If you're a fan, or even a casual watcher, of science fiction movies of the 1950s and early 1960s, this exhaustively researched, 2-1/4-inch-thick tome deserves a prominent place in your library. It is, quite simply, THE definitive reference book on the subject. Period. There is none better. The conscientious reviewer MIGHT point out only one minor "problem"--but more on that later.
Mr. Warren does an unbelievably thorough job of presenting the most minute details of virtually every American science fiction film produced from 1950 through 1962. The classics are all here, of course. "Destination Moon," "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "The Thing From Another World," "Forbidden Planet," "Creature from the Black Lagoon" and "War of the Worlds" each receive 10 or so pages of treatment (in very small, closely spaced print, mind you). Mr. Warren tells you everything you could ever want to know about the script, the director, the actors, the special effects (such as they were, in those days), the budget, the editing, the musical score and the reception that each movie got on its initial release. He includes meaningful, interesting details and fascinating anecdotes, many of which I can't imagine how he managed to dig up. Lesser films such as (to pick a couple at random) "Mesa of Lost Women" and "The Rocket Man" get only a page or so, but still with full discussions of each film's production and how it fits into the genre. Well-chosen still photos, typically printed in full-page size and in many cases not the same ones seen in other books, illustrate some of the movies.
I found that the best way to use Mr. Warren's monumental work is to refer to it just after watching one of the films that it covers (which means ANY science fiction movie of the era). With the screenplay fresh in one's mind, reading the relevant chapter adds immeasurably to the viewing experience, much as a director's commentary does on a DVD. You can, of course, read "Keep Watching The Skies" through from cover-to-cover, but only at the risk of information overload. Its usefulness is sure to last for many years--as long as there are VHS tapes, DVDs or (if you're very lucky) old 35mm prints of classic science fiction movies to watch and enjoy. It adds new meaning to the term "reference book."
Now, for the one and only "problem" with "Keep Watching The Skies." The book consists of two parts. Part 1 covers the years 1950 through 1957; Part 2 covers 1958 through 1962. Both parts were apparently once issued as separate volumes. For this reissue, both volumes are bound together. Each part has a comprehensive index, but ONLY for that part. Thus, it can be a little difficult to find a specific film if you don't know its year of release, especially since many films in Part 1 are referred to--and thus indexed--in Part 2, and vice versa. A single integrated index would make Mr. Warren's magnum opus much easier to use. With that single tiny quibble aside, I give "Keep Watching The Skies" the highest possible recommendation. Five stars is not nearly enough. It deserves a galaxy of stars.