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It Came from Outer Space (1953)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 25 May 1953 (USA)
1:50 | Trailer

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A spaceship from another world crashes in the Arizona desert, and only an amateur stargazer and a schoolteacher suspect alien influence when the local townsfolk begin to act strange.



(screenplay), (story)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Sheriff Matt Warren
Frank Daylon


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 meteorite 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 J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Terror In 3-D... Reaching From The Screen To Seize You In Its Grasp!... See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atomic Monster  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fantastic Something, a Hellenic pop duo with a minor UK hit in 1983 (If She Doesn't Smile), adopted their name from a line heard in the movie ("That fantastic something!") See more »


Richard Carlson's house in the desert has a fireplace on the inside but no chimney on the outside. See more »


[first lines]
John Putnam: [off-screen] 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Referenced in Unknown White Male (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Effective Chiller About Psuedo-Friendly Aliens
28 January 2000 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

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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This was a good movie......for me to POOP on! ricanwarrior
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is the movie with the big alien head giving order???? cbringas-1
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