The Bamboo Saucer (1968)

Article #1231 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-28-2004
Posting Date: 12-25-2004
Directed by Frank Telford
Featuring Dan Duryea, John Ericson, Lois Nettleton

A test pilot becomes a part of a scientific investigative team secretly sent to Red China to look into a report of a flying saucer hidden there. There they encounter a Russian investigative team that is there for the same reason.

Though it’s a fairly minor science fiction epic, I found myself enjoying this one much more than I had anticipated. One of the reasons for this is that it manages to avoid certain cynical expectations of mine. Once the action shifts to Red China, I feared that the movie would spend the rest of its running length as an espionage thriller, with the flying saucer only entering into the picture at the very end, where it is promptly destroyed or where it is discovered that the saucer is not extraterrestrial; in other words, I was thinking it would prove to be a rehash of THE FLYING SAUCER. Such is not the case, I am glad to say. Overall, the movie has a certain likable charm that makes up for any flaws, and it does have a message about international cooperation, though I can’t help but note that it does so by making sure the Americans and the Russians still have a common enemy. The movie also has an unexpectedly fun ending when the scientists finally get the flying saucer off the ground.


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