Help with Movie
September 23, 2008 10:36 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a 1950-ish science fiction movie. In the scene I most clearly remember, a man and a woman are on the bridge of an alien spaceship. She is a Russian mathematician and he is a pilot. The ship is being remotely controlled and is automatically flying through the solar system. It becomes clear that it is on a collision course with Saturn.

In the climactic scene, the woman is doing calculations on a pad and paper, and calling them out to the pilot who enters them into a keypad in an attempt to free a joystick control so they can manually return the spaceship to Earth. What is the name of this movie?
posted by CollectiveMind to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This Island Earth?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:48 AM on September 23, 2008

I think it may be "Rocketship X-M" (1950), and in the scene in question, the ship either destined to Mars or is returning to earth, and not on a collision course with Saturn.
posted by Gordion Knott at 12:21 PM on September 23, 2008

Certainly not This Island Earth.

Haven't seen Rocketship X-M in many years, but at the end, the ship does crash -- on Earth.

I can't otherwise place this film; would it be Russian or Czech? Doesn't sound American, but I could be wrong.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:43 PM on September 23, 2008

Half of the description fits Rocketship X-M (MST version).

Lloyd Bridges (Mike Nelson of "Sea Hunt" fame) plays a pilot. And there's a female (German?) physicist. In the climactic scene, they're on the bridge of a ship crashing on Earth. The rest doesn't fit. Do you remember them crashing, or surviving? Are you sure you're not mixing up old memories of this and another movie? Or, considering it was the first, or second, sci-fi movie of the era, it's quite possible it was ripped off by someone else, and that's the movie in question...

Doing some Googling, "Silent Running" involves a crash course with Saturn, but I haven't seen that one in a while.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:11 PM on September 23, 2008

Response by poster: There is a passage of time between when they realize they are trapped aboard this automatically flying space ship and when they realize they are on a collision course with Saturn. During this transition, the woman is doing calculations that don't seem to be connected to freeing the joystick. Only when they realize when realize they are on a direct path to the planet, does she say she's been working on number combinations and tells the pilot to try them.
posted by CollectiveMind at 6:46 PM on September 24, 2008

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