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Summary Edit

Template:Film cover fur DVD cover for the film First Man into Space (Criterion #367). Artwork by Darwyn Cooke.

Licensing Edit

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393px-Earths core film

First Man into Space (also known as Satellite of Blood) is a 1959 science fiction horror film directed by Robert Day and distributed by Amalgamated films.

The StoryEdit

Commander Charles "Chuck" Prescott [Marshall Thompson] is not so sure that his brother, Lieutenant Dan Prescott [Bill Edwards], is the correct choice for piloting the Y-13 into outer space. Although Captain Ben Richards [Robert Ayres] of the Air Force Space Command says that Dan is the best pilot they have, he bucked the rules when flying Y-12, went into the ionosphere, had problems landing his ship, and then promptly ran to see his girlfriend, Tia Francesca [Marla Landi], before bothering to even make out his report. Still, Capt Richards wants Dan to pilot the Y-13, after he has been throughly checked out and briefed by Doctor Paul von Essen Carl Jaffe.

Y-13 takes off with Dan at the controls. He climbs and climbs. At 600,000 feet, when he is supposed to level off and begin his descent, he continues to climb, even firing his emergency boost. He climbs to 1,320,000 feet (250 miles) and suddenly loses control of the ship and passes through some meteorite dust, so he is forced to catapult.

The next that is heard about Y-13 is a report to the New Mexico State Police that some Mexican farmer saw a parachute attached to some sort of plane land near his farm on Route 17 about 10 miles south of Alvarado. Chief Wilson [Bill Nagy] has the presence to notify the military in case it has something to do with their recent rocket firing. Wilson meets with Commander Chuck and shows him the wreckage. No way could the pilot have survived the crash. Tests on the recovered aircraft show that the automatic escape mechanism as well as the breaking chute operated perfectly. Tests also reveal some sort of unknown encrustation on the hull, unusual because not x-rays nor infrared photography nor ultraviolet will pass through it.

Later that night, a wheezing creature breaks into the New Mexico State Blood Bank in Alameda and drinks up a lot of the blood. The next day, the headline in the Santa Fe Daily News reads "Terror Roams State" and tells of brutal and inhuman slaughtering of cows on a farm right next door to where the Y-13 fell. Both the cows and the blood bank nurse show similar wounds -- jagged tears across the throat. When Chuck and Chief Wilson examine the body of the nurse, Chuck notices some shiny specks around the wound as well as on the blood bank door. They see the same specks on the necks of the dead cattle. They also find a piece of what looks like a "high-altitude oxygen lead" lying under the dead cow's body. The oxygen lead appears to be the one from Y-13.

Chuck is beginning to suspect that the killings may have something to do with the crashed spaceship and requests that Wilson send samples of the shiny specks to Dr von Essen at Aviation Medicine. The next day, Chuck stops at Aviation Medicine where Tia, who just happens to work there, has the test results sent down to them while they break for coffee. The results show that the shiny specks are particles of meteorite dust "that show no signs of structural damage such as would be expected from passage through atmosphere." Later, Dr von Essen demonstrates for Chuck the results of metallurgical tests on the encrustation. Oddly, wherever the encrustation occurs on the hull of Y-13, the metal is intact, but in places not encrusted, the metal has transformed into a brittle substance, like crumbling carbon, that can easily be reduced to a powder. Chuck theorizes that the encrustation may be some sort of "cosmic protection", like the primeval creatures that crawled out of the sea and grew skin to protect themselves from the sun.

Meanwhile, Capt Richards is paid a visit by Senor Ramon DeGareara Roger Delgado, consul for Mexico at Santa Fe. DeGareara tells them that the tail section of Y-13 fell from the sky into a new bullring in San Pedro. It scared the bull, which jumped from the ring and almost killed His Excellency, the Minister for Social Services. After taking care of formalities and arranging compensation for damages, a crew is sent to San Pedro to salvage the rest of Y-13.

Three more killings are reported, and Chuck is beginning to put the pieces together. He suspects that the same encrustation that formed to protect the hull of Y-13 also coated everything inside the cockpit, including Dan, and that the creature doing the killing is Dan himself, killing because he needs blood for some reason. Chuck further theorizes that, when the canopy burst, Dan's blood absorbed a high content of nitrogen while the protective encrustation quickly formed on his body, allowing him to survive in the rarified atmosphere of space. In addition, Dan's metabolism could have altered to a state that starved his body and brain of oxygen so that he now needs to replace that oxygen by drinking blood. That's Chuck's guess anyway.

When Dan's encrusted helmut is found in a car with his latest victim, Chuck's theory is proven right. But how are they to go about stopping him, since bullets cannot penetrate the crust? Capt Richards and Chief Wilson put in a call to Washington while Chuck and Tia stay behind to chat about the wisdom of sending a person into space. Suddenly, Tia screams. The hulking, wheezing, encrusted creature that is now Dan enters the room by crashing through a sliding window.

