The Flying Saucer
(The Flying Saucer)
March 19, 2002
The Flying Saucer has been billed as the first movie about flying saucers. Made shortly after the Roswell Incident, and at the beginning of The American Red Scare, it was released in the same month and year that Senator Joe McCarthy chose to take on the Red Menace of Communism, January 1950. You need to be afraid of something in a sci-fi movie, so Voila! What we end up with is a movie designed around the fear of two different types of aliens…one Green, and one Red. Today we are more sophisticated and know better. There aren’t any Little Green Men. They are Gray!
Our story tonight begins with a flurry of flying saucer sightings around the world, including one in the mid-west where you are confronted by a screaming hysterical thin version of ‘Auntie Em’. (Refer to the video box picture). You never see her again, and I have no clue as to what elicited that horrible scream. In Washington, our hero Mikel Conrad is called in by a “gray suit” named Hank Thorn, and informed that there was one and only one purpose for building the Flying Saucer that has been sighted…to carry the Atomic Bomb! (How he, or anyone else for that matter, could know this is never revealed). Thorn further states that we had better get our hands on it before the Russians do, or there will be atomic bombs dropped on every major city in the U.S. … Sheesh! Thorn introduces Mike to a beautiful women operative named Vee Langley, and off Mike and Vee go to Alaska to find the saucer. Don’t ask! Mike smokes in almost every scene. There is always a cigarette in his hand. When he’s not smoking, he’s trying to make time with Vee.
Arriving in Juno Alaska, Mike and Vee head for the lodge outside of the city and meet up with a fellow operative named Hans. He is, in real life, Hantz von Teuffen the other big starring name on the marquis for this film. Apparently he must have been a big star in Europe, because no one in this country had ever heard of him. He has very few lines, is a traitor, and his attempts to kill Vee and Mike are worthy of the Key Stone Cops. In the end, he too vanishes like the skinny Auntie Em. No loss there; I wish him well back in Europe.Mike then goes back into Juno and ends up at the Dreamland Bar where he ties one on and runs out of cigarettes. The Dreamland Bar, it turns out, just happens to be the hangout of the Russian spies. The Russians are in league with Hans, and are looking for the saucer too.Note: Area 51 is also nicknamed Dreamland. Is there a connection? I do not have the answer at this time.
Mike gets into a motorboat and tries to motor back to the lodge where he and Vee are staying. Don’t ask. Wearing no jacket and still drunk, he falls out of the boat into water that is 32°, climbs out soaking wet, and passes out on a chunk of ice just like the fresh seafood in your local grocery store. He sleeps there all night, without freezing to death, and is saved by a fisherman in the morning. Truly miraculous!
Mike then rents a plane and flies... and flies… and flies… and flies to Twin Lakes on the other side of the icecap. The scenery is spectacular… possibly the only saving grace of the film. He finds the saucer and discovers that it was actually made by a guy named Dr. Carl Lawton. Returning to the other side of the icecap, he arrives just in time to get captured by the Russians along with Vee and Dr. Lawton who just flew in from Washington. (Seriously, my continuity is not that far off from the actual)! They are forced by the Russian Commie Pinkos into going back to Twin Lakes through a hidden cavern under the ice. The budget didn’t have enough in it for a boat big enough to carry eight Russian spies and three hostages, so the cavern was their only story option.
Inside the cavern a gunfight breaks out, the cavern starts to collapse and everyone runs for their lives. Most don’t make it. A guy named Turner heads for the saucer… Mike, Vee, and Dr. Lawton take up the chase. While I cannot divulge the end and ruin the story…a feat which for all intents and purposes has already been accomplished, I will say that Mike and Vee end up in a warm embrace against a spectacular skyline; oblivious to the fact that the script has left them on the wrong side of the icecap… with no way back.