The Lost Missile (1958)

Article #951 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-22-2003
Posting Date: 3-20-2004
Directed by William A. Berke
Featuring Robert Loggia, Ellen Parker, Phillip Pine

A missile of extraterrestrial origin and of a temperature of one million degrees begins orbiting the earth, burning up everything in its path.

Though the central concept is more than a little far-fetched (a million degrees is painfully excessive), it’s also engaging enough to make this one fairly interesting. It’s also helped by the fact that the acting is fairly good throughout, and that the scenes directed specifically for this movie do have the necessary sense of drama and pacing that is vital to making the story come alive. However, it’s badly crippled by its sheer cheapness, which results in the movie having to rely on huge amounts of stock footage and narration to get by. In fact, this movie probably has a greater percentage of stock footage than INVASION U.S.A., and though it makes better use of it than that one did, there’s still far too much of it for the movie to handle, and after a while my patience wears out. It’s a shame; this would have made an above-average thriller if a little more money had been thrown into it. Incidentally, the script was cowritten by Jerome Bixby, who also wrote the script for IT, THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE and the short story, “It’s a GOOD Life”.

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