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UEN-TV Sci-Fi Friday

UEN Sci-Fi Friday offers a weekly science fiction feature film from the heyday of Sci-Fi - the 1920's to 1970's. Join other Utah science fiction movie fans after the film for an accompanying podcast where Utah experts discuss topics from the movie. In addition to TV movies, our partners at the Utah Museum of Natural History offer in-person science movie nights every month. Science fiction film is a bridge to science in the 21st century - enjoy the movies and science together. We welcome your comments.

  • Blackbeard The Pirate (1952)
    Friday, June 18
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Honest Edward Maynard finds himself serving as ship's surgeon under the infamous pirate Blackbeard.
  • Jamaica Inn (1939)
    Friday, June 25
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    For a Hitchcock film, this is not what you'd expect from the master of suspense, but the story of cutthroats luring ships to be wrecked, then robbed, on the rocky coast of 17th century Cornwall is compelling, and the stellar British cast is superb. Charles Laughton, Emlyn Williams, Basil Radford, Leslie Banks and Mervyn Johns deliver top notch performances as a band of rogues which supercilious Laughton doesn't want to have anything to do with, except carry out his orders to pillage and kill. When Mary Yelland (Maureen O'Hara) arrives to visit her aunt (most appropriately named Patience Merlyn) she discovers that her uncle Joss is the leader of a band of ship wreckers and robbers. When she witnesses the hanging of one of the gang members, Jem Trehearne (Robert Newton), she can't bear the sight, and cuts him free. It turns out that he is an investigator for Lloyd's of London and has infiltrated the group to catch the ringleader. When they visit the local magistrate, the pompus Sir Humphrey Pengallan, and try to enlist his help, they don't realize that he is the mastermind behind the whole operation. When he abducts Mary on a packet ship to skip town before being found out, Trehearne discovers his treachery and corners him on board ship. Pengallon will not be taken alive and jumps from the ship's rigging to a fitting end.
  • The Gorilla (1939)
    Friday, July 2
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    When a wealthy man is threatened by a killer known as The Gorilla, he hires the Ritz Brothers to investigate. A real escaped gorilla shows up at the mansion just as the investigators arrive.
  • The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956)
    Friday, July 9
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    An American cowboy living in Mexico discovers his cattle are being eaten by a giant prehistoric dinosaur.
  • Phantom Ship (1936)
    Friday, July 16
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    One of maritime's greatest unsolved mysteries is the basis for this Melvillian "Ghost Ship/Moby Dick" tale about the Mary Celeste, an American sailing ship, that was found adrift without a crew in 1872. The voyage is doomed from the start as the ill-advised captain, Benjamin Briggs, takes along his beautiful bride, Sarah. Worse still, after informing her fiance, Captain Morehead, that she is now in love with him, Briggs proceeds to hire one of Moorhead's mates, who has been secretly paid by the jilted captain to kill Briggs. Dooming the ship even further, Briggs hires Anton Lorenzen (Bela Lugosi in one of his most sympathetic roles), a half-crazed, vengeful, one-armed seaman who jumps at the chance to serve as coxswain aboard the ill-fated ship. During the fatal voyage, one by one, all aboard are murdered, leaving only Lorenzen and Bilson. Lorenzen gets his revenge when he tosses the cruel mate overboard to be eaten by the sharks.
  • The Living Ghost (1942)
    Friday, July 23
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Wise-cracking ex-detective Nick Trayne is called in to try to find the whereabouts of wealthy kidnap victim Walter Craig. Craig unexpectedly turns up alive but with apparent brain damage, leaving him in a zombified state. Trayne and his perky assistant Billie Hilton have their work cut out for them as they must sift through a houseload of possible suspects to get at the culprit.
  • Day The Sky Exploded (1958)
    Friday, July 30
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Astronaut John McClaren is the first man to be launched into space, but his triumph is short lived as his rocket veers off course and out of control, forcing him to eject from his cabin and parachute back to Earth. Scientists discover that the atomic engines are hurtling into space and an explosion is detected on the trajectory course to the Delta asteroids. Calculations reveal that several dislodged asteroids are heading towards Earth. To prepare for the calamity of tidal waves and mass destruction, all coastal regions are evacuated. The only hope to save the Earth is for every country to launch its missiles to intercept and destroy the asteroids before they enter Earth's atmosphere.

 

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  • Long John Silver (1954)
    Friday, June 11
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    In this sequel to Treasure Island, Long John hopes to rescue his friend Jim from a rival pirate and return for more treasure.
  • Captain Kidd ( 1945 )
    Friday, June 4
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Infamous 17th century pirate, Captain William Kidd is amply portrayed by Charles Laughton in this swashbuckler classic. Laughton is up to the demands of the role and manages to convey charm, guile and ruthlessness, all at the same time. The chutzpa of Kidd to persuade King William III (portrayed by veteran Henry Daniell) to act on behalf of the British crown to protect a royal British ship loaded with gold and jewels bound for London from India is a testament to Kidd's genius. The steps he uses to eliminate his fellow pirates as their eyes bulge in anticipation of the new treasures that literally fall into their lap as a result of Kidd's cunning plan, provides a most interesting sub-plot, however his efforts to eliminate top gunner Adam Mercy (Randolph Scott) who has discovered Kidd's secret past as a pirate and murderer of his father, Captain of the 12 Apostles ship Kidd had pillaged, proves to be his undoing.
  • Night Tide (1961)
    Friday, May 28
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    A young sailor falls in love with a mysterious woman, performing as a mermaid at the local carnival. He soon comes to suspect the girl might be a real mermaid, who draws men to a watery death during the full moon.
  • The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
    Friday, May 21
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him.
  • The Terror (1963)
    Friday, May 14
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    Jack Nicholson at the beginning and horror master Boris Karloff at the end of their respective careers, highlight this horror quickie from Roger Corman, who didn't miss a beat utilizing the same set from the just-completed The Raven get another horror gem into release. Karloff plays the Baron of a decaying castle estate who harbors a dark secret. Jack Nicholson is French Lieutenant Andre Duvalier, who falls in love with the apparition of the Baron's dead wife while seeking refuge in the castle. Sensing that something strange has happened, Andre discovers that the Baron is really an imposter named Eric who was in love with the real Baron's wife. An old woman, believed to be a witch, is responsible for the apparition and is trying to cause the Baron to commit suicide because she believes he killed her son, Eric. She is horrified when she discovers that the Baron is really her son, and is now the victim of her misplaced revenge.
  • Red Planet Mars (1952)
    Friday, May 7
    9:00 pm on UEN-TV 9.1
    An American astronomer obtains images of Mars suggesting large-scale environmental changes are occurring at a pace that can only be by wrought by intelligent beings with advanced technology. A colleague at the same time claims to have been contacting Mars by radio, first through an exchange of mathematical concepts and then through answers to specific questions, that convey Mars as a utopia. This knowledge leads to political and economic chaos, especially in the West. The American government imposes a news blackout after the first four messages, only to reveal many messages later that Earth's people can be saved if they return to the worship of God. Revolution sweeps the globe, including the Soviet Union. But there remains doubt about the messages being genuine, as an ex-Nazi who developed the original communication device prototype prepares to announce that he has been duping the Americans with false messages from a secret Soviet-funded radio transmitter high in the Andes mountains of South America. The mystery thickens as it appears the messages may have continued even after the secret transmitter was destroyed in an avalanche. (Wikipedia)