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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for It Came from Outer Space can be found here.
Writer and amateur astronomer John Putnam (Richard Carlson) is enjoying an evening stargazing with his girlfriend Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush) when they notice a fireball crashing in the desert behind the house. Thinking that it's a meteor, they investigate, and John sees what looks like a spaceship. However, no one believes him, figuring that he is just trying to drum up interest in his next novel. When telephone repairmen Frank (Joe Sawyer) and George (Russell Johnson) disappear and then show up zombie-like, Sheriff Matt Warren (Charles Drake) starts to believe John. The question is whether these aliens come in peace or war.
No, the movie is based on a screenplay by American science fiction writer Ray Bradbury [1920-2012], expanded from an unpublished short story. Bradbury's screenplay was adapted for the movie by American screenwriter Harry Essex. Bradbury actually wrote four treatments for the screenplay and published them in a single volume, It Came from Outer Space (2004).
John steals the sheriff's car and heads out to the mine with the sheriff and his posse not far behind. He is greeted by the Ellen-duplicate, and he tries to warn her, but she tells him that he can no longer be trusted and fires a ray gun at him. John ducks, and the rays miss him, but he shoots back at her with a gun, hitting her several times. She turns back into alien form and falls into the water at the bottom of a deep crevice. John continues into the mine until he comes to a cave where the aliens are repairing their ship. He is addressed by a duplicate of himself, who refuses John's help and says that he would rather blow up his ship than let it fall into the posse's hands. John begs him to release the hostages as a show of good faith, and the alien agrees. John leads the hostages out of the cave and then blows the entrance shut with dynamite just as the posse arrives, preventing them from going after the aliens. Suddenly, the ground begins to shake, and the spaceship takes off. As they watch the ship streak across the sky, John says, 'It wasn't the right time for us to meet, but there will be other nights and other stars for us to watch. They'll be back.'
As the world began to look to outer space in the 1950s, a slew of science fiction movies were released that focused on aliens visiting Earth, many of which have become scifi classics. These include The Thing from Another World (1951), The Man from Planet X (1951), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), The War of the Worlds (1953), Invaders from Mars (1953), Phantom from Space (1953), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), and It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958).
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