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Satellite in the Sky

Satellite in the Sky (1956)

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Satellite in the Sky (1956)

England jumped on the science-fiction bandwagon of the '50s with this sumptuously produced space adventure, shot in Cinemascope and WarnerColor. The focus is an experimental spaceship sent to orbit the Earth. Once they're in space, the crew and newshen stowaway Lois Maxwell (later Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond films) learn that their mission is actually a U.S.-financed test of an experimental "Tritbonium Bomb." When they try to release it, however, the explosive device attaches itself to their hull, threatening to blast them all to infinity and beyond. Long the purview of low-budget production, science-fiction had become big box office with films like Paramount's War of the Worlds (1953) and Warner Bros. Them! (1954). By the time Great Britain joined the fray, however, it may have been too late. Despite strong special effects by Wally Veevars, who would later work on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), and a powerhouse cast including Kieron Moore, Donald Wolfit and future director Bryan Forbes, the film was met with negative reviews and tepid box office when Warner's released it in the U.S. As a result, it largely vanished, rarely shown on TV and only in bad pan-and-scan black and white prints.

By Frank Miller

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