Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

THE LOST MISSILE


THE LOST MISSILE (1958). Director: William Berke. Screenplay by Berke and Jerome Bixby.

The movie has a great idea and not a bad script but with a 99 cent budget and probably a shooting schedule of about a week it never realizes its potential. A racing explosive deadly missile of unknown origin, possibly extraterrestrial, appears out of nowhere and is on its way to New York (obliterating poor Ottawa along the way). This is the day that Dr. David Loring (Robert Loggia) wants to marry his girlfriend Joan (Ellen Parker), and the same day that another scientist's wife is having a baby. All of this takes a back seat to the fact that New York has to be evacuated in record time, and there seems to be no way to destroy the missile -- or is there? Alas, there's only so much you can do with stock footage (and there's a lot of it) and a lack of directorial panache. Ottawa is destroyed with a few shots of people falling down beneath a fiery beam or something, and there are reasonably well-staged scenes of panic in the subway and elsewhere. One scene that should have been powerful is when one character is exposed to deadly plutonium, dooming him, as the woman who loves him -- unable to touch him for one last time -- watches in horror. This probably worked a lot better on paper than it does on the screen. Too bad. The performances are generally solid.

Verdict: Watchable but minor-league sci fi. **.

1 comment:

Watch The Lost Missile said...

It is sci-fi movie released in 1958. It was one of those movies I used to see on Saturday afternoon TV as a kid - it used to scare the heck out of me!