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FAQ for
Meteor (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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FAQ Contents

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

As the title implies, Meteor is a disaster movie about a meteor about to hit the Earth in seven days. The only way the American experts can think of to stop the meteor is by hitting it with their orbital nuclear missiles, dubbed Hercules, which are currently pointed at the USSR. The problem is that the combined power of the Hercules missiles is not powerful enough to stop the meteor, so the US wants to unite their Hercules missiles with the missiles from the USSR's secret Peter the Great project, which are currently pointed at the United States. An additional problem is that neither government wants the other government to know that they even have such missiles.

Meteor is based on a screenplay by screenwriters Edmund H North and Stanley Mann. However, it was inspired by Project Icarus, a report written by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a hypothetical systems project. The report focused on the concept of using missiles to deflect an asteroid that might become threatening to Earth. The project was described in the June 1967 issue of Time magazine and published as a book, Project Icarus: an MIT Student Project in Systems Engineering, in 1968.

The chain of events started when a never-seen-before comet appeared from the other side of the sun and passed through the asteroid belt, hitting a large asteroid known as Orpheus. Orpheus broke into chunks. Several of those chunks started on a trajectory course with the Earth. Most of the pieces were small, but one particular chunk was five miles wide and could do serious damage to the Earth if it hits. This chunk, now known as the Orpheus meteor is projected to hit the Earth in six days.

The Russian missiles are launched. While waiting for the 20 minutes to pass until they can launch the American missiles, Dr Bradley (Sean Connery) receives a message from Sir Michael Hughes (Trevor Howard) in England informing him that another chunk of Orpheus has been spotted heading for New York. Moments after the American missiles are fired, the chunk hits New York, causing massive destruction and destroying the World Trade Center. Because the control center is located in an old subway shaft under the Bell System building, it is not completely destroyed, but the rubble traps the survivors underground. Bradley leads out the survivors through the subway tunnels, enduring muddy water from the East River and breaking through blocked tunnels. When they get almost to the top, they are able to listen to a news broadcast saying that the missiles were successful in breaking up the meteor, just as someone breaks through the last pile of rubble from the outside, freeing them all. In the final scene, Bradley and Harry Sherman (Karl Malden) are at the airport, seeing off Tatiana (Natalie Wood) and Dubov (Brian Keith). Tatiana kisses Bradley. As she boards the plane, Dubov says to her in Russian, "I think you'll come back one day." Tatiana replies in Russian, "Perhaps."

Yes. Natalie Wood (born Natalia Nikolaevna Zahkarenko to Russian immigrant parents) spoke fluent Russian, as did Brian Keith.


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