Riders to the Stars (1954)

Article #957 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-28-2003
Posting Date: 3-26-2004
Directed by Richard Carlson
Featuring William Lundigan, Martha Hyer, Herbert Marshall

A space expedition is planned to send people into space to retrieve a meteor to discover why they aren’t destroyed by cosmic rays.

Though it’s purely the result of serendipity, I now find myself for the second day in a row discussing a movie that was directed by a man primarily known as an actor; this one was directed by science fiction mainstay Richard Carlson, who also plays Dr. Lockwood in the movie. It has its share of problems, primarily as a result of the budget not quite being large enough to accomodate the ambitions of the story, and the science in the story is clearly out of date. Nonetheless, I found it rather charming and enjoyable in its own right; it takes itself seriously without becoming pompous, it really seems interested in its own story, and the acting is quiet, competent and sincere if not necessarily inspired. It’s also one of those movies that likes to dwell on details and it succeeds in making those details interesting to the viewer. It’s no classic, but in its own way, it’s one of the better science fiction movies of the era.


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