The Lost Missile

Overview

The final film of director William Berke his son, Lester William Burke, took over shooting following his father's death during filming , The Lost Missile is a very cleverly constructed low-budget sci-fi thriller with some fascinating twists. A rogue missile, apparently from outside our solar system, ends up plunging into the Earth's atmosphere -- driven by atomic power, it cruises at an altitude of five miles and a speed of 4,000 miles per hour, generating a temperature of one million degrees in its wake, in a ...
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Overview

The final film of director William Berke his son, Lester William Burke, took over shooting following his father's death during filming , The Lost Missile is a very cleverly constructed low-budget sci-fi thriller with some fascinating twists. A rogue missile, apparently from outside our solar system, ends up plunging into the Earth's atmosphere -- driven by atomic power, it cruises at an altitude of five miles and a speed of 4,000 miles per hour, generating a temperature of one million degrees in its wake, in a field five miles across, destroying anything and anyone it passes over; most of the planes that try to shoot it down miss and are destroyed, and no missile within range can get near enough to damage it with conventional explosives. Starting from the Bering Strait, the rogue missile lays waste to ever more populated real estate as it heads in an arc that will carry it over Ottawa and then New York, 63 minutes away; what's more, if it isn't stopped, the missile will lay waste to the entire surface of the Earth in the weeks that ensue as it arcs across the skies. Only one missile, the Jove obviously a stand-in for the real-life army ballistic missile the Jupiter-C, still in the experimental stage, may be able to intercept it, and it doesn't have a warhead. The only answer is a "baby warhead," using the plutonium trigger projected by the American booster fast enough and exploded close enough to destroy the rogue -- but can the hero Robert Loggia assemble and launch it in time?
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
What makes The Lost Missile special and unusual is that it takes place in real time -- with 70 minutes' running time, and 63 minutes until the missile is due to destroy New York, there is a genuine sense of tension throughout as the minutes click past; and there are virtually no time-compression cuts in its structure. The script isn't perfect -- a subplot involving the birth of the baby of one scientist (Phillip Pine) is very badly written, particularly the dialogue for his wife -- but it is also fairly clever in its little twists on reality. The hero of the piece, played by Robert Loggia (in only his second leading role), works at Havenbrook National Laboratories on Long Island, which is an obvious stand-in for the real-life Brookhaven Laboratory; and, apparently oblivious to the scatological joke one could extrapolate from it, the real-life North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) becomes the "Continental Air Defense Command," or CONAD. The real-time pacing of the drama, coupled with the effort at some New York City verisimilitude, makes The Lost Missile a unique sci-fi thriller of its period, exemplifying both genres despite a perilously low budget that doesn't get in the way of some decent special effects. Director Lester William Berke, who was unable to complete the film before this death, even manages convincing work in elements of the crime and juvenile delinquency film genres that were the usual focus of his work of this era. Sharp-eared viewers will also hear stylistic overlaps between composer Gerald Fried's tense, expressive music for The Lost Missile and his score for Edward L. Cahn's The Curse of the Faceless Man, also made for United Artists the same year.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/22/2011
  • UPC: 827421031068
  • Original Release: 1958
  • Source: Cheezy Flicks Ent
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:12:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 54,647

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Loggia David Loring
Ellen Parker Joan Woods
Larry Kerr Gen. Barr
Phillip Pine Joe Freed
Marilee Earle Ella Freed
Kitty Kelly Ella's Mother
Selmar Jackson Secretary of State
Joe Hyams Young
Bill Bradley Bradley
Fred Engelberg TV Personality
Viola Harris
Technical Credits
William A. Berke Director, Executive Producer
Jerome Bixby Screenwriter
Gerald Fried Score Composer
Jack R. Glass Special Effects
Lee Gordon Producer
John McPartland Screenwriter
Kenneth Peach Cinematographer
Ed Sutherland Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Lost Missile
2. The Designer
3. Jets on the Way
5. The Horror of It All
8. Dead City
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Lost Missile
   Play
   Chapters
   Also From Cheezy Flicks
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