Chuck realizes by the wheezing that Dan is finding it difficult to breathe. He instructs Tia to get Dr von Essen to open a high-altitude chamber and then goes after his brother, who is running, wheezing and grunting, down the hall. Chuck taps into the P.A. system and warns everyone in the building to stay out of the corridors. Chuck then instructs Dr von Essen to get on the P.A. and relay to Dan, who appears to have intelligence under the encrustation, the directions to the high-altitude chamber. Dan follows the directions while Chuck follows behind him.

Into the chamber Dan goes, but Chuck realizes that Dan won't be able to operate the controls with his encrusted fingers, so he hops into the chamber with Dan. While Dan lumbers around, taking potshots at Chuck, the chamber technician quickly increases the simulated altitude to 38,000 feet, enabling Dan to feel more comfortable. While Chuck breathes oxygen through a mask, Dan sits down and tries to describe what happened. Unfortunately, he has no memory of the events. All he can remember is darkness, feeling suffocated, and trying to stay alive until he could find Dr von Essen. As Tia takes metabolism and blood pressure readings on Dan, he apologizes to Tia for the way things ended. I just had to be the first man into space, he says, then keels over dead. ` Capt Richards and Dr von Essen open the door into the high-altitude chamber and let Chuck out. While they concern themselves with the risks of space travel ("There will always be men willing to take the risk"), Chuck walks down the hall with Tia following him.

Plot Analysis and SynosisEdit

Filmed not long after the launch of Russia's Sputnik satellite, First Man Into Space benefited from a surface realism made possible by enhanced public knowledge of space-travel jargon and paraphernalia. Dashing ,but arrogant,headstrong astronaut Lt. Dan Prescott (Bill Edwards) disappears from view when his experimental spacecraft vanishes in a mysterious cloud of cosmic dust. The space capsule returns to Earth, covered in a bizarre extraterrestrial coating. Shortly thereafter, a hulking, half-human creature raids a blood bank, killing the nurse on duty and gulping down the supplies. More bizarre, unexplained events occur before Prescott's older brother Cmdr. C.E. Prescott,who like too much (Marshall Thompson) concludes that the monster is actually his missing brother, transformed by his experiences in space into a mutant, vampiric beast.

This is a cautionary tale astronuate,accidently travel to far beyond the earth's upper atmosphere,in an experimental rocket and covered by cosmic dust like substance.He crashed to earth,with head and spacesuite encased in outerspace armor,not being able to breath or think,goes a killing spree,until he find his brother Capt Richards and the other scientist Dr von Essen of the project to help him breath against normally and remember who he really is.A weak premise to explain why Prescott's turned a monster and needs blood to survive by ripping victums throat with meteor dust cover glove.In the end he dies,uttering to his brother,I was the first man in space.This is supposed to give a poinient ending about mankinds sacrifices and atchivements has a high cost,but it seems tacked to give the movie and ending ,plus a title.Clearly inspired Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to create the Thing of theFantastic Four a year or so later in 1961.


External links Edit

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{{Infobox film
| name           = The Andromeda Strain
| image          = AStrainposter.jpg
| caption        = Theatrical release poster
| director       = Robert Wise
| producer       = Robert Wise
| writer         = Screenplay:<br />Nelson Gidding<br />Novel:<br />Michael Crichton
| starring       = Arthur Hill<br />James Olson<br />Kate Reid<br />David Wayne<br />Paula Kelly<br />George Mitchell
| music          = Gil Melle
| cinematography = Richard H. Kline
| editing        = Stuart Gilmore<br />John W. Holmes
| distributor    = Universal Pictures
| released       = March 12, 1971 (USA)
| runtime        = 130 minutes
| country        = Template:Film US
| language       = English
| budget         =
| gross          =

The Andromeda Strain is a 1971 American science-fiction film, based on the novel published in 1969 by Michael Crichton about a team of scientists who investigate a deadly organism of extraterrestrial origin that causes rapid, fatal blood clotting. Directed by Robert Wise, the film starred Arthur Hill, James Olson, Kate Reid, and David Wayne. The film follows the book closely. The special effects were designed by Douglas Trumbull.

Robert Wise used a single set to create Wildfire's color-coded corridors, repainting it for scenes that take place on the different levels. Wise would use this trick again in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. When filming the scene where Dr. Ruth Levitt has an epileptic seizure due to watching a blinking red light, care had to be taken when choosing the frequency of the blinking, so it was the least likely frequency to induce seizures among susceptible viewers in the theater audience.

The cast of characters in the novel was modified for the film, most notably by changing the male Dr. Peter Leavitt in the novel into a woman, Dr. Ruth Leavitt. Screenwriter Nelson Gidding suggested the change to Wise, who at first was not enthusiastic, as he initially pictured the sex-changed Dr. Leavitt as a largely decorative character reminiscent of Raquel Welch's character in the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. When Gidding explained his take on Leavitt, Wise resolved the question in an appropriately scientific way by asking the opinion of a number of scientists, who were unanimously enthusiastic about the idea. Eventually Wise came to be very happy with the decision to make Leavitt female, as Kate Reid's Dr. Leavitt turned out to be, in his words, "the most interesting character" in the film.<ref>The Making of The Andromeda Strain, DVD documentary.</ref> Another minor change was the character of Burton in the novel, who became Charles Dutton in the film; no reason was given for this name change.

