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After a collision with a comet, a nearly 8km wide piece of the asteroid "Orpheus" is heading toward Earth. If it hits, it will cause an incredible catastrophe which will probably extinguish mankind. To stop the meteor, NASA wants to use the illegal nuclear weapon satellite "Hercules," but soon discovers that it doesn't have enough firepower. Their only chance to save the world is to join forces with the USSR, which has also launched such an illegal satellite. But will both governments agree? Written by
The movie was inspired by the 1967 "Project Icarus" report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. See more »
Due to loss of momentum, the Challenger II would not have been able to return to Mars after traveling past its orbit to explore/examine the asteroid belt. Mars is about 1.5 AU out, the asteroid belt begins about 2.3 AU out (1 AU = almost 93 million miles / 149.6 million km) See more »
Meteor and When Time Ran Out marked the end of the decade of the disaster epic. I guess that Hollywood was just running out of ideas and that the formula of getting a bunch of big name players and put them in harm's way was wearing thin.
You can see that just about everybody here is bored, they all say the lines without any real conviction. Except for Martin Landau. As an Air Force General and Cold Warrior of the first order, he's extremely upset that the USA and the USSR have buried their differences to work on a real immediate problem. He resents Russians Brian Keith and Natalie Wood in the war room and Landau overacts outrageously.
A comet hurtling through the asteroid belt hit one of the big asteroids and sent one big chunk of rock and a whole bunch smaller ones as space calling cards speeding to Earth. That big guy if it hits spells the end of life on the planet.
Some criticism has been made that the special effects were a bit cheesy. By today's standards of course they were. So are some of those of the great Cecil B. DeMille. That's progress for you.
I'm not sure but this may have been the first time that Natalie Wood played someone of her own ancestry on film. Too bad she and Sean Connery as the NASA scientist didn't get to do something better before she passed away.
All the stars got a good pay day out of this though Sean Connery said there were some real scary moments with the cast trying to escape through the subway system with all the mud. A few times some people came close to really being buried in it for art's sake.
And this isn't a film to give your life for.
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