Dr. Meacham is chosen along with others by the inhabitants of the planet Metaluna to do research that will help save their dying planet. However, an evil scheme is uncovered by the suspecting Dr. Meacham when he discovers the Metalunan's plan to take over Earth. Dr. Meacham then escapes an exploding Metalunan built Earth lab along with Dr. Adams only to be kidnapped while flying away in a small plane. A flying saucer wisks both the scientists off to Metaluna where they are held accountable for blowing up the Metalunan Earth lab during their escape. They later escape there with the help of Exeter the friendly Metalunan. Metaluna then self destructs and the Doctors make it safely back to Earth, which is saved from Metalunan invasion. Written by
The 1955 sci-fi film, "This Island Earth" was spoofed in the film,"MST 3000: The Movie"; but in actuality the film got good reviews from Leonard Maltin, The Motion Picture Guide, not to mention Bill Warren's monumental opus, "Keep Watching The Skies!". The acting in this film is not exceptional, but not dismal, I would say adequate. My favorite character is the Metalunan, Exeter - this dude is one smooth talker, oozing a sinister coolness, while displaying a funky appearance: neatly coiffured white hair, bushy eyebrows, a high indented forehead, coppertone tan and dressed in a conventional Earthian suit and tie (he would have made a great politician or televangelist!). His assistant, Braack, is a carbon copy, as are the other Metalunans. There is an atmosphere of suspense and intrigue and the plot is credible enough. One the technical side, a Metalunan communication device called an Interociter remains a centerpiece throughout the film; it is very versatile, able to incorporate an Interplanetary Generator, Volterator, Astroscope, Electron Sorter, and a deadly Neutrino Ray (all of these are not in the script, rather I got them from the Raymond F. Jones story the film is based upon; however, the Neutrino Ray was demonstrated by Exeter to Dr. Cal Meacham on occasion); Meacham pulled the plug on one of them in his lab, causing it to self-destruct; leading one to wonder if that device were so advanced, then why didn't it have a backup internal power source and safety feature to prevent that sort of sabotage? Moreover, why did it have to rely on an external power supply at all?' The highlight of the film is the voyage back to Metaluna with Drs Meacham and Adams on board; the distant planet is being attacked by enemy Zahgon guided meteors. The Drs were recruited to help the Metalunans rebuild their war depleted uranium supply which sustained their protective atomic force shield- the Earth is rich in uranium supply. The Metalunan spacecraft looks like a cheap, plastic toy pulled from a crackerjack box, but as it cruises through the "thermal barrier", the fiery special effects around the craft look way cool. And the special effects, set design and artwork of the war-ravaged planet and the ongoing battle there are simply excellent for that time period. In addition, the Herman Stein musical score is a tasty delight- the organ parts are simply an ear to behold! No, "This Island Earth" does not have the Oscar-Winning effects of "The War Of The Worlds", the snappy, overlapping dialogue of "The Thing From Another World", the abundant richness of ideas of "Forbidden Planet", nor the spine chilling suspense of "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers"; but what it does have is an irresistable charm, the result - I suspect - of having a peculiar combination of outstanding qualities coexisting alongside of much inferior ones. "This Island Earth" should definitely be part of every 50's sci-fi film connoisseur's collection.
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