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Invaders from Mars (1953)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi  -  22 April 1953 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 4,268 users  
Reviews: 101 user | 46 critic

A young boy learns that space aliens are taking over the minds of earthlings.

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(screenplay)
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Title: Invaders from Mars (1953)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Helena Carter ...
Dr. Pat Blake
Arthur Franz ...
Dr. Stuart Kelston / Narrator
Jimmy Hunt ...
...
Mr. George MacLean
Hillary Brooke ...
Mrs. Mary MacLean
Morris Ankrum ...
Col. Fielding
Max Wagner ...
William Phipps ...
Sgt. Baker (as Bill Phipps)
...
Capt. Roth
Janine Perreau ...
Kathy Wilson
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Storyline

One night, young David McLean sees a spaceship crash into a nearby sandpit. His father goes to investigate, but comes back changed. Where once he was cheerful and affectionate, he's now sullen and snarlingly rude. Others fall into the sandpit and begin acting like him: cold, ill-tempered and conspiratorial. David knows that aliens are taking over the bodies of humans, but he'll soon discover there have been far more of these terrible thefts than he could have imagined. The young doom-monger finds some serious help in a lady doctor and a brilliant astronomer. Soon they meet the aliens: green creatures with insect-like eyes. These beings prove to be slaves to their leader: a large, silent head with ceaselessly shifting eyes and two tentacles on either side, each of which branches off into three smaller tentacles. It's up to the redoubtable earth trio to stop its evil plans. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Mankind's oldest fear...The Alien's last conquest See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Invasores de Marte  »

Box Office

Budget:

$290,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Supercinecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Controversy and dispute surrounds the history of the movie. According to recent interviews, John F. Seitz, the cinematographer, confirmed that the film was planned in great detail to be filmed in 3D but that the last minute it was discovered that no camera was available. Nonetheless, it is claimed that all of the sets were constructed at Republic Studios to be shot in 3D and that the artificial separation of set elements is confirmation of this design intention. Meanwhile, the only documentary evidence for a 3D production is a claimed newspaper advertisement placed by the producers (not the studio) while the film was in pre-production, and no official records are known to exist to throw further light onto the matter. See more »

Goofs

On several shots showing the Martian "Intelligence" in the sphere, the guide wires holding up the creature's appendages are clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The heavens. Once an object of superstition, awe, and fear. Now a vast region for growing knowledge. The distance of Venus, the atmosphere of Mars, the size of Jupiter, and the speed of Mercury. All this and more we know. But their greatest mystery the heavens have kept a secret. What sort of life, if any, inhabits these other planets? Human life, like ours? Or life extremely lower in the scale? Or dangerously higher? Seeking the answer to this timeless question, forever seeking, ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Freaks (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Seminal 50's Sci-Fi from a child's perspective. Great!
19 April 2000 | by (la jolla, ca) – See all my reviews

Don't be fooled by anyone who dismisses Invaders from Mars as a piece of retrograde schlock.

There may be a visible zipper or two on the monster suits and their weapons will look a little Dr. Seussy compared to a Trekkie phaser, but this movie has a lot to offer, including a completely unique child-driven story line. I can't think of another movie that so successfully captures the terror at the heart of every child's fear that their parents may not be who they say they are; that no one believes them because they're children (how many abused children have been fobbed off by well-meaning adults who should have listened?), or that they're entitled a a perfect, loving father and mother (the nurse and the astronomer), not the ones they've been born to.

Compared to so many of today's Sci-Fi disasters that are long on money and short on everything else, Invaders from Mars relies on atmosphere and expressionist angles, nightmarish sets that are just a little too big, too stark, too skewed (the Police Station is a perfect example).

And instead of Mars Attacks' little green gremlins that take such glee in splattering and fricassing everything in site; the Martians in IoM are insidious; relying on one human to lure another into a sinister sand pit (a metaphor for the threat of communism or the tactics of the House UnAmerican Activities hearings?).

How many future 'alien abductees,' sci-fi plotters and X-files authors have used the conventions here? Tiny implants inserted at the back of the neck. Friends turned into traitorous zombies. Humans kidnapped and set out on slab tables for experimentation? Alien tunnels spread like netting beneath the placid surface of the world's oblivious Earthlings. A hero with the truth that no one will listen to? And how many film makers, even now, would have the skill and the nerve to save the boy, start the ordeal all over again, and make it work? Because, as we all know, the monsters in the closet come back as soon as the light goes out again.

NOTE: the remake is a total waste of time that Tobe Hooper should be mortally ashamed of.


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