Directed by Terence Fisher
Produced by Michael Carreras
Written by Paul Tabori
Richard Landau
Based on radio play by Charles Eric Maine
Starring Howard Duff
Eva Bartok
Music by Ivor Slaney
Cinematography Reginald H. Wyer
Edited by Maurice Rootes
Distributed by Lippert Pictures (USA)
Exclusive Films (UK)
Release dates
  • 7 August 1953 (1953-08-07)
Running time
76 mins
Country UK
Language English

Spaceways is a 1953 British-American, black and white, science fiction film co-produced by Hammer Film Productions Ltd. and Lippert Productions Inc.. Spaceways, directed by Terence Fisher, was filmed entirely in England by the Hammer company, with Michael Carreras as producer-of-record and American Robert L. Lippert as uncredited co-producer, from a screenplay by Paul Tabori and Richard Landau based on a radio play by Charles Eric Maine.

The film stars Howard Duff and Eva Bartok, with Alan Wheatley. Spaceways was distributed in the UK by Exclusive Films Ltd. and in the United States by Lippert Pictures Inc.


Engineer Dr. Stephen Mitchell is part of a British space program that are planning to launch a satellite that will permanently orbit around the Earth. At a cocktail party with him and his colleagues, it is announced that the project has been approved by the defense council. But his wife Vanessa is not enthusiastic about the project nor living at the high security base. She sneaks away with Dr. Philip Crenshaw, who she is having an affair with, while Stephen leaves with Lisa Frank, a mathematician on the project who is in love with him. When Stephen returns home, he has an argument with Vanessa, with Stephen secretly aware of her kissing Crenshaw.

Meanwhile, the rocket soon launches, but it does not reach maximum height. It is soon discovered that Crenshaw and Vanessa have disappeared. Soon after, Dr. Smith secretly investigates around the base, coming to the conclusion that not only were the two murdered by Mitchell, but they were hidden in the fuel tanks of the rocket to cover his tracks. Smith approaches Mitchell with the accusation while telling him about Crenshaw (who concealed having a degree from Germany) being a spy.

Mitchell comes up with the idea to go in a second rocket into space to try and prove his innocence. Smith discovers that there was a new member on the team prior to the disappearance, and that a guard had died in an accident a week earlier. Soon after, Crenshaw and Vanessa are discovered by Smith and the police at a seaside cottage, with the former planning to go to the east instead of America. However, she is killed in a scuffle between Crenshaw and Smith.

After the launch, Mitchell is surprised to see that Lisa is aboard the ship, having convinced Toby to let her be on the ship instead of him. Despite it being revealed that the bodies are not on the ship, Mitchell and Frank try to disconnect the middle section of the ship, which results in an explosion, making the rocket go out of control. However, Steve releases the fail-safe handle, saving them from destruction.



Principal photography on Spaceways took place at Ray Studios, Windsor, England from mid-November 1952 to early January 1953.[1] Some of the special effects shots of the rocket taking off in Spaceways were taken from Rocketship X-M.[2]


Spaceways was not well received by critics, and its poor production values soon relegated the film to the bottom of theater playbills and drive-ins, mainly as fill-in fodder. Film reviewer Glenn Erickson, writing in DVD Davant, noted: "The disappointment of Spaceways is finding out that it is really a lukewarm murder mystery in a science fiction setting".[2]



  1. "Original print information: Spaceways." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: 9 January 2015.
  2. 1 2 Erickson, Glenn. "Spaceways." DVD Svant, 30 November 2000. Retrieved: 9 January 2015.


Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies: American Science Fiction Films of the Fifties, 21st Century Edition. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2009, (First Edition 1982). ISBN 0-89950-032-3.

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