Director: John Sturges
Starring: Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, James Franciscus, David Janssen, Gene Hackman, Lee Grant, Nancy Kovack, Mariette Hartley
Screenwriter: Mayo Simon
Based on Marooned (1964) by Martin Caidin
134 minutes; Color
John Sturges is best known for Western (e.g. The Magnificent Seven ), though he also directed the borderline sf film The Satan Bug (1965); outer space may be a less suitable setting for his work. The film is a quasi-documentary about the rescue, by a Soviet/US team, of three astronauts trapped in orbit around the Earth. Opinions are divided on whether the slowly built suspense is potent or monotonous; the dialogue is even more banal than real NASA chat. The special effects are low-key and accurate, but not visually memorable; the most impressive sequence in the film is the one containing shots of a genuine Saturn rocket-launch. The film suffered through being released at much the same time as 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, the friendly treatment given to Russian cosmonauts in Marooned played a part in bringing about the Apollo-Soyuz space rendezvous of 1975.
|The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction|