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The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)

In 1950s England, professor Quatermass' manned rocket ship returns to Earth, but two of the astronauts are missing and the survivor seems ill and unable to communicate.

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(screenplay) (as Richard Landau), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jack Warner ...
...
...
Rosemary 'Rosie' Elizabeth Wrigley
...
BBC TV producer
David King-Wood ...
Harold Lang ...
Christie
...
Blake
Sam Kydd ...
Police sergeant questioning Rosie
Richard Wordsworth ...
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Storyline

In the countryside of London, a rocket crashes on a farm and Professor Bernard Quatermass and Scotland Yard Inspector Lomax arrive in the spot. The rocket was launched by Prof. Quatermass with the astronauts Victor Carroon, Greene and Reichebheim; however only Carroon is found very sick in the cabin. He is transported to a private clinic to stay under observation despite the protests of his wife Mrs. Judith Carroon. She bribes a nurse to bring Carroon to her and she finds that he is transforming into a monster. Carroon escapes, killing people and animals during his metamorphosis while the Scotland Yard is hunting him down and Dr. Quatermass discovers that his process is an alien invasion. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's coming for YOU from Space to wipe all living things from the face of the Earth! CAN IT BE STOPPED? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

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Details

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Release Date:

27 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Creeping Unknown  »

Box Office

Budget:

£45,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Val Guest heavily reworked Richard Landau's story draft (which assumed Quatermass would be British so changed Briscoe into a USAF Flight Surgeon), particularly tailoring the dialogue to compliment Donlevy's punchy no-nonsense acting style, which he believed helped to sell the more obscure SF plot elements to audiences. See more »

Goofs

One of the characters pronounces "metabolic" as "meh-TAB-oh-lik". See more »

Quotes

Insp. Lomax: Nobody ever wins a cold war.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dashingly good sci-fi film with a strong stench of horror
28 August 2005 | by (Mountains of Madness) – See all my reviews

Well written and terminally fascinating British sci-fi thriller from director Val Guest and writer Nigel Neale. It is a film of big ideas and planet-sized concepts that stares up into the unknown with a combination of wonderment and dread.

Originally a highly popular TV series, it spawned two excellent sequels and decades of creative Hollywood pilfering.

Brian Donlevy is wonderful as Quatermass, a scientist with the bullying manner of a military drill Sargent and a fierce, pragmatic streak. After a rocket that he sent into space crashes back to Earth, Quatermass and unofficial partner-in-crime Inspector Lomax (Jack Warner) uncover a bizarre alien conspiracy in which a surviving astronauts's body has been "borrowed" by extraterrestrials keen on relocating.

Director Guest gives the drama a no-nonsense, almost documentary feel. The special effects are perfectly acceptable for the period and the brooding sense of mid-century paranoia is well conveyed.

The hero is the script, though. The dialogue is fresh and colourful and writers Guest and Neale always keep the scientific jargon interesting. All the characters are believable and the performances are top notch.

Despite the fact that James Bernard's solid score is a little overbearing at times, this is a dashingly good science fiction film with a strong stench of horror.


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