It Came from Outer Space (1953)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  25 May 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 5,580 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 72 critic

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.



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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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The film adaptation of the H.G.Wells story told on radio of the invasion of Earth by Martians.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne


Complete credited cast:
Charles Drake ...
Sheriff Matt Warren
Joe Sawyer ...
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 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 J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


XENOMORPHS INVADE OUR WORLD! They can look like humans or change to objects of awesome terror! 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 »


When Richard Carlson and Barbara Rush blow out three candles, there's another half-second delay before the light in the room actually goes out. Clearly, the off-stage light, that was supposed to go out at the same time the candles were blown out, was turned off just a second too late. 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 Lilo & Stitch (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good story for the 1950s
31 October 2000 | by (Portland, Oregon) – See all my reviews

I caught this movie in 2D and b/w, on the AMC channel this Halloween weekend. Prior to now, I'd never seen nor heard of it.

Set in and around a small town in the Arizona desert, it tells the story of an amateur astronomer who was trying to get to the truth behind a large, fiery object that fell to earth in the desert. Was it a meteroid, as the Army had proclaimed after its investigation, or a crashed space ship? Though he caught a glimpse of the latter, the evidence was buried in a landslide in the crater before anyone else got there.

Ray Bradbury's believable story is the now-common question of how we deal with things we don't understand, or are "ugly".

I thought it played well, had decent special effects, etc., for a film made for 1950s audiences' sensibilities and movie-watching sophistication.

One scene included a shapely, flirty young woman who really had nothing to do with the story. It wasn't until I heard this was a 3D movie that her presence on screen made any sense.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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