Nuclear paranoid sci-fi at its very best! Yes, the ants are a little suspect these days, but the opening scenes are still genuinely unsettling and the characters are great. A true classic.
Missing persons case in New Mexico reveals existence of giant ants mutated by nuclear tests. Further investigation uncovers that they have a nest. . .in downtown Los Angeles.
First and best of the big bug movies of the Fifties, benefitting from a great cast and a perfectly paced plot, part mystery, part police procedural. One of the best things is the spirit of cooperation in the film. No eye-rolling from the authorities, no conflict between the FBI and local police (which would probably be half the film if it was made today). Instead the response is "What must we do to stop the menace?" Granted, this is probably due to its red scare origins, but it is refreshing. And the filmmakers knew to include some humor amidst the overall serious and menacing tone.
I still think the ants look good--at least they have the benefit of being "real" and not merely CGI phantoms. The scene revealing the location of the first nest is actually pretty nasty, especially for a film made in 1954! The chittering of the ants is as iconic a sci-fi sound as a theramin or the Martian heat ray from War of the Worlds.
Note: Walden Boyle is listed as "Waldron Boyle" in all published sources, but this must be an error copied from a Central Casting sheet or pressbook, as it is clearly Walden Boyle, and no reference to anyone named Waldron Boyle could be found.