11 user 4 critic

Flight of the Lost Balloon (1961)

A professor is hired to navigate across Africa in a hot-air balloon to rescue a lost explorer, but a mysterious local villain named "Hindu" commandeers the balloon for his own nefarious purposes.


Nathan Juran


Nathan Juran




Credited cast:
Mala Powers ... Ellen Burton
Marshall Thompson ... Dr. Joseph Faraday
James Lanphier ... The Hindu
Douglas Kennedy ... Sir Hubert Warrington
Robert W. Gillette Robert W. Gillette ... Sir Adam Burton
Felippe Birriel Felippe Birriel ... Golem
A.J. Valentine A.J. Valentine ... Giles
Blanquita Romero Blanquita Romero ... The Malkia
Jackie Ronoro Jackie Ronoro ... Native Dancer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marcella Wright Marcella Wright ... Title Song Singer (voice)
Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In 1862, the British commission inventor Fergusson to claim uncharted land in West Africa for Britain by flying his giant hot air balloon there.

Director: Irwin Allen
Stars: Red Buttons, Fabian, Barbara Eden
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a spaceship lands on the moon, it is hailed as a new accomplishment, before it becomes clear that a Victorian party completed the journey in 1899, leading investigators to that mission's last survivor.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Edward Judd, Martha Hyer, Lionel Jeffries
Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

In league with the Saxon invaders, Edmund of Cornwall plans to slay King Arthur, marry his daughter and usurp the throne of England but wizard Merlin and outlaw Robert Marshall stand in the way.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Janette Scott, Ronald Lewis, Ronald Howard
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Earth sends a five-man team to explore the frozen planet Uranus, only to find a temperate forest and sultry women from their past on it, courtesy of an alien brain with evil designs.

Director: Sidney W. Pink
Stars: John Agar, Carl Ottosen, Ove Sprogøe
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When the Earth is threatened by a burning Van Allen Radiation Belt, U.S. Navy Admiral Harriman Nelson plans to shoot a nuclear missile at the Belt, using his experimental atomic submarine, the Seaview.

Director: Irwin Allen
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In 1868, an American scientist and his team become hostages of fanatical pacifist Robur who uses his airship Albatross to destroy military targets on Earth.

Director: William Witney
Stars: Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Henry Hull
Adventure | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Sanna escapes being sacrificed and meets Tara. Together, they live in a seaside tribe that worships the Sun God and survive the dangers of the creatures from the Mesozoic era.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Victoria Vetri, Robin Hawdon, Patrick Allen
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After claiming his daughter's childhood-sweetheart killed the marshal, one man finds himself in conflict with his daughter, his fiancée and many of the townsfolk.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Margaret Hayes, Robert Vaughn
East of Sudan (1964)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

During the Mahdist insurrection in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, veteran colonial Private Baker teams up with freshly arrived gentleman Murchison, trying to evacuate from southern Barash the ... See full summary »

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms, Derek Fowlds
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The first U.S. spaceship to Venus crash-lands off the coast of Sicily on its return trip. A dangerous, lizard-like creature comes with it and quickly grows gigantic.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: William Hopper, Joan Taylor, Thomas Browne Henry
Harvey (TV Movie 1972)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Elwood P. Dowd's constant companion is Harvey, a six-foot tall invisible rabbit. To his sister, his obsession with Harvey has been a thorn in her plans to marry off her daughter. However, ... See full summary »

Director: Fielder Cook
Stars: James Stewart, John McGiver, Marian Hailey
Certificate: Passed Fantasy | Mystery | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A mysterious circus comes to a western town bearing wonders and characters that entertain the inhabitants and teach valuable lessons.

Director: George Pal
Stars: Tony Randall, Barbara Eden, Arthur O'Connell


A professor is hired to navigate across Africa in a hot-air balloon to rescue a lost explorer, but a mysterious local villain named "Hindu" commandeers the balloon for his own nefarious purposes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Don't see this picture unless you take the special motion sickness pill provided free at this theater!




See all certifications »

Did You Know?


An advertising gimmick used for this film was the giveaway of "motion sickness pills" to ticket buyers. The critics had a field day with it. See more »


The balloon is not a hot air balloon which require a burner as a heat source. None was ever shown. See more »


Hindu: Don't be misled. There could be a thousand cannibals beneath those fronds and you wouldn't see one. It was among these very trees that the unfortunate Frenchman Maison was murdered in 1845.
[picks up a piece of cheese]
Hindu: He was captured by the cannibals of the region and tied to the foot of a giant cocoa palm.
[begins cutting the cheese]
Hindu: Then the savage chief cut him slowly, limb from limb, and then literally tore the half-severed head from the body. Maison was only 26. Cheese?
See more »

User Reviews

Flight of the LOUSED UP Balloon
15 February 2008 | by vawlkee_2000See all my reviews

As a kid in the 60's I relished this film because it was sooooo cheesy! I even went so far as to tape record the audio track off TV so I could have a good laugh! We didn't have VCR's in those days remember?

When Joe Farady (Marshall Thompson) goes before the London Geographical Society to pitch his expedition, car horns and buses can be heard in the BG.....Pretty advanced for the late 19th century!

The process shots (bluescreen) with the "condors" is among the worst I've ever seen! And those birds! They look like retreads from a feather duster factory.

In the jungle landing sequence watch for the shadow of the crane that suspended the balloon prop in shot.

Watch for the Hope and Crosby of the gorilla world in the "castle" sequences.....Talk about hams!....A pair of the silliest monkey suits I've ever seen!

The film was supposed to take place in Africa but it's obvious that Bluebeard's "castle" is actually a 17th century Spanish fort in Puerto Rico where principle filming was done.

Mala Powers, when interviewed years ago about the film, commented about Nathan Juran, the director...It seemed that originally the film was to be tongue in cheek - as Jules Verne had intended it, but Juran played it straight and screwed the pooch. She also commented about Felippe Birriel (Golan) being a pathetic creature that could barely move....

Golan, now there's a real henchman! Birriel couldn't speak English so they just had him grunt and groan.Using the "His tongue was torn out years ago" bit as an excuse.....And his shoes! Man oh man, they look like Buckwheat's from the Our Gang films.....Only in size 25!

If you want to see the basic plot done right, see Fox's "Five Weeks in a Balloon" (1962).....

In it's favor I will say that the pacing isn't bad and Marshall Thompson seems to be making the best of the situation.

Felipe Birriel as Bluebeard's henchman "Golan"(not "Golem") was a semi celebrity in Puerto Rico where he was known as the tallest man there (7'11"). He died in '94 at 77 years old.

This film is one that has to be seen to be believed, as there is no way to describe it adequately.......It's as if Ed Wood had decided to do an adventure pic in color with more than a 50cent budget......Hmmm, Tor Johnson as Golan......It boggles the mind!

Robert Hill

10 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

28 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Balon Ile Devrialem See more »

Filming Locations:

Isla de Cabras, Puerto Rico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

W.M.J. Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed