After a collision with a comet, a nearly five mile (eight kilometer) 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, N.A.S.A. 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 U.S.S.R., which has also launched such an illegal satellite. But will both governments agree?
A million pounds of Bentonite imitation mud were used to film the New York City subway disaster on Stage 30 of the MGM Studio. The stage housed a tank and high-speed drainage system, which was used for many of the old Esther Williams MGM musicals that featured swimming pools. The New York City subway system was constructed inside the empty swimming pool. The sequence took eight to fourteen days to shoot, runs less than four minutes on-screen, and cost around one and a half million dollars to shoot. See more »
The meteoroid is headed for Earth at about 35,000 miles an hour, and it will hit Earth in a week. At 35,000 miles an hour, an object would take at least six months to travel from the asteroid belt to Earth orbit. 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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