The Groundstar Conspiracy (1972)    1 Stars

“only if you like gripping suspense and surprise endings…”

The Groundstar Conspiracy (1972)
The Groundstar Conspiracy (1972)


Director: Lamont Johnson

Cast: George Peppard, Michael Sarrazin, Christine Belford

Synopsis: A government investigator tries to find out the truth behind the break-in at a top secret research facility.






When George Peppard (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Race for the Yankee Zephyr) is the major ‘name’ in a movie – especially one made in the ‘70s – you may suspect you’re on dodgy ground from the off. When his co-stars are Michael Sarrazin – a one-trick pony whose career spiralled downwards sometime around 1975 when the trick had been seen too many times – and Christine Belford (Christine) – a brief escapee from TV movie hell – you know it for a fact.

The Groundstar Conspiracy is a far-fetched thriller with sci-fi undertones that moves far too slowly, telegraphs most of its ‘twists’ far too early (apart from the big twist at the end, which, believe me, sends this sad effort way off the credibility meter) and suffers from some horribly clunky dialogue. Perhaps a director at the very top of his game may have been able to salvage something, but, unfortunately Lamont Johnson – another journeyman whose labours have mostly been in television – was never that good a director. Peppard, as a tough, no-nonsense agent, seems to be rehearsing his Hannibal role in The A-Team without the humour, while Sarrazin flashes puppy-dog eyes and tries to look puzzled. Lucky Christine Belford, then: her role calls for her to look bewildered much of the time, and, when she does, she looks completely natural.

Approach The Groundstar Conspiracy as a mediocre B-movie, ignore it’s obvious – and woefully unrealised – ambitions, and you may just wring some drops of entertainment from this old flannel.

(Reviewed 5th May 2002)

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