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The Magnetic Monster (1953)

Approved | | Sci-Fi | 18 February 1953 (USA)
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... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dr. Dan Forbes
...
...
Dr. Allard
Leo Britt ...
Dr. Benton
...
...
Mr. Simon
...
Dr. Serny
...
Chief Watson (as John Zarimba)
Lee Phelps ...
City Engineer
Watson Downs ...
...
Gen. Behan (as Roy Engle)
Frank Gerstle ...
Col. Willis
...
Capt. Dyer
John Dodsworth ...
Dr. Carthwright
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Storyline

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 <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

the thing that came alive [Australian Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le monstre magnétique  »

Box Office

Budget:

$105,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although credited to Curt Siodmak, most of the film was actually directed by Herbert L. Strock, who was hired by Ivan Tors for his skills as an editor, which were viewed as essential for a film which relied so much on stock footage. See more »

Goofs

When the flight (#17) that is carrying Dr. Denker and the new element is called back to the airport, the radio call is crystal clear - despite the fact that element, being magnetic, causes a tremendous amount of interference with radio, TV, and radar, as explained in earlier narration. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
[Jeffrey and Connie Stewart arrive at their new house and are walking toward the front door]
Dr. Jeffrey Stewart: Hey, you're not so skinny.
Connie Stewart: I'm working on it. I'm getting bigger and better.
Dr. Jeffrey Stewart: Secret of multiplication.
Connie Stewart: What are you talking about?
Dr. Jeffrey Stewart: I'm not sure. Excepting they both seem to have something to do with multiplication. Done through love, the result is a baby, a... a lovely thing. But without love, done through hate or... or fear, the result is a monster, an element that grows.
Connie Stewart: Jeff...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Naked Monster (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the more intelligent science fiction films of the era
2 October 2006 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

As opposed to a gigantic monster terrorizing the city, "The Magnetic Monster" deals with a radioactive element that gains energy from appliances surrounding it and will not stop doubling in size. As you can tell, this is one of the more intellectual concepts for a b-movie of the time. It's certainly not "2001", but its quite refreshing to see a scientifically accurate film from a period not exactly renowned for such. The concept and jargon used (not to mention the lack of any real monster) is probably what spelled doom for this film. If you are a fan of vintage science fiction short stories from the 40s and 50s, seeking this rarity out is recommended as it captures the atmosphere of a good "Amazing Stories" magazine.

The film itself is far from flawless. The comic relief characters are unfunny and generally annoying, but fortunately sparse. The stock footage from a German film entitled "Gold" is certainly fascinating, but slightly erroneous. The twist of one of the characters going insane towards the end seems to be only an excuse to pad out time by using more footage.

On the other hand, there are many positive aspects which make me wish this film was more fondly remembered. Richard Carlson was always a fine leading man, intelligent and likable. Its a shame he never got any major roles outside of drive-in flicks. And as I stated above, the screenplay is one of the most intelligent and scientifically accurate of the period. If this one pops up on TV you may as well check it out. (6/10)


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