Who’s in this?
Richard Derr as Dave Randall a pilot and soon to leader of this rocket trip. Derr did quite a bit of film acting in the 40’s, in the 50’s he did TV acting as well as stage acting.
Larry Keating as Dr. Hendron who learns of a star coming at the earth and warns of the collision. Keating worked in radio and TV for years. Likely most known as Roger Addison the neighbor of Wilbur Mr. Ed’s owner.
Barbara Rush as Joyce daughter of Dr. Hendron and soon to fall for Dave Randall. Rush was very active from the 50’s through the 70’s. Perhaps most known for being in Peyton Place and All my children. She was also in another well known genre film in It came from outer space.
John Hoyt as Sydney Stanton a rich, wheel chair bound grump who helps finance the rocket, but wants a seat on it. Hoyt was a solid character actor who was in acting for decades. He was in everything from the Twilight Zone to Gimme a break as well as lots movies in the 50’s and 60’s. Of course he also played Dr. Boyce in the Star Trek pilot the Cage.
What’s this about?
Hey check this out. This fruitcake says that this other like star is heading towards the earth hehehe and wait the rich part is coming… he says this star will wipe out everyone on Earth wahahahaha! Oh, wait what’s that? You mean it’s true? The only way of survival is to build a spaceship, draw names for people to get on it and then shoot it up this big ramp with the hope of landing on a planet near the incoming star? What a bummer, what a downer but make way, let me aboard that ship because I don’t way to stay on this dying crapheap called earth. That’s kind of what goes on here in this end of the world is now type film. The government doesn’t believe the findings of the scientists at first and they have to get private funding for the rocketship to get off this doomed planet. There are fights to get to the ship from those that didn’t plan ahead. Of course there are huge doubts about if blasting a rocket up a hill and into space will work because it’s never been done before. However it does work although the main scientist has to restrain the crippled and sour financier to keep him from getting on the ship (because the future should be for the young and healthy they say). The people on the ship may live, but they all have to dress the same, stand during the trip and be crammed in there with a bunch of farm animals and their poo- yucky yucky yuck. Of course the ship makes it to a new planet and we end by seeing that this world looks a lot like a quickly produced painting. Oh, well roll the credits.
And now Evel Kneivel will jump over a mid size hole in the ground!
The negatives-The film is slow at times particularly around the middle. The acting is consistent as there is definitely wooden performances particularly Derr and Rush struggle at times. I wish the new world had been done as a planet set rather than a painting, but I understand that since it was used for a very short scene I can see why they didn’t want to spend the money on a set.
The positives- The film won an Academy Award for special effects and certainly for the time the effects are quite good. I very much like the idea that the rocket had to be privately funded showing that the government couldn’t get past themselves at first.. John Hoyt is probably the top standout playing the really sour Stanton.
This is a good, but not great film. Fans of classic sci-fi need to see it, but keep in mind it drags some.
Fake sunsets are always the best.