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
I first saw this movie when it was released in 1954. I was about six. I didn't see it again until @1967/1968, as a theatrical re-release. The big screen did help, but this second viewing, and subsequent viewings on video (I own it), show that it wasn't as perfect as my youthful eyes saw it to be. However, I still consider it a great show. It has the same basic plot of world domination by aliens that other movies of its day had, but, it is so different in it's approach, feel, and delivery, it just never seemed like the same plot to me.
It was also a rare Sci-Fi motion picture. It was filmed in color. Of the eleven horror/sci-fi movies of 1954 (and this list might not be exactly complete), only three were in color. Riders To The Stars (1954), Phantom Of The Rue Morgue (1954), and This Island Earth (four if you put 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954) into this group). The remainder of the list range from the cheap quickie to the higher budgeted movie that had some effort put into them. The list is: Devil Girl From Mars (1954), Creature From Black Lagoon (1954), Killers From Space (1954), Godzilla (1954) [this is the Japanese release], Monster From The Ocean Floor (1954), Stranger From Venus (1954), Them! (1954), and Tobar The Great (1954). These black and white shows did have merit in their own way. And, they did what they were made for, to entertain a crowd of kids (and some adults). Almost everyone appreciates color more than black and white, and for a "Kid's" Science Fiction movie to be in color, it made This Island Earth all the more special.
Of course, the special effects, acting, and other aspects of this movie don't match up to today's standards. If it did, it would mean that there had been no advancements in over 40 years. For its day, the special effects are extremely well done. The sets were impressive. The script was intellectual without going leaps and bounds about the child viewer's head. The Mutant really wasn't as good as I remembered, but it was still impressive. Bud Westmore was the master of his day. He, Jack Pierce, and other makeup masters of the past, created the foundation for today's highly imaginative work.
Just think, future generations probably will give negative reviews of Stars Wars, Jurassic Park, E.T. and many of the other groundbreaking movies of our time. They will probably laugh at the "poor" quality of the special effects, or the stilted dialogue and acting just as some of the younger audience does today.
I agree with other writers that point out how much people miss by not watching a black and white, or even just not watching an older movie. They don't come across as hip, realistic, terrifing, or as erotic as today's fare, but, if you really look at these shows, you will find the cornerstone of today's movies created by that moldy oldy from 40, 50, 60, or even 70 years ago.
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