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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Conquest Of Space (1955)

A group of astronauts are in training in outer space awaiting orders to make the first moon landing. But their orders are suddenly canceled and they are ordered to proceed to Mars instead. However, the General (Walter Brooke) in charge of the mission is showing signs of fatigue and mental strain. Produced by George Pal and directed by Byron Haskin, the men behind the 1953 sci-fi classic WAR OF THE WORLDS, technically this is a well done film and the story itself full of possibilities even if scientifically it's way off the mark. However, the film is sabotaged by the horrendous dialog and performances that range from mediocre to terrible. The cast isn't even credited during the film's opening credits and one can see why. Eric Fleming (TV's RAWHIDE) fares the worst but the film's annoying comedy relief Foster Brooks isn't far behind. The special effects while crude by today's yardstick aren't bad by 1955 standards. The film aims for something resembling realism (no alien monsters) but it seems rather hackneyed. With Mickey Shaughnessy, William Hopper, Ross Martin, William Redfield, Benson Fong and Joan Shawlee.

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