The Flying Saucer (1950)

This film is part of a 3-disc collection prepared by Image Entertainment titled “Watch The Skies”.  The other films are The Cosmic Man and Stranger from Venus.  The Flying Saucer is a product of its era –post WWII communist paranoia and a flying disc not from outer space, but of terrestrial origins.   The Flying Saucer is often cited as the first film to take advantage of the the flying saucer cultural phenomenon that originated in the late 1940’s (Bill Warren, 1986).  It’s not really a science fiction film, but has some sci-fi aspects.  It reminded me a lot in tone of the excruciating Red Planet Mars (1952, starring Peter Graves).  The film was directed by Mikel Conrad and runs 69 minutes.

Here’s the plot:  Military intelligence officer and playboy Mike Trent (Mikel Conrad) is dispatched by a war buddy to Alaska to investigate reports of sneaky Russians and a flying saucer designed “to carry the atomic bomb”.  A cute but tough nurse Pat (Vee Langley), who is actually also an agent, accompanies Mike to cure his hangover, provide romantic interest and also see what the ruskies are up to.  While in Alaska, Pat and Mike trot around some fairly interesting glacier locations, and Mike discovers the saucer buried under an old log cabin in the Twin Lakes area.  Ah -the saucer isn’t extraterrestrial, but built by a clever American scientist.  There’s a back-stabbing assistant involved (played by Denver Pyle, Uncle Jesse on the Dukes of Hazard), who get’s them all in a mess with the Russians.  Uncle Jesse steals the saucer and it blows up real good.

For a grade Z low-budgeter, the effects aren’t too bad.  The model disc zig zags around like a flying saucer should behave, and the full-scale mockup reminds me of the saucer that Blair builds in John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982).  The Flying Saucer is dull and uninspired.  It’s a curiosity and for genre completists and UFO enthusiasts only.  I liked it.


Bill Warren, 1986.  Keep Watching the Skies! McFarland & Company, Inc.  839 pg.

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