Tonight's Woeful Wednesday feature is a 1979 Sci-Fi Disaster movie called "Meteor."
I was not really familiar with this film, but I found it streaming on Amazon Prime for $3.99.
If you choose "no rush" shipping when you buy something, Amazon will give you one dollar credit, so I saved up my credits because I wanted to see a movie with Natalie Wood in it, and honestly, she has not been in a lot of movies that we discuss around here, so I really wanted to see this one, and if you don't use your credits in a certain amount of time, they expire! A couple of other one word Natalie Wood titles I'm saving up for are "Peeper," and her last film made in 1983 titled "Brainstorm."
Since Natalie Wood had such a very short life, it's a good thing she got started very young. She was only four years old when she had her first role as Carrie in the 1943 war film, "The Moon Is Down."
In "Meteor," she plays a Russian translator named Tatiana Donskaya. That might seem like an odd role for Natalie, but she was actually of Russian descent, was born Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko, and spoke Russian.
"Meteor" is jam packed with talent, besides Natalie Wood, it starred Sean (James Bond) Connery, and Brian (Family Affair) Keith. Believe it or not, Brian Keith was also fluent in Russian!
More amazing talent was provided by Jane and Peter's Dad Henry (The Grapes Of Wrath, The Boston Strangler) Fonda as The President, and Karl (Phantom Of The Rue Morgue, Streets Of San Francisco) Malden as Harry Sherwood.
Martin (Mission Impossible) Landau is also in there as the generally pissed off General Adlon.
Forty-one years later, and I think everybody who lives in Russia or the U.S.A. should watch this movie. Maybe it would convince us all that we're in this together.
The basic story is that a meteor of epic proportions is heading towards earth at a rapid speed, and is set to collide, and most likely destroy the world within a week. The U.S. and the Russian governments both have 'top secret' satellites flying around armed with nuclear weapons aimed at the other country, so what they need to do is cooperate, open up and tell the truth, and both turn their fire power towards the meteor if there's any hope for civilization as we know it! In the meantime smaller pieces of the meteor are splintering off and causing all kinds of destruction just to give us a taste of what is yet to come!
The meteor splinters hit a ski resort in Switzerland hard!
In the story, 12,000 skiers are killed by a massive avalanche while competing in this marathon!
In Hong Kong, the splinters cause a massive tsunami that also kills thousands!
In each location, the movie cuts to one family or group of people conducting their daily affairs when the disaster strikes, and what happens to them.
"Meteor" turned out to be a real 'Disaster' movie, costing over $20 million to make, but was a huge flop at the box office.
The United States' satellite is called Hercules, and this one here, the Russian one is, called Peter The Great!
Why is it that they just don't make people like Natalie Wood and Sean Connery any more?
I liked this scene in the cafeteria, where they go and sit down in front of two space themed pinball machines.
The meteor looks like a giant monster about ready to gobble up the Earth!
Then Sean Connery gets the word.......and it goes something like this, "A large splinter is headed towards the Easter Seaboard"
And he asks..."And when is it scheduled to hit?"
"Right about now!!"
After that splinter hits, the adventure really starts as the cast is stuck in subway tunnels and gets covered with mud! I don't know how much they got paid, but I don't think it was enough!
According to the IMDB, this four minute scene was shot in a swimming pool at MGM Studios, and cost a half a million dollars. Shooting was delayed for two days after Sean Connery got some kind of respiratory illness, Karl Malden got buried in the mud twice, and Natalie Wood almost got sucked into a pump before it was over.
Talk about disaster, they also claim that the financial failure of "Meteor" is considered to be a large factor in the downfall of American International Pictures.
The "Meteor" was five miles wide. The speed it was heading towards Earth was thirty thousand miles per hour. It was a sad day! Glad it didn't happen!