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There's this missile you see...and it's lost...umm...
The Lost Missile is an interesting little film. It is fast-paced, as all the action occurs in a simaculum of real time (at least as real as an hour and a half could feel back in the fifties). It tries for a documentary-feel...but since there is a story going on with characters, it doesn't quite make it.
For all this rapid development, the movie is somewhat dull when viewed nowadays, falling prey to "stock footage syndrome". There is innumerable shots of bombers and fighters taking off...I think more time is devoted to that than dialogue.
The plot is simple...an unknown missle enters the Earth's atmosphere and glides into an orbit 5 miles above the planet, which would normally be fine, but the missile has a field of million degree heat emanating from it, carving a five-mile wide swath of destruction on the ground below whereever it goes. It destroys part of Canada (including Ottawa) and nearly gets New York City except for the heroic sacrifice of Robert Loggia.
With the rapid developments, no effort is made to determine the source of the missile (and probably this would not be able to be done anyway), and this movie seems to be a showcase for the effectiveness of the US early warning system for missle attacks if nothing else (though any defense effort is pretty much pointless against this menace).
Loggia is stoic in his role, displaying feats of emotion that defy his character depth. Still, it's interesting to see him act as a young man, having seen him so often in more mature roles.
The special effects are actually pretty good. The missile, though interestingly designed, does appear like something off an episode of Space Patrol. The blending of the missile's fiery effects with the stock footage and city footage is accomplished fairly believably.
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