Rocket Attack U.S.A. (1958)
Released in 1958: An American spy must infiltrate the Soviet Union and destroy a rocket ship that is being prepared to drop a nuclear bomb on New York City.
Produced by Barry Mahon
Directed by Barry Mahon
Written by Barry Mahon
The Actors: Monica Davis (Tanya), John McKay (John Manston), Phillip St. George (unknown), Edward Czerniuk (unknown), Daniel Kern (unknown), Richard Downs (unknown), Herbert Flato (unknown), Ray Brewer (unknown), Janice Gilmain (unknown), Robert Reeh (unknown), Art Metrano (truck driver), Jane Ross (truck driver's wife), Marco Behar (unknown), Frank Patrinostrow (unknown), Milton Fuchs (unknown), William Osborn (unknown), Ronnie Cooper (unknown), John Horner (unknown), Nicolai Grushko (unknown), Sara Amman (restaurant dancer), Vladovia Lazareff (unknown), James Tura (unknown), Alan Smiler (unknown)
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It's the End of the World as We Know It
In 1952 scientists and astronomers determined that between the summer of 1957 and the end of 1958 the cycles of the sun’s activity would be at a high point. The scientists suggested that an artificial satellite sent into space during this period might provide valuable information about the relationship between our sun and the earth.
America began designing a 3.5 pound Vanguard satellite aboard an experimental rocket ship to measure the magnetic fields around the earth.
While this project was still in the planning stages, on the morning of October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik 1 satellite that was fifty times larger than the one the U.S. was building. On November 3, 1957 the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik 2, and our much smaller satellite was still being built.
It wasn’t until January 31, 1958 that the U.S. successfully launched Explorer 1. I was only a young lad of 6 when these events occurred, so my personal memories are next to nothing, but it seems that Americans were shocked into believing that our destruction was at hand. The Soviet Union, with its hatred of America combined with its scientific rocket superiority, would soon place atomic bombs on powerful rockets aimed at the U.S.
Before 1958 had ended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created and a flood of money was spent catching up with the Soviet Union. Two years later President John F. Kennedy would promise to not only build rockets that could put large satellites into orbit, but to create rocket ships powerful enough to put men on the moon within that decade.
The race for outer space had begun.
This independently produced drama chronicles the attempt of an American spy to infiltrate Moscow and stop a planned rocket attack on New York City. The movie technically was never in danger of crashing the Academy Awards Ceremonies, but I think that it is an accurate peek at the American mindset in 1958 when we entered the ‘Cold War’ military nuclear buildup era . . . An era that we are still trying to unwind.
If you aren’t careful as you watch, when you experience the shocking ending, you may discover yourself in that same mind-set that movie fans experienced in 1958. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Monica Davis and John McKay
Monica Davis and John McKay