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The Gamma People (1956)

 -  Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi  -  December 1956 (USA)
5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 312 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

An American reporter smells a story when he is stranded in an Iron Curtain country where the local dictator is using gamma rays to transform children into mutated henchmen.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mike Wilson
Eva Bartok ...
Paula Wendt
...
Howard Meade
Walter Rilla ...
Boronski
Philip Leaver ...
Koerner
Martin Miller ...
Lochner
Michael Caridia ...
Hugo Wendt
Pauline Drewett ...
Hedda Lochner
Jocelyn Lane ...
Anna (as Jackie Lane)
Olaf Pooley ...
Bikstein
Rosalie Crutchley ...
Frau Bikstein
Leonard Sachs ...
Telegraph Clerk
Paul Hardtmuth ...
Hans (as Paul Hardmuth)
Cyril Chamberlain ...
Graf
St. John Stuart ...
1st Goon
Edit

Storyline

An American reporter smells a story when he is stranded in an Iron Curtain country where the local dictator is using gamma rays to transform children into mutated henchmen. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Gamma-Ray Creatures Loose!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

December 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La gente gamma  »

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?

Goofs

When the train car becomes decoupled, the car with the two men is now supposedly traveling backwards. However, the scenery visible in the window is still moving in the same direction - it should have changed direction with the travel of the train car. See more »

Quotes

[looking at the castle]
Mike Wilson: Sinister looking dump isn't it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Daria: Psycho Therapy (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Traumerei
(uncredited)
Music by Robert Schumann
See more »

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User Reviews

 
How did they get Paul Douglas into acting in this film?!
22 October 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Although he looked like a VERY ordinary man, in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s Paul Douglas was an actor highly in demand--particularly at 20th Century-Fox. He's appeared in lots of big-budget prestige films such as "A Letter to Three Wives", "We're Not Married", "Executive Suite", "The Solid Gold Cadillac" and "Clash By Night". In addition, he was a very frequent guest star on television. In light of this, I have no idea why he would ever agree to star in a silly film like "Gamma People". When I tell you the plot, you'll understand what I mean.

Two reporters are traveling through Europe by train. One is an American (Douglas) and the other is a Brit (Leslie Phillips). However, in a hard to believe twist, the train car they are on (and no one else) become uncoupled from the train and drifts into a tiny fictional communist country. Once there, they are initially arrested but they soon let them go--for fear of an international incident. And, while they are waiting to get out of this country that seem stuck in the 19th century, the authorities give them the run of the country--but they also are careful NOT to let them learn about the 'Gamma People'. What, exactly, are Gamma People? Well, it seems these evil commies are using gamma rays in order to turn the people into obedient little pawns of the State! In a way, this combines two B-movie genres--sci-fi and Red Scare films. Can Douglas and Phillips learn the truth AND manage to make it out of this dictatorship alive?

In addition to being an odd plot, this film is odd because of its tone. Often it's played for laughs--yet other times it's deadly serious. This is often a bit jarring and I really think the comedic elements should have been excised--or at least toned down quite a bit. I think the paranoid deadly serious stuff was a lot more entertaining and in keeping with the story idea.

All in all, this is a film you watch less for the film's quality and more because of its historical value. It certainly is an odd little curio from the 1950s! Not great but enjoyable...if that makes any sense. Plus, I learned an invaluable lesson. If I am ever stuck in a repressive country, I should do what Douglas does--loudly complain and start sluggin' folks!


5 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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