Synopsis by Mark Deming
Jack Webb serves and host and narrator of this justifiably infamous propaganda short, produced under the auspices of Warner Brothers head Jack Warner on behalf of the United States Department of Defense. Jerry Donovan (Jack Kelly) is a typical working class guy who cares about his family but isn't much on his responsibilities as a citizen - he keeps coming up with flimsy excuses to get out of attending PTA meetings, Civil Defense committee seminars, and Army Reserve conferences. While his wife Helen (Jeanne Cooper) gently scolds him, Jerry's real wake-up call comes while he's asleep, and he has a nightmare in which the United States has been taken over by Communist forces. Suddenly, Jerry's teenage daughter Linda (Patricia Woodell) leaves home to work on a collective farm, his younger children report him for not teaching them the proper socialist ideology, his co-workers angrily insist he meet his government-mandated production quota, and when he insists upon taking his kids to church (which has been turned into a museum glorifying Soviet scientific achievements), Jerry is arrested and tried for treason with no opportunity to defend himself. Comically over the top by today's standards, Red Nightmare was later released on videotape under the title The Commies Are Coming! The Commies Are Coming!; watch for future television star Robert Conrad in a bit part.
American [nationality], Cold-War, Communism, daughter, family, father, nightmare, propaganda, small-town, treason, trial [courtroom]