The Lost Missile
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?