Bamboo Saucer, The

Tagged: Film

Film (1968; vt Collision Course). National Telefilm Associates, Jerry Fairbanks Productions. Produced by Jerry Fairbanks. Directed by Frank Telford. Written by Telford from an original story by Alford Van Ronkel and John P Fulton (credited as John Fulton). Cast includes Vincent Beck, Dan Duryea, John Ericson and Lois Nettleton. 103 minutes. Colour.

A flying saucer (see UFOs), apparently of Extraterrestrial origin, crash-lands in mainland communist China – behind the so-called "bamboo curtain". The US and Soviet Union race to recover the craft if possible, before the Chinese can do so. The rival teams are led by American Hank Peters (Duryea), and Russians Zagrosky (Beck) and Anna Karachev (Nettleton). They compete fiercely for a time, then realize they must join forces in order to reach the vehicle before the Chinese Army. After successfully doing so, the three surviving members of both teams fly the craft out of China, and on a brief tour of the Solar System – including a visit to Saturn (see Outer Planets) – before returning to Earth. In a show of rare Cold War goodwill, it is agreed to land the vehicle in neutral Switzerland at the conclusion.

This modest UFO film was the last credit for veteran actor Duryea, and also one of the last-produced film treatments by Van Ronkel, who had died in 1965. As Rip Von Ronkel, he co-wrote the screenplay for Destination Moon (1950). The Bamboo Saucer is also of some interest for being the only screenwriting credit for special photographic effects master John P Fulton, who also died before the film was released. [GFi]

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