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The Lost Missile (1958)

Approved | | Sci-Fi | December 1958 (USA)
A strange missile from outer space circles the Earth at low altitudes, destroying everything in its path.


William Berke (as Lester Wm. Berke)


John McPartland (screenplay), Jerome Bixby (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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In 1947 England, a plastic surgeon must beat a hasty retreat to France when one of his patients has ghastly problems with her surgery. Once there, he operates on a circus owner's daughter, ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Hayers
Stars: Anton Diffring, Erika Remberg, Yvonne Monlaur


Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Loggia ... Dr. David Loring
Ellen Parker ... Joan Wood
Phillip Pine ... Dr. Joe Freed (as Philip Pine)
Larry Kerr Larry Kerr ... General Barr
Marilee Earle ... Ella Freed
Fred Engelberg Fred Engelberg ... TV Singer (as Fred Engleberg)
Kitty Kelly ... Mama - Ella's Mother
Selmer Jackson ... Secretary of State
Hari Rhodes ... Black Man at Piano
Shirley J. Shawn Shirley J. Shawn ... Black Woman by Piano (as Shirley Shawn)
J. Anthony Hughes ... Governor of New York
Robert Busch Robert Busch
Jack Holland Jack Holland ... Harold
John McNamara John McNamara ... Civil Aeronautics Board Officer
Mike Steele Mike Steele


The appearance of an unknown "missile-like" object in nearby space leads a European nation to fire a rocket at it. Though the rocket intercepts the unidentified object, the explosion only diverts the missile into an orbit around the Earth. Racing five miles above the earth, its passage causes widespread devastation of the land below.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You won't want to look - but you can't help it! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

December 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das rote Telefon... Alarm! See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A low-budget film that relied heavily on stock footage of military forces and civil defense exercises, it carried a Cold War-era message of the importance of the work done by scientists and the military in protecting the nation from external threats. See more »


The scientist's pregnant wife can't make it to the hospital and is taken to a neighbor's basement. No one can get hold of her husband and they don't know where he can be. Yet, later, before the missile reaches New York, the scientist is shown with his wife and newborn child, with no explanation for how he knew where she was and how he got to her so fast, since his base is far from the city. See more »


Dr. David Loring: There must be at least two million children in New York. I wonder how many will get out alive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits shown over a missile flying through a group of stars. See more »


Featured in Sputnik Fever (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Its like the newspaper the gift came wrapped in was more valuable than the gift.
1 April 2009 | by max von meyerlingSee all my reviews

Really it's a dreadful cheat of a film. Its 70-minute running time is very well padded with stock footage. The rest are non descript exteriors and drab interiors scenes. The plot exposition is very poorly rendered. They are all just perfunctory scenes sort of strung together. There is no attempt at drama in scene selection but rather drama is communicated by the intensity of the actors. Please don't ask.

The plot concerns a rocket radiating a million degree heat orbiting earth five miles up threatening to destroy the earth. It's a real time menace that must be diverted if a custom built H-bomb can be fashioned and placed in an experimental rocket within an hour. Nothing very much here to report except for a mad speech by a scientist against the project because there might be some sort of life aboard and think of the scientific possibilities but this speech made by the obligatory idiot liberal was pretty much passé by then.

What saves this film, somewhat uniquely, IS the stock footage. I've never seen a larger selection of fifties jet fighter aircraft in any other film. This is by no means a complete list but just some of the aircraft I managed to see. There's a brief interception by a pilot flying, in alternate shots, an F-89 Scorpion and an F-86. First to scramble interceptors is the Royal Canadian Air Force in Hawker Hunters and F-86 Sabre Jets (or Canadian built CF-13s) and even a pair of CF-100 Clunks.

Then for some reason there are B-52s, B-47s and even B36s are seen taking off. More padding.

"These Canadian jets are moving at 1200 miles an hour". I don't think so since one of them appears to be a WW2 era Gloster Meteor, the rest F-80s. The Meteors press the attack and one turns into a late F-84F with a flight of early straight wing F-84s attacking in formation.

There's a strange tandem cockpit version of the F-80 that doesn't seem to be the T-33 training type but some sort of interim all-weather interceptor variant with radar in the nose. These are scrambled in a snowstorm.

An angled deck aircraft carrier is seen from about 500 meters. It launches F-8U Crusaders, F-11F Tigers, A-5 Vigilantes and A-3 Skywarriors. The Air Force scrambles F-86s and F-84s and more F-89s then you've ever seen in your life as well as F-100 Super Sabres and F-102 Delta Daggers.

The F-100s press their attack with sooooo much padding. The F-89's unload their rockets in their wingtip pods in slo mo. The F-86s fire, an F-102 lets loose a Falcon, even some F-80s (F-94s?) with mid-wing rocket pods let loose. There is a very strange shot of a late model F-84 (prototype?) with a straight wing early model F-85 above it in a turn, obviously a manufacturer's (Republic Aviation) advertising film showing the differences between the old and the new improved models of the F-84 ThunderJet. How it strayed into here is anybodies guess.

There is other great stock footage of Ottawa in the old days when the capital of Canada was a wide spot in the road and especially wonderful footage of New York City's Times Square during one of the Civil Defense Drills in the early 50s.

I think we also have to deal with the notion that this was filmed in Canada with the possible exception of the auto chase seen late in the picture as the Pacific seems to be in the background. The use of a Jowett Jupiter is somewhat mind-boggling and there is a nice TR 3 to be seen also. Canada must have been cheap and it is rather gratuitously used a lot in the background.

As far as the actual narrative of the film there is little to recommend it other than the mystery of just who Ellen Parker is giving the finger to at the end of the picture. And she most definitely is flipping someone off. Could it be, R as in Robert Loggia? The director who dies before this film was released? Her career as this was her last credit?

Its like the newspaper the gift came wrapped in was more valuable than the gift.

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