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The Flying Saucer

Flying Saucer, The (1950) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  69m  •    •  Directed by: Mikel Conrad.  •  Starring: Mikel Conrad, Pat Garrison, Hantz von Teuffen, Earle Lyon, Lester Sharpe, Russell Hicks, Frank Darien, Denver Pyle, Roy Engel, Garry Owen, Virginia Hewitt, George Baxter, Philip Morris.  •  Music by: Darrell Calker.
        The CIA sends playboy Mike Trent to Alaska with agent Vee Langley, posing as his "nurse," to investigate flying saucer sightings. At first, installed in a hunting lodge, the two play in the wilderness. But then they sight a saucer. Investigating, our heroes clash with an inept gang of Soviet spies, also after the saucer secret.

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
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Review:

Image from: Flying Saucer, The (1950)
Image from: Flying Saucer, The (1950)
Image from: Flying Saucer, The (1950)
Image from: Flying Saucer, The (1950)
Image from: Flying Saucer, The (1950)
Image from: Flying Saucer, The (1950)
Image from: Flying Saucer, The (1950)
Image from: Flying Saucer, The (1950)
Image from: Flying Saucer, The (1950)
Image from: Flying Saucer, The (1950)
Image from: Flying Saucer, The (1950)
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (both released in 1951) are the two films usually credited for kick-starting the sci-fi craze that dominated much of 1950s genre cinema. But beating both to cinemas by more than a year was this independently- produced film, which also predates the few other sci-fi offerings of its own year by a number of months (it was filmed back in the summer of 1949). In fact, this was the very first feature film ever to involve flying saucers and was clearly made in response to a then-recent surge in reported UFO sightings that were dominating newspaper headlines. It may also be the first of such sci-fi films to infuse elements of the Red Scare into the plot, though unlike later films that hid their true agenda behind metaphor, this one just comes right out and blatantly says it in the very first scene. Unlike most of the later films, it doesn't involve extraterrestrials at all and the saucer featured here is a man-made creation.

In Washington D.C., CIA agent Hank Thorn (Russell Hicks) drafts Mike Trent (Mikel Conrad) for a covert mission in Alaska, where there have been recent sightings of flying saucers. The film never really says what qualifications Mike has for such a mission, aside from the fact he's a famous millionaire Playboy and polo player originally from Alaska. Regardless, our government thinks this drunk, chain-smoking, womanizing smart ass is the right man for the job of discovering the secrets of the flying saucers before the Russians do and use them to drop A-Bombs on all of the major American cities. Hank concocts a fake story about Mike suffering from a nervous breakdown to throw off the press, set him up with blonde "nurse" Vee Langley (Pat Garrison), who's actually a secret agent, fly the two of them to Seattle and from there they are off to Alaska on a boat.

Upon arrival, Mike and Vee go to their hunting lodge and meet up with the French caretaker Hans (Hantz von Teuffen). Not one to expose their true intention for being there, Mike immediately asks the stranger, "You seen any Russian spies around here recently?" Things are quiet for awhile as Mike and Vee soak up the scenery, go on hikes, go swimming, go on boat rides, encounter wildlife ("I just saw a bear! They're dangerous, aren't they?") and get better acquainted in a romantic sense, but one evening they are disturbed by strange, loud sounds in the sky. A man truly serious about his work, Mike promptly heads into Juneau, goes on a pub crawl and gets wasted drinking rye. What does this have to do with flying saucers, you ask? Well, absolutely nothing, but it sure does help to kill time, right?

It's eventually revealed that reclusive scientist Dr. Carl Lawton (Roy Engel) has finished his saucer prototype and has it hidden somewhere in the mountain ice caps with plans on selling the invention to the U.S. military for 10 million dollars. His assistant Mr. Turner (Denver Pyle) betrays him and goes to some Russian KGB agents stationed in Alaska led by Colonel Marikoff (Lester Sharpe) and his right hand man Alex Muller (Earle Lyon). The Russians are all played by American actors and none of them even attempt any kind of accent. The Frenchman is also in cahoots with the Russians but all of his attempts to kill Mike and Vee are botched in one way or another. There are a few poorly-choreographed and unexciting action scenes and lots of time is spent on travelogue footage. The utterly predictable finale takes place in some ice caves beneath a glacier.

Aside from decent location filming and some historical importance, this isn't a good film. It's dull, the acting is mediocre at best and it's filled with pointless, drawn-out scenes that exist solely to pad out the running time. Most disappointing of all is that there are just two scenes of the flying saucers in the air; both of which are over in a matter of seconds.


Review by capkronos from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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