28 March 2005 | roncyriter
I enjoyed the movie, "On the Threshold of Space", very much.
I was fortunate enough, along with my Air Force, Air Research, Balloon- Launch teammate's to be at Holloman AFB from 1953 to 1957 and took part in the actual making of the movie while they were shooting there for three months, July, August and September, 1955. I was in nine different scenes, working in the background and one "walk across" scene, handling the gondola for launch. Of course, we were not paid, however a Sargent in the outfit did because he had a "speaking line". I was "bigger than life" walking across that Cenimascope and Stereophonic Sound screen at the age of 22. My green '55 Chevy was in the crash scene of the gondola in the desert and I drove it across the sand dunes and mesquite bushes. The gondola was dropped from a crane in that scene and "catsup" was spread on Guy Madison's face and mouth to look like blood! I remember talking baseball and the World Series with Dean Jagger while lying on a mattress in a Quonset hut near the set. He was a "regular Joe". I passed football with Martin Milner, Warren Stevens and John Hodiak on the tarmac near the movie set and launch site...John Hodiak died suddenly one week before the film was finished. Scenes were also shot in Florida. Guy Madison would arrive in his black limousine, late, every morning, with his French wife and poodle. Guy was smoking his cigarette with a cigarette holder dangling in his mouth. Yes, he was very "snooty!" Virginia Leith could not remember her lines and we had to repeat the scenes with her 15 times or so before she would get it right! It was fun helping to make the movie and seeing the finished product at the premier showing on the base in 1956. I made a lot of good friend's including the set electrician while working around the set. He promised me that if I would come to Hollywood after I was discharged, that he could get me a job as Studio Projectionist at Twentieth Century Fox, as I was working part-time at the Frontier theaters in Alamogordo, New Mexico as a projectionist! My life took a different route and I never did take him up on the offer. Could have been a "movie star!" By today's standards it was a humdrum movie and kind of "corny", but it was a chance of a lifetime for me.
Ron K. Brown, Dayton, Ohio retired, now age 71 March 28, 2005