In Search of Ancient Astronauts (1973)

If you ever want to get depressed, realize that sometimes your heroes need to get day jobs. For example, Orson Welles may have made the best movie ever first time up to bat, but he still had to appear in exploitation-level films, pseudo-science docs and play a Transformer in his last role.

Rod Serling is another hero who found himself lending his famous voice* to these films with movies like Encounter with the UnknownThe Legendary Curse of the Hope Diamond and this.

An edited version of Harold Reinl’s Erinnerungen an die Zukunft (Chariots of the Gods**), this movie lines up people like Wernher von Braun and Carl Sagan to discuss the theory that maybe we weren’t descended from apes.

It was also a pilot for the TV series In Search Of (so are two other one-hour specials*** made by producer Alan Landsburg, who made a series of books and fifty TV movies before retiring to breed and race horses). Sadly, Serling died before the syndicated series got picked up and Leonard Nimoy took the role.

If you saw the American version of Chariots of the Gods, you won’t get much else other than way better narration. Come to think of it, that’s a great reason to watch this.

*That’s also him saying, “Swan. He has no other name. His past is a mystery, but his work is already a legend. He wrote and produced his first gold record at 14. Since then, he’s won so many that he tried to deposit them in Fort Knox. He brought the blues to Britain. He brought Liverpool to America. He brought folk and rock together. His band, the Juicy Fruits single-handedly gave birth to the nostalgia wave in the 60′ s. Now he’s looking for the new sound of the spheres to inaugurate his own Xanadu, his own Disneyland the Paradise, the ultimate rock palace. This film is the story of that search, of that sound of the man who made it, the girl who sang it and the monster who stole it.” before Phantom of the Paradise.

**That will be on the site this week as well.

***The other ones are In Search of Ancient Mysteries and The Outer Space Connection.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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