Long before there was Armageddon or Deep Impact, or even the fear of our own falling spy satellites, there was Meteor. Sean Connery goes into full science mode as he tries to stop a huge meteor named Orpheus from crashing into the Earth. The good news: he's partially successful. The bad news: Oops, sorry about that Hong Kong and New York. The opening scene, where astronauts watch the cosmic ballet of a comet striking an asteroid just before it obliterates them and their ship, is worth the price of admission alone.


The 1970s were obsessed with large-scale disaster movies, offering audiences everything from Earthquake to Airport were all about massive mayhem and destruction with massive casts featuring top stars of the day, and Meteor stands as the bookend to that obsession. What's really impressive about the movie (besides the cast, which also included Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Brian Keith, Martin Landau, Trevor Howard, Henry Fonda) was that it was based on an M.I.T. student science project called Project Icarus. If you've ever wondered how to stop a four-billion ton rock from hitting the Earth, then you might want to rent the movie, and pick up the book of the science project. Oh, and keep Sean Connery on your speed dial.