SATELLITE IN THE SKY (director: Paul Dickson; screenwriters: Edith Dell/John Mather/ J T Mcintosh; cinematographer: Georges Perinal; editor: Sidney Stone; music: Albert Elms; cast: Kieron Moore (Commander Michael Haydon), Lois Maxwell (Kim Hamilton), Donald Wolfit (Prof. Merrity), Bryan Forbes (Jimmy Wheeler), Barry Keegan (Lefty Blake), Jimmy Hanley (Larry Noble), Thea Gregory (Barbara Noble), Shirley Lawrence (Ellen), Donald Gray (Capt. Ross), Alan Gifford (Col. Galloway), Walter Hudd (Prof. Blandford), Peter Neil (Tony); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Edward J. and Harry Lee Danziger; WB; 1956-UK)
“It’s a bomb.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Unexciting low-budget Brit sci-fi film about the first manned satellite in space. It’s a bomb. Flatly helmed by Paul Dickson(“Count of Twelve”/”The Depraved”/”Star of my Night”) and poorly written by Edith Dell, John Mather and J T Mcintosh. The absurd chatty screenplay, with inexplicable developments throughout, makes this an impossible film to take seriously. Furthermore the dialogue is trite, the acting is wooden and the many subplots are dull.
The rocket Stardust’s head crew, the idealistic Commander Michael Haydon (Kieron Moore) and the troubled married man co-pilot Larry Noble (Jimmy Hanley), learn the night before their mission from their boss (Walter Hudd) at the Thunderhill Space Station that Operation Stardust will not be for scientific research only but to also test the latest atomic bomb, the most powerful “tritonium” bomb in outer space. The war department sends the obnoxious Professor Merrity (Donald Wolfit) on the flight, with no flight training, to detonate the bomb. The other two crew members, the school-boyish Jimmy Wheeler (Bryan Forbes, future director), the radio man, and the dour Lefty Blake (Barry Keegan), the engineer, learn about it after blast-off. And oh, there’s a spunky reporter, Kim Hamilton (Lois Maxwell, the future Miss Moneypenny in the Bond films), who is a stowaway on the rocket. Evidently this big event in Brit history had lax security, if you would believe.
A deadly problem arises when the bomb sticks to the side of the satellite in outer space and it’s programmed to explode in nine hours, with no possible way to defuse it. If you’re still watching by the climax, you will learn the fate of the selfless crew in peril.
Wally Veevars does a nice job with the special effects, giving the film a pleasing look.
REVIEWED ON 5/16/2015 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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