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The Day the Sky Exploded (1958).

December 14, 2006

The Scoop:
This Italian/French co-production tells the story of a joint U.S./U.S.S.R. (huh?) space mission that goes horribly wrong. You see, it seems that the pilot of the first manned rocket to the moon runs into a little trouble and kinda, sorta accidentally shoots a nuclear missle blindly into space, causing a giant swarm of meteors to set a collision course for Earth.


Anyway, worldwide panic ensues, as we’ve seen in dozens of other films from “When Worlds Collide” to “Armageddon,” before order is finally restored and An Important Lesson is learned.

As you might expect from the ultra-low budget, stock footage abounds. But the best part about the film is the crazy dubbing of the original French dialogue. Not only do the American characters say archaic things like “shan’t” a lot, but the international cast of supporting characters are all given ridiculously stereotyped accents. Plus, there are lots of those nifty “ooo-wee-ooo” theremin noises at wildly inappropriate moments on the soundtrack. Despite a few slow stretches, there is plenty of fun to be had here.

Side Note:
Director Paolo Heusch would later serve as casting director for the notoriously perverted “Caligula” (1979).

Best Line:
“This is no time to panic!” — one male scientist comforting a female colleague before the imminent destruction of the world.

Companion Viewing:
“Deep Impact” (1998), “Armageddon” (1998), “When Worlds Collide” (1951) — any of your standard “that-big-rock’s-coming-right-toward-us!” classics.

Internet Archive.

Take a Look:
You can watch the whole movie starting here:

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