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

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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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Directors: Riccardo Freda, Mario Bava
Stars: John Merivale, Didi Sullivan, Gérard Herter


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 ...
Annie Berval ...
Lab Assistant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gérard Landry ...
Livio Lorenzon ...
British General
John McLaren (voice)
Giacomo Rossi Stuart ...
Stuart (as Giacomo Rossi-Stuart)
Gianni Solaro ...
French General


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








Release Date:

27 September 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Death from Outer Space  »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


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


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 »


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

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User Reviews

THE DAY THE SKY EXPLODED (Paolo Heusch and, uncredited, Mario Bava, 1958) **1/2
30 April 2010 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is significant as Italy's first science-fiction movie – two years after its first horror outing, Riccardo Freda's I VAMPIRI (1956); what connects these two films is the multi-faceted involvement behind the cameras of the late great Mario Bava. In fact, the latter was officially the film's cinematographer (curiously credited as Baja on the English titles!) but, as was his fashion, he helped out without credit in the special effects department and the direction as well – a fact also mentioned in Tim Lucas' Audio Commentary for the subsequently deleted Dark Sky DVD of Bava's KILL, BABY…KILL! (1966) and whose hearing prompted me to acquire this film sooner rather than later! Interestingly, the film's original Italian title LA MORTE VIENE DALLO SPAZIO translates to DEATH COMES FROM OUTER SPACE; this was picked up and slightly altered a few years later by another Spaghetti sci-fi entry i.e. Antonio Margheriti's LA MORTE VIENE DAL PIANETA AYTIN aka THE SNOW DEVILS (1967); besides, the film's English title was probably inspired by another contemporary sci-fi cheapie i.e. Fred F. Sears' THE NIGHT THE WORLD EXPLODED (1957)! The film under review emerges as a reasonably enjoyable and above-average entry but, probably stemming from a very limited budget, is bogged down by a talky script and much stock footage of rocket launchings and people rushing into underground shelters. The cast is also somewhat undernourished but does include Paul (Fritz Lang's Indian EPIC diptych [1958-59]) Hubschmid, Ivo (Bava's BLACK Sunday [1960]) Garrani and Giacomo (KILL, BABY…KILL!) Rossi Stuart essaying stock-types of lock-jawed astronaut, self-sacrificing professor and no-nonsense technician respectively. Equally predictable are the characters of the proud Russian expert, the astronaut's lonesome wife, the brainy female scientist, her lothario colleague and the crazed skeptic who reaches breaking-point as Armageddon looms. Nevertheless, despite – or, perhaps, because of – the lack of any really spectacular sequences (the rain of meteorites ostensibly about to annihilate mankind never pose that much of a threat since they are themselves destroyed just as they are entering the Earth's orbit!), one finds himself being charmed just the same by all these overly-familiar elements. Almost needless to say, hot on the heels of this movie came the Riccardo Freda/Mario Bava melange of sci-fi and monster movie – CALTIKI, THE IMMORTAL MONSTER (1959) – which was an altogether livelier effort...

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