The awful telefilm The Disappearance of Flight 412 (1974) is a flying saucer movie that manages not to have any flying saucers in it. Oh, it starts with some documentary-like footage of "real" photos of UFOs, but for the most part, this film is so unutterably cheap that it restricts the "action" to close-up shots of radar screens.
The actors are pretty disalppointing too. The "big" names are dullards Glenn Ford as a heroically posturing colonel who doesn't actually do anything, & Bradford Dillman as a major who does even less. The "hunk" in the story, or what passes for one, is David Soul, of Starsky & Hutch fame. Nobody even tried to find a casting location for a babe, so this is strictly a homosocial talkathon.
The story takes place in a single day. Air Force guys have an encounter with a UFO & afterward a covert arm of the military establishment gives them a hard time to insure it's covered up, though we're never really given any reason to believe there was something worthy of being covered up.
Glenn Ford's character knows nothing about anything, so he's selected as the p.o.v. character in order that he can walk around wondering what's going on, which is what passes for suspense. His quest to find the answers amount to nothing. Even the brainwashing hard time the crew of Flight 412 supposedly experienced (in a rediculously short period of time) is left as an off-screen occurence.
The story is kind of like declaring, "You'd be so surprised if we showed you what's behind that door." Then without the least clue or insinuation what that might be, we asked to "Take our word for it & just be surprised, okay?"
It's apparently supposed to be exciting merely to think there's a UFO debunking organization within the Air Force. That having been alleged is just so darned exciting, nothing about any of it need actually be developed beyond indicating it's the truth.
Although the opening scenes implied flying saucers did something to Flight 412, they didn't. Though we're teased into believing we'll eventually see something alien-related at some point in the story, we never do. It's all one big non-mystery with a non-resolution. A viewer sustaining enough foolish patience to set through it won't be rewarded.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl