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Spaceways (1953)

Howard Duff , Eva Bartok , Terence Fisher  |  NR |  DVD
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Howard Duff, Eva Bartok, Alan Wheatley, Michael Medwin, Andrew Osborn
  • Directors: Terence Fisher
  • Writers: Charles Eric Maine, Paul Tabori, Richard H. Landau
  • Producers: Michael Carreras
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2012
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Z4VX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,952 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Spaceways" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A strange mix of space-age rocketry and old-fashioned murder mystery, the 1953 Spaceways is notable as the first British science fiction film since the legendary Things to Come. Howard Duff stars as the strapping American physicist working on a top-secret British base; Eva Bartok is the European mathematician who pines for the married Duff. She gets to prove her love when he's accused of murdering his philandering wife and her lover, a fellow scientist, after they suddenly disappear from the high-security compound. Where did they go? A coldly logical detective (Alan Wheatley) suggests their bodies have been stuffed on an experimental satellite and shot into space, so Duff suits up for a space flight to prove his innocence. This early Hammer thriller is a cut-rate production with functional special effects and a talky, often ludicrous script. Duff is an amiable hunk who would look more at home on a football field than a laboratory and Bartok is all goo-goo eyes, but Wheatley is excellent as the cunning investigator driven by pure reason and deduction, a role Peter Cushing would make his specialty in the coming decade. It's pure B-movie hokum, but director Terence Fisher does it up in smart style, creating a thick atmosphere of tension on the tiny sets and keeping the story moving with interesting camera work. The Image DVD is beautifully mastered from a gorgeous, sharp print. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

Space is a cold place to die!
At a secret rocket base in England, Scientist Howard Duff (Brute Force, The Naked City) is accused of committing the perfect crime-murdering his adulterous wife and her Russian spy lover and disposing of their bodies by

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hammer's first venture into sci-fi! December 15, 2001
This tidy little murder mystery with a sci-fi setting features tough,
gruff Howard Duff and beautiful, exotic Eva Bartok as star crossed
lovers working together on the first attempt to put a satellite into
orbit above the Earth. Duff and Bartok becomes the first man and
woman into space when they have to rocket off to the satellite to
prove his innocence in the murder of his wife and her lover, whose
bodies are thought to be hidden on the satellite.
The story is from a radio play by novelist Charles Eric Maine, who
had two of his other works turned into movies--The Isotope Man
became The Atomic Man and Escapement became The
Electronic Monster. He had a penchant for writing Alfred
Hitchcock-like murder mysteries with a science fiction flavor.
And like Hitchcock's movies, Spaceways is rather slow paced and
tedious at times, before the payoff comes, such as it is.
Director Terence Fisher, in his pre-Frankenstein and Dracula
efforts for Hammer Films, does a good job with what little he has--
a low budget and stock footage of German V-2 rocket launches,
plastic spacesuits, and sparsely designed control room sets. It all
works pretty well, though, because of the fine cast.
This DVD features excellent image quality and sound, a chapter
index, and the theatrical trailer, and that's it. Recommended
mostly for fans of Eva Bartok and early British sci-fi.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MISLEADING TITLE May 2, 2004
This is a quality Image DVD. The image is sharp and crisp. There are a few trailers and a chapter index.
This movie is not science fiction. This movie was marketed wrong and still is. The Amazon reviewer writes, "it's a strange mix..." There really is no mix. There's no space station and very little of the rocket. This is a murder-mystery plain and simple and I think a pretty good one. The acting is good and the story good.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mainly for "Hammer" completists May 14, 2001
Inspired by the success of the American science fiction movie "Rocketship X-R", Hammer Films decided to produce the first British science fiction film since "Things to Come" (1936). "Spaceways" is in no way comparable to those two films. After a heavy-handed exposition the film unravels to be only a modest little crime story with a space sequence as special twist. It seems that the budget was very small. The film-makers opted to combine real footage with F/X-shots, which is quite problematic. During the climactic spaceflight the camera stays within the interior of the capsule all the time. Fisher did not even attempt to solve the problem of showing zero gravity. You even get to see more in "Nude on the Moon" (Hey, I mean special effects!). The script is quite slow and far too talkative. It was based on a radio play and it clearly shows. Director Fisher displays a fairly good craftsmanship, but this film is not in the least as effective as his later gothic horror movies that became the trademark of Hammer. Nevertheless, I think he made the film as effective as the screenplay and the budget allowed. Moreover, the supporting cast is quite well. Combined with Fishers skills they prevent this film from being campy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
SPACEWAYS-was a very interesting film that I never saw as a youngster. Because of several Amazon reviews I was hesitant to buy this film and first rented it to see what I thought of it. My score of four stars is not that different from the average viewer, but I do think I enjoyed it much more than the typical reviewer because of my personal taste.

One fact we can agree on, and as another reviewer has commented, this is an unusually fine DVD transfer for an old film made from good original source material, and produced a very excellent picture on a large screen TV.

The much discussed mystery plot, (which included murder, espionage and the efforts of a lead engineer to clear his name of same in the eyes of military intelligence), was written around a nice film expose of von Braun's early three stage space vehicle, first conceived to orbit the Earth in a two hour orbit at 1075 miles altitude. That, plus the nice screen presentation of this craft, good sets, costumes, models, and the decent special effects were a very pleasant surprise after all these years of laboring under the impression that these concepts were only available in the form of book drawings and an early Disney feature animation.

A nice job was done of presenting the very dated plot, outdated relations between the genders and the never dated physics of orbital mechanics. I am going to purchase this inexpensive film for my library of sci-fi classics. Howard Duff always puts on a good show and pulled off this unconventional acting assignment credibly. The entire cast (Howard Duff, Eva Bartok, Andrew Osborn, Alan Wheatley) did a fine job considering their acting assignment. Note, this movie is strictly for space cadets and I would not recommend it for anyone else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Deceived by a woman dedicated to pleasure.

At a secret rocket base in England, a small group of dedicated scientists is attempting to put the first artificial satellite in orbit. Meanwhile back at the base there is hanky-panky between a biologist and someone else's bored wife, Vanessa Mitchell (Cecile Chevreau.) Little do they know the biologist is more that he seems to be until one day the two disappear? Small base. Secured base. Where can they be? Did someone suggest the third stage and Dr. Stephen Mitchell (Howard Duff) the husband seems to be more interested in space and his hand held calculator, Dr. Lisa Frank (Eva Bartok.) than the disappearance of his wife and the biologist?

According to military intelligence (Alan Wheatley), we know whodunit and how. However, can it be proven?

Boys' Night Out [VHS]
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not much of a sci-fi film
Spaceways is more a crime drama that has elements of science fiction, and much of it. The premise is a secret rocket testing facility falls prey to the disappearance of one of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by SRFireside
1.0 out of 5 stars Very boring
Boring. I even sent on to my brother and he said the same thing. I would not bother buying this one.
Published 2 months ago by Herb Salisbury
4.0 out of 5 stars SCI-FI MURDER MYSTERY.
I enjoyed SPACEWAYS for what it was, basically a murder/spy plot with sci-fi trappings. I wasn't all that bored nor did I think that it dragged along too badly. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Richard J. Oravitz
4.0 out of 5 stars Dig those crazy outfits
Of course this is a science fiction, how could you think otherwise and it's one of the very first. If you love sci fi and horror films of the 30's to the 60's like I do, this film... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Visa
4.0 out of 5 stars This is Science Fiction
To the person who said it wasn't science fiction . . . well . . .
rockets, astronauts, scientists and governments risking it all to get into space, talk of space stations as... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Barkingmad
1.0 out of 5 stars spacewaste or trashways...
...very boring: some space stock footage & to complete your very un-exciting space action-final original Boring...,(well take off was ok but maybe stock f.),.. Read more
Published on February 4, 2012 by John Lemoine
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical 50's space opera.
Classic 50's sci fi adventures. Typcial technical effects, good writing for the day, good popcorn movie for a late Saturday night!
Published on March 21, 2010 by Jeffrey E. Hoyle
3.0 out of 5 stars campy but fun
This film is worth the look to see a young lloyd bridges. Dont expect to be glued to the screen as the film does move slow.. Read more
Published on March 5, 2010 by Junior L. Hamm
2.0 out of 5 stars Review of the Spaceways film.
I thought that the science regarding what we now know as the space station was interesting. I did not think that the movie lived up to the description on the outside of the DVD... Read more
Published on March 8, 2007 by Judith Morrell Gribble
3.0 out of 5 stars It`s a triller, not a sci fi movie.
In general it`s a little bit bouring, it`s not a scifi movie like others in his time. It`s more like a police suspence and triller. Read more
Published on November 13, 2002 by Oscar Hernan Gonzalez
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