DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

FIRE IN THE SKY (director: Robert Lieberman; screenwriters: Tracy Torme/book by Travis Walton; cinematographer: Bill Pope; editor: Steve Mirkovich; music:  Mark Isham; cast: D. B. Sweeney (Travis Walton), Robert Patrick (Mike Rogers), Craig Sheffer  (Allan Dallis), Peter Berg (David Whitlock), James Garner (Sheriff Frank Watters), Henry Thomas (Greg Hayes), Bradley Gregg (Bobby Cogdill), Noble Willingham (Blake Davis), Kathleen Wilhoite (Katie Rogers), The Neville Brothers (Themselves); Runtime: 109; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Joe Wizan/Todd Black; Paramount Home Video; 1993)

"One of those the truth is stranger than fiction stories."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

One of those the truth is stranger than fiction stories. It's an alien abduction sci-fi flick, that aims for an E.T. audience. It's based on the book by Travis Walton and is written by Mel Torme's son Tracy. Robert Lieberman ("Table For Five"/"Second String"/"Last Stop Kew Gardens") emotionally directs as if he was the earthling abducted on a flying saucer. This film is based on one of the most famous real-life UFO abduction cases on record.

In Snowflake, Arizona, on November 5, 1975, the citizens all believe that five young lumberjacks have killed the missing Travis Walton (D. B. Sweeney). One of the lumberjacks is his best friend and future brother-in-law, Mike Rogers (Robert Patrick). The lumberjacks all claim they saw Travis ascending into a flying saucer. Travis is a forester, who works in the White Mountains clearing bush for the government.

Sheriff Watters (James Garner) isn't buying that bull and tries to make them confess to a murder. Meanwhile the story is widely reported in the media and UFO buffs and reporters from all over the world descend on the small town.

The highlight of the film is the nightmarish scenes of the aliens conducting in their spaceship weird out of the world experiments on the captive for five days before releasing him. When the abduction is revealed, whether you believe it or not, this is scary stuff.

The Neville Brothers end the film on a high note with the theme song "Sons and Daughters." In the filming, Oregon subs for Arizona.

REVIEWED ON 2/4/2015       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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