This was the first feature film to cash in on the Flying Saucer craze of the fifties. It’s not a terrible movie by any standards, but it doesn’t really offer the same fun that the later Earth vs. the Flying Saucers offers up. The plot is laughable. The CIA decides to investigate reports of flying saucers not because of aliens, but because they fear it’s the Russians' new technology. Go figure…it’s the fifties! They leap to action by sending playboy Mike Trent to Alaska because…you know… he was born in the Alaskan area they think is harboring the new Soviet space ship. To thicken the plot, they also send Vee Langley, an agent who pretends to be his nurse. Chik-a Chik-a wha-wha!
They get to Alaska and their cabin’s caretaker’s name is Hans von Teuffen (probably the first clue that that he’s a Soviet spy). Hans also tries a few times to kill Vee. Hell at one point she’s almost mauled by a bear. This is Alaska after all. One night they see the saucer in the sky and after that mayhem ensues as they discover it was actually invented by an American scientist whose lab assistant is a Communist sympathizer trying to sell the saucer’s secrets to the Russians. Boo-Yow! Plot foiled. America wins! And no bears were harmed in the filming. Actually much of the film was completed before they ever had a script!
That’s why I’m linking this film to the term Tableau, a picturesque groping of persons or a striking scene. This movie started out as a documentary on Alaska. That’s why so much of the movie is beautifully striking shots of the Alaskan wilderness that have absolutely nothing to do with the plot. It’s just scenery that was probably new to viewers in 1950. After all, Alaska didn’t become a state until 1959.
The only other thing I love about this movie is the playboy the CIA sends to investigate was played by Mikel Conrad…who also wrote the script…who also directed the movie…who also chain smokes throughout the entire film!