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Assignment: Outer Space (1960)

Space Men (original title)
Unrated | | Sci-Fi | 13 December 1961 (USA)
In the 21st century Ray Peterson, reporter for the Interplanetary News, is assigned to write a story aboard a space station. Tension mounts between Peterson and the station commander, who ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Antony Daisies)

Writers:

(as Vassilji Petrov),
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rik Van Nutter ...
Ray Peterson (IZ41) (as Rik Von Nutter)
Gabriella Farinon ...
Lucy (Y13) (as Gaby Farinon)
David Montresor ...
George the Commander
Archie Savage ...
Al (X15)
Alain Dijon ...
Archie (Y16)
Franco Fantasia ...
Sullivan (as Frank Fantasia)
Joe Pollini ...
King 116
David Maran ...
Davis
José Néstor ...
Venus Commander (as Jose Nestor)
Anita Todesco ...
Venus Control
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Storyline

In the 21st century Ray Peterson, reporter for the Interplanetary News, is assigned to write a story aboard a space station. Tension mounts between Peterson and the station commander, who believes he is in the way, but has orders to leave him alone. Errant spaceship Alpha Two enters the solar system and its photon generators are radiating enough heat to destroy Earth as it approaches. It falls to Peterson to try to figure out a way to enter the spaceship, disarm the generators, and escape before suffocating. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

1000 headlines into the future! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

13 December 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Assignment Outer Space  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released to theaters in the USA on a triple bill with the East German film First Spaceship on Venus (1960) and the Japanese film The Mysterians (1957). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nightmare in Blood (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Only of some historical interest
24 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Very odd sci-fi film. Filled with quirky little details of some historical interest: The film is Italian and overdubbed in English; but if you watch the actors' lips carefully, they are mouthing the English words; so the film was intended for an English language market from the start.

The writers assume that the Russians will win the space-race of the time, hence the reporter refers to the spaceship crew as "cosmonauts).

The film claims to be shot in Technicolor; this simply cannot be the case. Occasionally the color red shows through, but much of it does look black and white. When Technicolor washes out, it takes on a light blue tint - other processes get very blue, light green, or, as here, simply washed out all together.

Gabriella Farinon is very easy to look at; she later did a very pretty spread for the Italian edition of Playboy Magazine (1975)(some of it can be searched for on the 'net), but her film career went pretty much nowhere.

The year is 1960; that may make this the first film ever to depict a black male as extremely intelligent, brave, wistfully philosophical, and treated by the other crew members as simply another crew member, no reference to race whatsoever. I'm afraid that would make this one of the most important films ever made, in terms of social history (which doesn't mean it's a good film - it isn't).

Director Antonio Margheriti, AKA Anthony M. Dawson, was extremely prolific; however, a filmography search, both here at IMDb and on Google, only discovers his fantasy films, and a small handful of westerns; but I remember his name popping up on almost every other spaghetti or sauer-kraut western produced in the '60s, at least until Sergio Leone came along (and radically changed that genre).

Yes, I can see the influence of this film on Kubrick's 2001; but beyond the film's essential pessimism, it's unclear why Kubrick would be impressed by a film so poorly made.

My viewing confirms a previous reviewer's note that the explosion of a spaceship is represented with brief stock footage of a car blowing up in a parking lot. Why?! Not the lowest budget imaginable for such a film can excuse this gaff - it would have been more effective to take the spaceship miniature and toss it on the ground - and then step on it.

Yet despite flaws like this, the writers seem to be determined to deploy science and technology (at least as it was popularly known at the time) in a fairly realistic manner.

A real stew of a film, made of leftovers as yet not fully cooked.


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