A young Michael Crichton makes a cameo appearance in a non-speaking role during the scene where Dr. Hall is told to break scrub because he has to report to Wildfire, the government's secret underground research facility.

* Arthur Hill as Dr. Jeremy Stone
* David Wayne as Dr. Charles Dutton
* James Olson as Dr. Mark Hall
* Kate Reid as Dr. Ruth Leavitt
* Paula Kelly as Karen Anson (nurse, laboratory technician)
* George Mitchell as Mr. Peter Jackson (Piedmont)
* Mark Jenkins as Lt. Shawn (Piedmont Team)
* Peter Helm as Sgt. Crane (Piedmont Team)
* Joe Di Reda as Sgt. Burk (Wildfire Computer Technician)
* Ramon Bieri as Major Arthur Manchek (Scoop Mission Control)
* Carl Reindel as Lt. Comroe (Scoop Mission Control)
* Frances Reid as Clara Dutton
* Peter Hobbs as General Sparks
* Kermit Murdock as Dr. Robertson (White House Science Advisor)
* Richard O'Brien as Grimes
* Eric Christmas as Senator Phillips (Vermont)
* Ken Swofford as Toby (Technician)
* John Carter as Capt. Morton (military police)
* Richard Bull as Air Force Major
* James W. Gavin as Dempsey (helicopter pilot) (uncredited)
* Garry Walberg as scientist (uncredited)
* Victoria Paige Meyerink as Additional Character

==Critical reception==
The opinion of critics is generally mixed, with some critics enjoying the film for its dedication to the original novel and with others disliking it for its drawn-out plot. Overall, the film has earned a 63% "fresh" rating from the film review site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 23 reviews.<ref>The Andromeda Strain at Rotten Tomatoes. Accessed June 8, 2009.</ref>

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards:<ref name="NY Times">==Further reading==

  • ==Further reading==
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  • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |
  • ==Further reading==
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  • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |
  • {{cite book | first=Robert | last=Heinlein | authorlink= | date=1980 | title=Expanded Universe | edition= | publisher=Ace Books | location=New York |</ref>
    * Best Art Direction (Boris Leven, William H. Tuntke, Ruby R. Levitt); lost to Nicholas and Alexandra
    * Best Film Editing (Stuart Gilmore, John W. Holmes); lost to The French Connection

    Like Forbidden Planet, The Andromeda Strain is one of the few mainstream Hollywood productions to feature an electronic music score. The soundtrack was composed by composer-musician Gil Mellé, who is probably best known for his theme music for the 1970s Rod Serling TV series Night Gallery. It is a unique blend of electronically generated sound, manipulated taped sounds (musique concrete) and some traditional instrumentation (piano, double bass, percussion), punctuated by bursts of  electronic white noise and pink noise.

    A limited edition soundtrack (10,000 copies) was released by Kapp Records in 1971 under the supervision of director Robert Wise (at a cost of $20,000).Template:Citation needed The vinyl discs were hexagonal and came housed in a die-cut hexagonal enclosure (which folded out to reveal photographs from the film) attached to a square backing board. The album was re-released shortly afterward as a conventional circular 12" LP in a regular square sleeve.

    ==Other media==
    Footage and stills from the movie were used in the first serial episode — titled "Population: Zero," aired January 18, 1974 — of the television show Six Million Dollar Man, an episode which deals with a town where all the citizens have succumbed to some external force.

    The 1995 television series Neon Genesis Evangelion uses the computer readout "601" in green letters on a black screen to depict the same unreadable data error that is encountered in The Andromeda Strain. This occurs in several episodes, most notably in episode 5 "Rei I." In addition, there are two other concrete references to The Andromeda Strain in the series. First, the layout of Central Dogma is a near carbon-copy of Wildfire. Second, episode 13 Lilliputian Hitcher features an Angel which behaves much like Andromeda - a small crystalline life-form which attacks the seals and vents in Central Dogma, infecting the installation and threatening to trigger its self-destruct sequence.

    ==See also==
    * List of American films of 1971
    * The Andromeda Strain (2008 miniseries)


==External links==
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* The Andromeda Strain (1971), DVD Template:ASIN
* DVD Savant - a long and detailed essay on the film (includes a discussion of the apparent killing of the monkey)
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de:Andromeda – Tödlicher Staub aus dem All
fr:Le Mystère Andromède (film)
it:Andromeda (film)
nl:The Andromeda Strain
pt:The Andromeda Strain
ru:Штамм «Андромеда» (фильм)
sv:Hotet (1971)
tr:Andromeda Esrarı
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