Films Better Left Remembered: Gorath (1962)

GorathIn this early 60s change of pace offering from Toho Pictures, mankind is threatened not by a reawakened behemoth from the primordial past, but by a giant rock from outer space.  Spaceship JX-1, the first manned flight to Saturn, is ordered to change course and intercept Gorath, a rouge star barreling through the cosmos and headed for a planet-shattering collision with the earth.

Outfitted in white coveralls and helmets, the crew of JX-1 look more like contestants in a go-cart race than astronauts, but in Gorath’s bold  future of the 1980s, these are the men with the right stuff. When the crew is informed they are on what amounts to a suicide mission, they only hesitate a moment before raising their fists in the air and chanting, “Hurrah! Hurrah!”

While their esprit de corps is appreciated, it is also just a bit creepy.

Gorath 2Back on earth, high-ranking officials (peeved at not being consulted about the rerouting of JX-1) grudgingly concede that, yes, maybe the right decision was made even without their approval (useful information about the possible destruction of the earth was obtained, after all). Once everyone is on the same page about the need to do something about Gorath, the bean counters weigh-in with their penny-pinching take on the situation: it’s going to cost a lot of money to save the earth. Ultimately, it’s decided the job is too big for Japan to tackle alone, and before you can say UNICEF, the project is a United Nations operation.

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