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

Thursday, October 13, 2011


SATELLITE IN THE SKY (1956). Director: Paul Dickson.

An aircraft that can fly higher than ever before, dubbed the "Stardust," is sent on a test flight, and along with it comes a bomb that is also to be tested -- that is, exploded in space. There is some disagreement as to the wisdom of doing this, but things really get out of hand when it is discovered that the bomb, which was supposed to be jettisoned from the ship, is clinging to it magnetically instead. The crew realizes that if they return to Earth without dislodging the bomb, it will explode on the surface and kill thousands of civilians. The players in this tense situation include Commander Mike Hayden (Kieron Moore), Professor Merrity (Donald Wolfit), and reporter Kim Hamilton (Lois Maxwell, Miss Moneypenny of the Bond films), who is a stowaway on the ship. Bryan Forbes plays one of the technicians. There is some attempt at drama in the earlier sections of the film -- Kim thinks space exploration is a waste of time, to Hayden's consternation, and one of the scientists has a neglected wife -- but the movie only really comes alive with the business with the bomb.

Verdict: Acceptable, minor science fiction sans monsters. **1/2.

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