(director: Terence Fisher; screenwriters: Paul
Talbot/from the radio play Charles Eric
Maine/Richard Landau; cinematographer: Reginald
Wyer; editor: Maurice Rootes ; music: Ivor
Slaney; cast: Howard Duff (Dr.
Stephen Mitchell), Eva Bartok (Dr. Lisa Frank),
Alan Wheatley (Dr. Smith), Philip Leaver (Professor
Koepler), Michael Medwin (Dr. Toby Andrews), Andrew
Osborn (Dr. Philip Crenshaw), Anthony Ireland (General
Hayes), David Horne (Minister), Cecile Chevreau (Vanessa
Mitchell ), Hugh Moxey (Col. Alfred Daniels), Leo
Philips (Sergeant Peterson), Jean Webster-Brough
(Mrs. Daniels) Marianne Stone (Mrs. Rogers); Runtime: 76;
MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Michael Carreras; Image
Entertainment (Hammer Films & and America's Lippert Studios);
|"A minor curio sci-fi fantasy."
by Dennis Schwartz
minor curio sci-fi fantasy helmed by horror pic
maven Terence Fisher ("Dracula"/"The
Mummy"/"Blackout") at an infuriatingly mournful pace,
but was intriguing enough to please this viewer. Its
slight but offbeat story is based on a radio play by Charles
Eric Maine. It was a program lifted from
the popular British radio serial of the same name,
Spaceways. This was the first sci-fi film made
by Hammer Films.
England, at Deanfield, a classified top secret
government space exploration center, a group of
dedicated patriotic scientists work under guard on
rocket systems to launch Britain's first satellite.
Marital tensions arise in the close surroundings. The
hard-working American scientist, Dr.
Stephen Mitchell (Howard Duff),
discovers his wife Vanessa (Cecile Chevreau)
is having an affair with the scientist Dr. Philip
Crenshaw (Andrew Osborn). The sci-fi film turns
into a murder mystery after an unsuccessful launch and
the discovery that Vanessa and Philip have
disappeared. The possibility arises that their bodies
were hidden in the missiles for the launch by the
perturbed hubby, Dr. Mitchell. At least the
investigating military intelligence detective, Dr.
Smith (Alan Wheatley), thinks that's a
It gets reduced to a trite marital drama taking place in a more interesting but shuttled sci-fi background. But despite many faults in its murder plot, the low-budget, B&W shot film, is intelligently presented and Fisher manages to entertain us with authentic atmosphere and tech talk.
REVIEWED ON 10/2/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