In an attempt to discover the composition of meteors, three astronauts are sent out into space in three specially designed rockets. Their mission is to capture a meteor and bring it to ...
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When his brother disappears, Robert Manning pays a visit to the remote country house he was last heard from. While his host is outwardly welcoming - and his niece more demonstrably so - ... See full summary »
In an attempt to discover the composition of meteors, three astronauts are sent out into space in three specially designed rockets. Their mission is to capture a meteor and bring it to Earth.Written by
Patrick D. Rockwell <email@example.com>
The basic "scientific" premise of the film is that cosmic rays crystallize and pulverize metal and other materials in space, but that meteors are unaffected by cosmic rays - hence the movie's plot, to go into space to capture a meteor and find out what substance protects it from such rays. But in fact cosmic rays do not crystallize or in any way affect any substance - in space, on Earth or anywhere else - as the film claims. Thus the entire premise of the film is erroneous, a fact that was well known at the time of the movie's release in 1954. See more »
This low budget science fiction film from the Middle Fifties is illustrative of just how far we've come in space travel. Now folks like United States Senators like Jake Garn and pop stars like Lance Bass vie for the privilege of space travel. It's proved to be quite a money maker for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
But back in 1954 there was no NASA. The Army, Navy, and Air Force all had rival space programs if you can believe that. It took Sputnik for the Eisenhower administration and Congress to create NASA in 1958.
A group of competent B players bring us Riders to the Stars and the object here is just a quick trip up in space to capture a meteor before it burns up in our atmosphere. One thing is certain, they somehow survive the Van Allen radiation belt that surrounds the Earth, a recent discovery that Riders to the Stars was capitalizing on.
Herbert Marshall heads the scientific team who are looking for a few good men and among those gathered are William Lundigan and Richard Carlson. Martha Hyer is around to be decorative as Marshall's girl Friday and to provide a little romance.
The best part of Riders to the Stars was the intensive physical training that is shown for these astronauts to be. Not unlike what was done in NASA for the original Mercury astronauts. You had to be one peak physical specimen to qualify back in the day. Not that you can have health issues now, but a 60 something US Senator Jake Garn has gone in space and pop star Lance Bass aspires to.
Riders to the Stars is educational, but a bit on the dull side. It really peaks in the last 25 minutes or so with the actual flight. Still it's an earnest film and worth a look.
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