no fault of his own, he had to reinvent his life again and in another country. He first went to England, where he had some success. Then, he made his way to the United States. “Invasion U.S.A” may have been Schulz’s tribute to his own displacement out of Germany or it may have only been his way of simply profiting on the cultural fear of the Russians taking over American. Either way, the movie was a success. It cost a little over a $100,000 to make and it made a little over $1 million.

“Invasion U.S.A” is my Throwback Thursday recommendation today for two reasons. The movie has great footage and references to Boulder Dam and Boulder City, even if the references are geographically wrong. The movie also plays to our fears and our security as individuals and as a society, which makes us think about not only what could happen in our lives, but what our responses to change, even disaster, may look like. If you can find the 2009 special DVD edition of this movie, it is worthy buying as it features two Civil Defense audio recordings from 1965 that are related to the movie’s subject matter.

What we fear the most is often the thing we need to face and overcome. We can become paralyzed by our fears. We can become weary of others based on stereotypes. It’s a new year, which means it is a time for new beginnings. Whatever fear you’re facing today, don’t think about how to flee or just survive it. Instead, like writer Schulz, figure out a way to face fear by reinventing your response.

Tanya Vece is a ghostwriter and independent marketing specialist. She can be reached on Instagram @TanyaLVece.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
City’s past, future tied to lake

Lake Mead, the gem in Boulder City’s backyard, is losing its gleam.

Set goals for community, as a community

As a not so closeted optimist, I like to think about those things I’ve succeeded in and, because I hate the word “failed,” those things that I haven’t succeeded in during the new year. This year I worked my butt off, I read a ton of books, I wrote a lot of stories, I had one published and few opinions posted here. I went to some cool places and met some incredible people and taught a few classes of amazing people.

Shift to even-year elections produces some oddities

Our newest City Council members, Sherri Jorgensen and Matt Fox, took office only six months ago. So, it might seem much too early to start talking about city elections again. But this year marks a major change in Boulder City’s election cycle: a shift from odd-year elections to even-year elections. In other words, past city elections were held in odd-numbered years (for example, 2017, 2019 and 2021), but beginning this year they’ll take place in even years (2022, 2024 and so on).

Stick it to me

I’m in heaven today. That’s because it’s National Sticker Day. It’s a day that I can happily pay tribute to one of my favorite obsessions: stickers.

Reid was true friend to city

Few people know of the genius of Sen. Harry Reid. I was fortunate to get to know him from my position as mayor and council member of Boulder City. He was available to Boulder City residents and the citizens of Nevada regardless of which party they were affiliated with. I consider him to have been a friend.

Resolve to avoid resolutions

A new year. A new you. Making New Year’s resolutions to improve yourself or your life is a tradition that dates back thousands of years.

Path to move forward clear

I want to wish all the residents of Boulder City a new year that brings better times and allows us to move beyond the challenges and struggles we have had in the past year and more. We are tired and frustrated from the pandemic that has caused hardship and, for many, personal loss.

Memories made as time flies by

There are only a few hours left in 2021 and I don’t know how the others passed so quickly. It seems the older I get, the faster days fly by.

‘Twas the baking before Christmas

A few years ago, many readers commented how much they enjoyed my column about holiday baking and requested that I make this an annual tradition. Though my holiday baking has since expanded into the entire month of December so that more family and friends can enjoy the fruits of my labor, the true spirit of the message remains. I promise to stay knee-deep in flour, sugar and spices, and wish all a sweet holiday season and new year.

Diversity more systemic than racism

We live in the greatest country in the entire world. It has many inequalities and a number of negative attributes, but these are an exception, not the norm.