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 »
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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>
Uses stock footage of the underground magneto-dynamo from the German science fiction thriller Gold (1934). See more »
The Canadian scientists describe how cold it is in the bottom of the mine shaft. Mines get warmer the deeper they go. 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!
See more »
"The Magnetic Monster" was a superior sci-fi B movie of the 1950's. Rarely seen these days, it hasn't gotten the appreciation it deserves as an unusual sci-fi classic.
Two scientist-detectives from the Government "Office of Scientific Investigation (O.S.I.)" are sent to investigate some bizarre events, like some guy found dead of radiation poisoning in an apartment building where metal objects have become magnetized. They eventually discover the cause: somewhere there's a new, accidentally created radioactive isotope with the unique property to "grow" by assimilating surrounding energy into itself. As it grows geometrically, its magnetic field and radioactivity increase too, potentially threatening the very existence of Earth itself. Our heroes race to find and destroy the thing somehow.
For its time, the plot tried hard to be realistic, with realistic-sounding science and a semi-documentary style reminiscent of detective movies. Even a deliberate bit of comic relief as the detectives are initially stymied by false leads. ("Some guy phoned to complain that the battery in his hearing aid burned out and he wants us to look into the matter." "Oh, fine!")
With the new crimes of computer hacker attacks and bioterrorist attacks, the notion of detectives with scientific training is no longer science fiction. When the Government started investigating the deaths of people from anthrax in October 2001, I thought O.S.I. had finally come to pass.
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