When a spaceship lands on the moon, it is hailed as a new accomplishment, before it becomes clear that a Victorian party completed the journey in 1899, leading investigators to that mission's last survivor.
The electronic engineer Dr. Cal Meacham is a prominent scientist that is studying industrial application of nuclear energy and also a great pilot. One day, he receives a different condenser and soon his assistant Joe Wilson receives a manual instruction and several components of a sophisticated machine. Carl and Joe build a communication apparatus and a man called Exeter contacts Carl. He tells that Carl has passed the test assembling the Interocitor and invites him to join his research. The intrigued Carl decides to travel to meet Exeter that sends an unmanned airplane to bring him to an isolated facility in Georgia. He is welcomed by Dr. Ruth Adams but she mysteriously does not recall their love affair in the past. They team-up with Dr. Steve Carlson and they note that the other scientists in the facility have been transformed, having a weird behavior. They decide to flee in a car, but they are attacked by rays and Steve dies. Carl and Ruth also witness the facility blowing-up and ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The wooden crates used to deliver the "interociter" parts were themselves reused in the 1959 film "Imitation of Life". In a scene where Susan Kohner is beaten by Troy Donahue she slumps on a crate in an alley. On the top of the crate is stenciled "Ryberg Electronics", the company featured in "This Island Earth". See more »
When the space ship returns from Metaluna, Exeter tells Cal and Ruth to get in the airplane because they were in the Earth's atmosphere. The next scene shows they were obviously well outside the atmosphere. See more »
"This Island Earth" is not the greatest science fiction movie of all time, but it deserves more respect than it is often granted. The boys at MST3K (whom I think are great) may have done this film a great disservice. In its day, it was thoughtful, imaginative, and the special effects were excellent. I disagree with those who say there is no plot. The cold war fears and xenophobia were once again at the center of this fifties effort. The alien as our "friend" was later used in many settings, including one of the best of the "Twilight Zone" episodes, "To Serve Man."
I was young when I first saw this in a movie theater, but even then I found the home planet, Metaluma, very striking and its fate frightening. I fear that often our smugness in criticizing older films, judging them by standards that they could not have hoped to approach because of the limitations of the technology, keeps us from acceptance of their good points and their contributions. I have an acquaintance who can't watch the Maltese Falcon because it is in black and white. What a loss. The sets are striking in this film. The aliens are a bit of a stretch, but I still like what they are. I saw this movie a couple times in a theatre (not the MST version). As people left they were captivated and involved. When we left, we had had fun (not from ridiculing but enjoying). Granted there are no computer morphs and no giant metal bugs sucking brains out, but it is still good stuff.
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