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
The Universal make-up department submitted two alien designs for consideration by the studio executives. The design that was rejected was saved and then later used as the Mutant in Universal's This Island Earth (1955). See more »
When the aliens assume the forms of all the people they've kidnapped, they're always wearing the same clothes their victims had been wearing when they were taken - with two exceptions: Putnam and Ellen. In their cases, the aliens raided their homes and stole clothes for their "duplicates". First: how did the aliens end up in the same clothes worn by the other people? Did all these people have two identical sets of clothing lying around their houses? Second: why steal different clothing for the Ellen and Putnam clones? Third: at least in the case of Ellen, why did they empty out her entire wardrobe instead of taking just one dress? Fourth: if, under a different but unstated hypothesis, the aliens only appeared to be dressed the same as the others - i.e., through morphing or some other illusion - then why would they need to steal anybody's clothes? 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 »
First of all let's get rid of that absurd notion that science fiction films of the fifties were merely a sub-conscious attempt to personify the threat from communism - this is a hackneyed idea, and far from the truth.
This is a thoughtfully crafted film, which like other good science fiction films of this era starts out portraying the aliens as monsters, only to reveal that they are benevolent and superior (how does this fit into the "Red Menace" theory?).
The screenplay was penned by Ray Bradbury and is full of very good dialog and ideas, especially the notion that we are not ready to meet such advanced civilizations. The scenes in the high desert are very atmospheric and creepy, and although the renderings of alien technology at first seem somewhat adolescent, there is a genuine sense of wonder when the internals of the alien ship are revealed. Something missing from today's, blase, computer generated, over the top, excesses.
The 3D is a useless appendage, and not worthy of discussion.
If you like science fiction pre-scifi channel and post-golden age, rent this movie and enjoy the atmosphere.
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