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

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Robert F. Lyons and David Soul may have seen UFO

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF FLIGHT 412 (1974 telefilm). Director: Jud Taylor.

"Officers aren't supposed to act on instinct, they act on orders, and yours are to lay off!"

Two air force men are doing a test flight [412] to check for electrical problems when they see two blips appear and disappear on their radar screen, followed by the complete disappearance of two jet fighters. They are quickly taken off to be debriefed by SID officers, much to the consternation of their commanding officer, Colonel Pete Moore (Glenn Ford), who first wonders where the hell they are and then why they were taken in the first place. While the Flight 412 pilots (David Soul; Robert F. Lyons) are held and questioned along with others, Moore demands answers from General Enright (Kent Smith of Nora Prentiss) even as Major Dunning (Bradford Dillman of Jigsaw) urges him to forget the whole business. What's going on here? Well, sadly, not a hell of a lot, as this cheap production was cobbled together to take advantage of the UFO rage of the seventies but lacks a strong plot, suspense, or any pay-off. A lot of perfectly good actors are just wasted. The blaring, brassy musical score does its best to create some excitement, but can't disguise the fact that nothing much is going on here. There are a hell of a lot of good-looking men in the cast, for those who are interested.

Verdict: Not nearly as much fun as The Invaders. *.

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