Entry updated 17 December 2020. Tagged: Film.
Film (1950). Colonial Productions, Inc/Film Classics, Inc. Produced and directed by Mikel Conrad. Written by Howard Irving Young from a story by Conrad. Cast includes Mikel Conrad, Roy Engel, Pat Garrison, Denver Pyle and Hantz von Teuffen. 69 minutes. Black and white.
After numerous reports of flying saucers (see UFOs) from what was then the US Alaskan Territory, US intelligence recruits playboy Mike Trent (Conrad) to investigate; he is accompanied by "nurse" Vee Langley (Garrison) with the pretext that he has had a nervous breakdown and she is his attendant. They soon encounter suspicious characters including Hans (von Teuffen), the new caretaker at a cabin Trent owns. Shortly, Trent spies the saucer for himself, and after many complications during which he and Langley become attracted to each other, the saucer is located hidden inside a glacial cavern. It has been developed by Dr Lawton (Engel), a US Scientist who has put the device through many test flights. Soviet agents locate the cavern as well, intent upon obtaining the craft, but are killed in a shoot-out; during the chaos, Lawton's assistant Turner (Pyle) steals the craft, having plans to sell the machine to the Soviets. The saucer explodes in mid-air with Turner aboard, thanks to a bomb planted within by Dr Lawton as a safeguard against theft, and all ends well.
This poor production is of historical interest only, being the first feature film to deal with the UFO subject – though preceded by the Columbia serial Bruce Gentry: Daredevil of the Skies (1949). Reportedly, The Flying Saucer was initially planned as a documentary on Alaska produced by the real-life adventurer, double-agent etc von Teuffen, which was then turned into a feature by Conrad. Curiously enough, to judge from the script, Conrad seemed to think all UFO reports were of a single machine. [GSt/DRL]
see also: Cold War.
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