The career of rocket scientist Wernher von Braun (Curt Jurgens) is the focus of this film. Supposedly bullied by the Nazis into working for the Third Reich, the end of the war leaves the rocket man with a decision to take his talents to either Russia or the United States. He chooses the U.S., but controversy follows the gifted scientist wherever he goes. Some resent his collaborations with the Nazis, while others in the government are more than willing to turn their heads in deference to his genius. —Lovingtheclassics.com
John Lee Thompson (1 August 1914 – 30 August 2002), better known as J. Lee Thompson, was an English film director, active in England and Hollywood.
Thompson was born in Bristol, England to a theatrical family. After studying at Dover College, he briefly appeared on the stage and wrote crime plays in his spare time. Thompson first drew critical notice when his play Double Error was staged on the West End of London in 1935, upon which he was hired as a scriptwriter for British International Pictures, acquirer of the play’s film rights. During this initial BIP stint, Thompson made his only film appearance in the Carol Reed-directed Midshipman Easy (1935) and worked as a dialogue coach for Alfred Hitchcock’s production of Jamaica Inn (1939).
The small-framed Englishman was occupied during World War II as a tailgunner and wireless operator for the Royal Air Force. He eventually returned to his scriptwriting duties at the Associated British Picture Corporation, a successor of… read more
I stumbled upon this film by chance when a seller online sent me a DVD I didn't order. Curd Jürgens is totally believable as Wernher Von Braun, Herbert Lom disturbing as usual and Gia Scala perfect in the role of an English spy. The film isn't meant to glorify American efforts to launch a satellite into space, it rather raises some important questions like, for instance, ethical issues in Science. Recommended.