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Herbert L. Strock
Working for O.S.I., the Office of Scientific Investigation, A-Man agent Jeffrey Stewart and his partner Dan Forbes are sent to a local hardware store where they find a strong magnetic field has magnetized every metal item in the store. Investigating further, they eventually trace the source of the magnetism to an airborn flight carrying scientist Howard Denker, now dying of radiation poisoning, who has carted on board with him a new radioactive element which he has bombarded with alpha particles for 200 hours. The element, dubbed 'serranium' grows geometrically by creating matter out of energy which it absorbs from metallic objects surrounding it. Stewart calculates that if the substance is not destroyed soon that within 24 hours or so it will have grown large enough to throw Earth out of its orbit. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Jet fighter shown as transporting the "magnetic monster" was a Lockheed "Shooting Star" T-33 two seat pilot training aircraft. See more »
When loading the "serranium" on board a jet fighter, a T-33 is shown. However, when flying the "serranium" to Nova Scotia an F-86 is shown with its drop tanks attached. Yet the narration indicates that they were dropped. See more »
It's hungry! It has to be fed constantly - or it will reach out its magnetic arm and grab at anything within its reach and kill it. It's monstrous, Stewart, monstrous. It grows bigger and bigger!
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One of my favorite minor Science Fiction films from the fifties!
Two agents from the Office of Scientific Investigation are sent to investigate high levels of radiation and magnetism centered above a hardware store. They discover that a scientist, who has since fled with the element, has invented a new highly dangerous radioactive element that is able to "grow". If the element is not found and destroyed or contained, it could continue to grow until it sends the Earth off its orbit. The OSI men must locate the element and then find a way to destroy before its to late.
THE MAGNETIC MONSTER is one of the best low budget films from the 1950's. The story is intelligent and the science at least seems authentic. Ivan Tors deserves praise for trying to make a serious, realistic science fiction film. This is probably his best. His other science fiction films and T.V. series "Science Fiction Theater" also aimed for this kind of realism, but they were often to talky and slow moving. This film moves at the right pace and builds up to an excellent climax.
A few stray facts: Most of the special effects at the end were taken from the 1935 German science fiction film GOLD. This explains the outdated overcoat and fedora that Carlson wears at the the climax, to match the one worn by the German actor in the older film. Also Ivan Tors is said to have aped this films structure from the "Dragnet" TV series. The fictitious government agency The Office of Scientific Investigation turned up in Tors GOG (1954) and some episodes of "Science Fiction Theater."
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