Five people are sitting in a New York bar with a mysterious Mr. Ohman, when they hear the news that the godless Communists are invading the good ol’ U.S. of A. The five rush off to various sections of the country to do their part to stop the invasion, when an A-bomb crashes down upon Manhattan.
In a small Manhattan bar, several people sit around drinking and talking, as a news reporter on a television set in a corner tells about world tensions and the news. Several of the customers ask Tim the bartender to turn off the set, and he mutes the volume.The group includes:
Vince Potter – a television/radio news reporter, who begins questioning those at the bar if they are for or against a universal draft.George Sylvester – a tractor manufacturer from San Francisco, who is opposed to the government telling him to make tanks, as well as upset over threats that his plant could be taken over by the government as well.Carla Sanford – a woman brought into the bar by George Sylvester. However, she seems to take a quick shine to Vince, as she listens to his broadcasts. She claimed she worked in a factory during the last war, but stopped because it was damaging her hands.Ed Mulfory – a cattle rancher from Boulder Hill, Colorado, where he lives with his family.Arthur V. Harroway – An Illinois congressman visiting New York. He seems very boisterous, and champions Vince for speaking 'the voice of the people.'Vince soon notices another man at the bar, named Ohman. Vince proposes his question to Ohman about what America wants, and Ohman claims that America wants new leadership, but wants someone else to worry about its problems.The others joke about this, as Ohman swirls some brandy in a sifter. Everyone then grows quiet when suddenly, a newsbreak on the television tells of numerous enemy planes flying into harbors in Alaska, taking over.With the invasion affecting transportation, Mulfory and Sylvester decide to see if they can get back west. Sylvester leaves Carla in Vince's care, to which she seems hardly fazed.Numerous flights are sold out for various cities, but Mulfory and Sylvester decide to fly into San Francisco, with Mulfory planning to get transportation to Boulder, Colorado from there.However, shortly after arriving in San Francisco, the enemy attacks. Sylvester stays behind to salvage what he can of his tractor factory, while Mulfory convinces the cab driver to drive him to Colorado. However, as he reaches his family, the enemy drops an atomic weapon on Boulder dam, causing it to burst. Sylvester, his family, and the cab driver are then swept away in the flash flood.Back in San Francisco, Sylvester attempts to quickly turn his tractor-manufacturing business around to produce tanks, but with the enemy fast approaching, he recommends to dump the remainder of their tractor inventory in the bay to keep the enemy from getting them, and says to have their men work 24 hour shifts to get them ready.His words are then interrupted by an enemy spy who had been cleaning his office. Suddenly, enemy troops enter the room, and liquidate everyone except Sylvester. The spy then says that he is in charge, and that Sylvester will convince his workers to build tanks for 'The People's Army.' Sylvester attempts to escape, but is gunned down.Back in New York, Vince and Carla continue to be swept up in a romance as the war rages on. Vince attempts to enlist to help for the effort, but is denied several times. Carla has taken to working at a blood bank.The two still meet at Tim's bar, where a new crowd of customers speculate about all sorts of enemy tactics, including the enemy parachuting down into various places wearing American uniforms. Meanwhile, newsflashes show the enemy taking out numerous weaponry and places. There is also talk of how billions of dollars in items are burned to keep the enemy from getting to them, all because the country did not have a strong enough army to defend itself.A red-alert is soon issued that New York is to be attacked, and numerous atomic weapons are dispatched over the city. Vince finds Carla outside of the remains of the bar, but Tim has died in the rubble.Eventually, the scene shifts to Washington DC, where Harroway is addressing Congress that they should be 'doubly vigilant' regarding the enemy at this time. However, the enemy quickly overtakes the small squad of American troops guarding the building, and soon the Congressmen flee, upon hearing they are surrounded.Back in New York, Vince's news station is taken over by the enemy. Carla assumes the worst, but very shortly, Vince is brought to her apartment, under enemy escort. They both feel relieved that the other is safe, but an argument breaks out when one of the enemy demands that they both drink whiskey to celebrate the enemy's take-over. Vince tries to stop the soldier from advancing on Carla, and is shot for his actions. Fearing for her life, Carla dives out a nearby window, screaming as she falls to her death.The scene then returns to Tim's Bar, where almost everyone appears to be sitting stock-still, except for Tim. Ringing the brandy sifter Ohman used, everyone awakes. It soon appears that they (except for Tim) were all under a mass hypnosis put on by Ohman.Ohman then drinks the rest of his brandy, and explains to everyone that the visions they had are going to come true, unless they do something about it. He then wishes everyone a good day.As if they have seen the errors of their ways, each of the people leaves on their own mission:Sylvester says he's going to consider building tanks instead of tractors.