Saturday, December 26, 2009

Movie- Lost Missile- 1958

An "Alien Missile" has found it's way to earth and the Soviets have diverted it across the North Pole. It has behind it a 1,000,000 degree heat blast. How do we stop it before it incinerates the world? This movie, while less than wonderful in plot, is a wonderful view into the world view of America circa 1957/8. It also shows what a Project Pluto type missile might do, albeit, with heat effects rather than radiation.

During the movie you get introduced to the DEW line (Distant Early Warning) and SAGE system. At one point the screen shows an F-89 which is intercepting the "missile." in the next ten seconds the screen shows the F-89, an F-86, an F-84, an F-94, and an F-100, all purporting to be the same aircraft.

This movie, while striving to be a Sci-Fi flick only manages to be a thinly disguised demonstration of how well the US was prepared for the unthinkable. While not great for action or drama, it does show video of the various types of aircraft and air defense hardware available at the time. They even show the Nike Missile System. It also explains, in words the civilian could understand, what each part did. You will see Hawker Hunters, Canadian CF-100s, B-52s, B-36s, B-47s, F-102s, and more.

You can also see the thorough (NOT) understanding of radioactivity that the writers had. The hero dies because he was within a few feet of some plutonium unprotected. It is something that can be chuckled at now, but it must have been scary then.

You can see it all on hulu right now. It is definitely worth a viewing for those of you interested in Cold War History. Enjoy!

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