“Meteor” has a credible exciting plot and an excellent cast. Sean Connery stars as Paul Bradley, a retired NASA expert. Connery does a great job in his portrayal of Bradley as a strong-willed and intelligent scientist. Tatiana Donshaya, played by Natalie Wood, is a Russian translator and scientist. Dr. Duboff is the head Russian scientist in the film and is portrayed by Brian Keith. Keith gives an excellent performance, perhaps his best ever, as the warm, humorous Russian scientist. Karl Maiden is perfectly suited for his role as the tough, action-minded NASA administrator, Harry Sherwood.
The story, written by Edmund H. North, begins with a spectacular scene when Orpheas, an asteroid orbiting in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter is hit by a comet traveling through our solar system. Orpheas explodes into many fragments which go hurtling off in all directions. Of the fragments which head for Earth, is one particularly large piece measuring 5 miles across and traveling at a speed of 30 thousand miles per hour.
A prediction is made in the movie that the impact caused by such a meteor would result in another Ice Age. The plot is all the more exciting because of the 7 day limit before the meteor will strike.
“Meteor ” has only one flaw. The special effects used to stage three disasters caused when smaller meteors hit the Earth are very poorly done. An avalance, a tidal wave, and an enormous fire all have the fuzzy bluish outline typical of the “Godzilla” movies done in the 50’s. The three disaster scenes are so obviously faked that the movie would have been improved by editing them. The quality of these scenes seemed totally out-of-place amongst the excellent acting and plot.
“Meteor” also stars Martin Landau as General Atlon, Joseph Campanella as General Easton, Trevor Howard as Sir Michael Hughes, Richard Dysart as the Secretary of Defense, Henry Fonda as the President, and Sybil Danning as a skier killed in the avalance.
“Meteor,” produced by Sandy Howard and Gabriel Katzka and directed by Ronald Neame, is a movie well-worth seeing (and is the predecessor of such movies as Deep Impact and Armageddon), because while it may be termed a disaster film, the movie itself was a great success.