John Putnam is a writer and an amateur stargazer with a new home out in the beautiful Arizona desert, which he enjoys with Ellen Fields, his girlfriend and a local schoolteacher. John is not trusted by the people of the small town near where he lives, certainly not by Sheriff Matt Warren, who feels protective of Ellen, and perhaps something more. One night, John and Ellen see a meteor crash in the desert. John drags his friend, Pete, out of bed to take him over to the crash site in his helicopter. Once there, John climbs down into the crater. Unfortunately, he does so alone, as Pete and Ellen wait for him. John is the only one who sees the spaceship before a landslide covers it. And John is the only one who catches a glimpse of the hideous thing inside. At first John's story seems mad, until some of the townsfolk begin acting strange - as if they aren't really who they seem to be. Written by
This was one of the few American movies from the 1950s to place its credits at the end rather than at the beginning. See more »
When the alien first goes walking about in the desert, the camera cuts to a startled owl, which tries to fly away only to be jerked back by the visible string tied to its leg. See more »
This is Sand Rock, Arizona, of a late evening in early spring. It's a nice town, knowing its past and sure of its future, as it makes ready for the night, and the predictable morning. The desert blankets the earth, cooling, resting for the fight with tomorrow's sun. And in my house near the town, we're also sure of the future. So very sure.
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The credits are at the end rather than at the beginning. They include shots of the characters with the cast names, and the pictures would mean nothing if seen before the film. See more »
An astronomer-stranger realizes that what is believed to be a meteor is in reality a space ship. No one believes him. Richard Carlson plays this laughed at John Putnam with conviction and integrity. Carlson tries to discover the truth, with the aid of his girl friend, and slowly they learn that indeed an alien presence has landed in the desert. The story has many similar plot elements found in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and some new twists all its own. For the most part, the plot is pretty cohesive, and the acting acceptable. Charles Drake as a no brain lawman might be the one major exception. Russel Johnson, the professor of Gilligan's Island fame, has a small part as well. The alien presence seems to not want to harm humanity but only to leave, but is willing to harm to meet its end. All in all a pretty good atmospheric sci-fi chiller from the Golden Age.
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