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Meteor (1979)

The U.S. must join forces with the U.S.S.R. in order to destroy a gigantic asteroid heading straight for Earth.

Director:

Ronald Neame

Writers:

Stanley Mann (screenplay), Edmund H. North (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... Paul Bradley
Natalie Wood ... Tatiana Donskaya
Karl Malden ... Harry Sherwood
Brian Keith ... Dr. Dubov
Martin Landau ... General Adlon
Trevor Howard ... Sir Michael Hughes
Richard Dysart ... Secretary of Defense
Henry Fonda ... The President
Joseph Campanella ... General Easton
Bo Brundin ... Rolf Manheim
Katherine De Hetre Katherine De Hetre ... Jan Watkins
James G. Richardson James G. Richardson ... Alan Marshall
Roger Robinson ... Bill Hunter
Michael Zaslow ... Sam Mason
John McKinney John McKinney ... Peter Watson
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Storyline

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?

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's No Place On Earth To Hide!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Hong Kong

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

19 October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meteoro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,250,000, 21 October 1979

Gross USA:

$8,400,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,400,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo | Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place from November 28 to December 8, 1979. See more »

Goofs

In a shot of the meteor passing in front of the Sun, the Sun appears eclipsed AND the meteor appears to be lit from somewhere to the left of the camera. See more »

Quotes

Tatiana Donskaya: One day you will come to Moscow and you will see a clean subway.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Info panel and Voice Over about a real defence project Icarus, similar to the one in the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

In early television broadcasts, the "Fuck the Dodgers!" line was overdubbed by coughing or the entire toast was simply cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stars of the Silver Screen: Natalie Wood (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

In defense of the film.
21 October 2001 | by fleggettSee all my reviews

I've read the negative reviews in here and am perplexed at the vitriol directed at this film. "Meteor" is, admittedly, a flawed movie, but still one with many strengths that deserve attention.

Firstly, it was made in 1979, so the effects are not going to be as stellar as they were in the 80's and 90's. And even then, some of those effects still hold up quite well to movies produced today. The modeling work, especially of the orbiting Hercules and Peter the Great nuclear missile platforms, is extremely impressive. The meteor itself is a big, ugly, and rather scary chunk of scarred rock, reminiscent of the Texas-sized shard in "Armageddon". Yes, some of the effects DO look cheesy (the avalanche being the most frequently cited example), but others are quite striking. At worst, "Meteor"'s effects are extremely uneven, but certainly not completely junkable.

Secondly, unlike "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon", the film focuses on the multitude of hurdles that have to be overcome in order to combat the threat. Personal, politicial, and scientific obstacles are given due screentime, which serves to advance the story rather than bogging it down.

Thirdly, "Meteor" is a far more globalized film, as it pulls together Russian, English, and even Chinese characters into the story. The attempt to track the rock and derive a viable solution to knock it out of its Earth-based trajectory is not solely an American one, but instead a closely coordinated international effort. Indeed, even the U.N. is (briefly) featured.

Fourthly, the film doesn't get mired in the 'human element' (as what happened in "Deep Impact" and "Pearl Harbor"). "Meteor" is non-tangential in that it STICKS TO THE STORY, which is the main interest of the viewer (at least, for me). Yes, there is the attraction between Connery and Wood's characters, but it's generally unobtrusive and the screentime limited.

Fifth, Laurence Rosenthal's score is great! Its boldness reminds me of Poledouris' legendary score for "Conan: The Barbarian". It effectively captures both the 'feel' of space and the direness and immediacy of the situations portrayed.

Finally, I emjoyed the acting. Connery, Keith, Malden, and Fonda turn in sincere performances (especially Malden). "Meteor" is an ensemble production in the tradition of Irwin Allen's best disaster productions.

Don't let the naysayers in here turn you off from this underrated gem. If "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon" left you wanting, give "Meteor" a try. Sure, it may not be as polished as those two productions, but it has more going for it than you might think.


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