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The Day the Sky Exploded (1958)
"La morte viene dallo spazio" (original title)

4.3
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Ratings: 4.3/10 from 405 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 10 critic

Scientists discover that a group of meteors are hurtling on a collison course with Earth, and if they hit, the planet will be destroyed.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Paul Hubschmid ...
John McLaren
Fiorella Mari ...
Mary McLaren
Madeleine Fischer ...
Katy Dandridge (as Madeline Fischer)
Ivo Garrani ...
Prof. Herbert Weisse
Dario Michaelis ...
Peter Leduq (as Darrio Michaelis)
Peter Meersman ...
Gen. van Dorff
Jean-Jacques Delbo ...
Sergei Boetnikov (as Jean Jacques Delbo)
Massimo Zeppieri ...
Dennis McLaren
Sam Galter ...
Randowsky
Annie Berval ...
Lab Assistant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gérard Landry ...
Landowsky
Livio Lorenzon ...
British General
...
John McLaren (voice)
Gianni Solaro ...
French General
Giacomo Rossi Stuart ...
Stuart (as Giacomo Rossi-Stuart)
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Storyline

Scientists discover that a group of meteors are hurtling on a collison course with Earth, and if they hit, the planet will be destroyed.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Sci-Fi

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

27 September 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Death from Outer Space  »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The American copy of this film is in Public Domain in the United States. See more »

Goofs

In the control room there is a large world map which is drawn very poorly. One would expect such a map to be very accurate, but South America and Africa are clearly distorted. See more »

Crazy Credits

For the English dubbed version, director of photography Mario Bava's name is given as "Mario Baja." His camera operator, Ubaldo Terzano, is listed as "Uraldo Terzano." See more »

Connections

Edited into Out of this World Super Shock Show (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unusual for 1950s Sci Fi
20 January 2007 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

This little Italian oddity offers the drama of a world-wide disaster and the themes of international cooperation which were better capitalized by the Star Trek franchise and several similar disaster films of more recent vintage.

The film is somewhat unique for its unusually jerky pace, clever low budget effects, odd use of stock footage, and strange cinematography. The Day the Sky Exploded begins as if it is going to be a space-flight adventure, but instead treats the space flight in a realistic, almost mundane manner, before proceeding to reveal the real plot - concerning the meteors. The astronaut (nicely played by Hubschmidt) is forced to eject from the nuclear powered rocket and the rocket flies off to .... where? before you know it, a cluster of meteors, probably blown off of some planet or perhaps the moon, is threatening to destroy the earth.

Some of the 'scientists' allude to unknown religious beliefs and seem to think that some great big meanie out there has it in for us because we've ventured off our planet in a serious way for the first time (like the perspective offered by Star Trek First Contact inverted). The plot begins with the rocket launch and a great feeling of optimism and then proceeds into panic, and then a feeling of inevitable doom, as nobody seems able to come up with an adequate solution.

There are also some amusing but really unnecessary romantic elements and some decent character development which help to round the film out in a general way. The acting is generally good, but there are a few really odd moments where people seem either too calm or absurdly evocative given the circumstances they are dealing with. There are also a couple of bad moments for the script, which may be a result of translation problems from the film's native language.

I have noticed a lot of people making fun of the special effects. Sure, the dozens of stock footage clips of rockets being launched is over-done, and yeah, some of the scenes showing people and cars moving around in the parking lot of an unidentified building are kind of funny, but I actually enjoyed the primitive but creatively filmed scenes of asteroids and explosions. They were, at the very least, more artistically designed than some of what appears in contemporary films with similarly low budgets.


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