In movies, does dropping a nuke EVER help a situation? (SPOILERS, probably)

I think I’ve found a good one - “By Dawn’s Early Light”. Even though it’s a TV Movie, I hope it still counts.
Yes, it’s another one of those “1 minute to doomsaday” type of films.

Anyway, this scene was pretty inventive. Rebecca DeMornay and Powers Booth are in a B-52 flying over Alaska and being chased by 2 Russian fighter jets which are quickly gaining on them. Rebecca DeMornay comes up with a clever plan.
The B-52 will shortly be passing over a mountain range while the fighter jets will still be several miles behind. So, right before they clear the mountaintops, she releases an H-Bomb (with the appropriate delay of course). They clear the mountain range and after the obligatory “I think they gave us a dud” dialogue, the bomb goes off !! The B-52 is protected because of the mountain range and the large distance difference between the B-52 and the Russian fighter jets. Needless to say, it was a successful plan if a bit of overkill - a 20 megaton bomb to “shoot down” 2 jets. (I wonder what environmental damage that would have caused or if there were any cities around that area, or if the Alaska oil pipeline might have been dented due to the blast? LOL)

Seriously, it was a good movie with a good cast and I did enjoy this particular display of Yankee ingenuity !!

Stoneburner is the term that Fremen used for atomic weapons. Since Paul was Fremen at that point, it only makes sense that their word was used.

Yeah, I think I saw it once. Wasn’t she flash blinded in one eye by the explosion?

No, she was blinded when she involuntarily looked at the blast that destroyed her base.

I can’t come up with anything new.

This is definitely a case where life imitates art.

In Miracle Mile, dropping the nuke put an end to Mare Winningham’s acting.

As for movies that end with the bad guy’s nuke going off, I’ll throw in the made-for-TV Special Bulletin (1983). It’s presented in the War of the Worlds style as a breaking news story (terrorists have placed an a-bomb in the harbour of Charleston, SC, and will detonate unless their demands are met). I missed the beginning and it scared me for a bit until I recognized actor Lane Smith as one of the reporters.

Yeah i remember that one , the bad guys ,a bunch of looney green type scientists put the bomb on an aircraft carrier museum.

Some big flap about that happening regarding how close to real newscasts it was ,which was probably the idea, it had to give disclaimers every so many minutes running at the bottom to keep people from doing that war of the worlds type panic.

Great examples all around. Just wanted to add that personally, Special Bulletin is perhaps the scariest movie I’ve ever seen.

You’re thinking of Deterrence (1999) starring Kevin Pollak as the first Jewish President. While campaign stumping for the 2008 elections, a heavy snowstorm traps the Prez and his entourage (including a black woman as National Security Advisor, natch) in a Colorado diner. The crisis is the sudden re-invasion by Iraq of Kuwait (I forget which son, Uday or Qusay, was in charge, but in light of recent news, such events now seem unlikely). There aren’t enough American forces in the area to stop the invasion, so President Kevin uses the CNN-like news channel to deliver his ultimatum: get out of Kuwait or Baghdad goes bye-bye. The Iraqis counter with their own nuclear threat and things look pretty hairy. Baghdad does indeed go bye-bye (though the rest of thw world does not), courtesy of an improbably large 100-megaton nuke, delivered by stealth bomber.

The Dune “stoneburner” was definitely atomic (there was some discussion about the scandal of anybody using a nuke … since the Great Convention said such behavior was a big no-no). It was intended to melt down to the core of the planet and crack it wide open, but it petered out before it finished.

Couple more come to mind

Voyage to the Bottom of Sea, use nuke to restore the van allen belt.

Stargate , the movie , use a nuke to take out the pyramid space ship

in the doomsday archives ,a movie comes to mind called asteroid ,where the americans and the soviets launch ICBMS to deflect an asteroid , 1970’s vintage , if i remember.

And lastly for now , a television show , 1998/99 vintage where aliens are tryin to take over the world , circa the 60’s , and one of the saturn missiles is used to deliver a nuke to the farside of the moon where the alien base is located.


Good catches, Declan. Let me add another mid-'60s cheesy sci-fi called Crack In The World, in which one nuclear bomb causes the eponymous fissure, threatening to split the Earth like a honeydew, and another is, I believe, ultimately used to stop it.

I thought I’d include War Of The Worlds as an honorable mention since allthough the nuke they use on the aliens doesn’t stop their ships it doesn’t cause a disaster either.

Tought of a few more :

[li]In Judgement Day, a direct to video movie about a hemorr… asteroid about to crash on Earth, the usual nuclear device (anti-matter bomb to be precise) is used to destroy it.[/li][li]In the Peacemaker, a nuclear device is used to cover up the bad guys theft of nuclear devices.[/li][li]In Deep Core , after a drilling accident, a team has to drill 120 miles into the Earth to emplace nukes to save it.[/li][/ul]

Deep Core sounds like a Sci-fi Original rip off of “THE CORE”.

Since Deep Core was made in 2000, it’s probably the reverse that is true.