Spaceways (1953)

Article #557 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-23-2002
Posting date: 2-16-2003

When two people vanish at the time of a rocket launch that went wrong, an investigator suspects one of the scientists of having committed murder and having hidden the bodies aboard the rocket.

This movie was based on a radio play, and I could see how it might make a pretty decent one; the shorter running time would have made it necessary to keep the pace at a pretty rapid clip. That is precisely the problem with this movie; it takes a fairly leisurely pace, and after a while you can’t help but notice the dead air between the lines of dialogue. This wouldn’t be a problem if the movie were visually compelling, or if the characters or situations were novel, unusual or inventive, but that’s not the case here; it’s a pretty basic melodrama, with touches of romance, espionage and mystery added to the mix, and it really doesn’t come to life until the last third of the movie. Having frenetic music pop up on the soundtrack every twenty minutes or so really doesn’t fix things, either. Ultimately, the most interesting thing abou this movie is that it would be Hammer’s first attempt at science fiction, and it wouldn’t be until they made the acquantance of a man named Quatermass that they would get it right.


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