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There are many existing comments in regards to this particular film and most of them are quite similar and accurate, therefore there is not too much new substantial information left to be offered. I would just like to express and confirm that this is quite an excellent film for its time . Do not expect CGI quality graphics and effects -- this was a lower budgeted film, but it did indeed have some very nicely done SFX by its own standards. The wonderful screenplay, rather strong acting [HUGH MARLOWE, ROD TAYLOR, etc.], Color-Cinemascope production, and a fair amount of actual outside location shooting [no cheap soundstaging] combined to make this an absolutely wonderful film [still ranks as one of my favorite 50's Sc-Fi-Flix today!]. OK - for you meticulous purists, there is a large RUBBER SPIDER attack ... but it actually looks fairly decent. Try not to nit-pick, sit back and enjoy a really tight film. And, HEY -- it even has a well-constructed, moral, POSITIVE ending -- which is not sappy! ENJOY!!
This is the perhaps the best script from a writer's point of view of any of the 1950s low-budget "B" sci-fi films. Galactic fiction being beyond the capacities of Hollywood writers' imaginations, the best they could do is "futuristics", stories of apocalyptic, invaded, poisoned or plagued Earth. Larger budgets made possible color features such as "War of the Worlds"; and "When Worlds Collide"; others with less backing made "Kronos", "Earth Versus the Flying Saucers" and this gem of the genre. Here four astronauts who return from a mission to Mars are caught in the usual 'time warp'; and so they return to find a devastated Earth of the future--atomic war being the destructive force. The astronauts are led by dependable leading man Hugh Marlowe; the others are young Rod Taylor, Christopher Dark and announcer--voiced nice guy Nelson Leigh. They become involved with The Council, led by Everett Glass and run afoul of fine actor Booth Colman as a man jealous of their potency as political leaders and their genetic potential to please the local female population. Others in the cast include fine character actors Paul Brinegar and Herb Vigran. Borrowing a page from Edgar Rice Burroughs' Opar tales, author and director of the film, Edward Bernds, has introduced beast men, impotent males and gorgeous women who seem seem almost to belong to a different race. The three lovelies are played by capable leading lady Nancy Gates, Lisa Montell and Shawn Smith. What sets this film apart is fine music by Leigh Harline, intelligent sets, enjoyably-revealing costumes for the ladies and its dialogue and interestingly-developed characters. The four astronauts learn about the new society of wrecked Earth, its problems and hopes, as we do, adding to the impact of the story. Dark has a good part as he mourns his lost family; the older Leigh enjoys his status as a sought-after-male and scientist, Taylor is stalwart and promising but battles his Australian accent. Marlowe makes everyone else look better as usual by his intelligence and ability to handle adventure-level dialogue. The action climax sets the four up to be the leaders of a new and perhaps better world, with the beast men at bay and affairs of the heart settled admirably-- and Dark in charge of the children who are the hope of a rebuilt Earth... I cannot recommend this exercise in clever low-budget sci-fi film-making too highly. This is an exciting and interesting narrative.
I first remember seeing this movie on TV as a young boy in
the early 1960's. From then on I watched it as often as
it came on until they stopped showing science fiction
that station. For about twenty years or so, I did not see
it, and then last year, I found it on video.
Much to my delight, I found that I still enjoyed it as much as ever.
The film concerns the first flight to Mars, and what happens when they start back. Hitting a great turbulence, the ship crash lands on an unknown planet, and the crew meets with many adventures before they discover that they are are on earth in the far future, and they deduce that an atomic war has taken place a couple of centuries prior to their landing.
The film has a good plot, cast and script, and even if the special effects are not what we are capable of today, it still is a movie that is worthwhile seeing.
Like I said before, I still enjoy it even after thirty years.
Space pioneers are returning to Earth from a trip to Mars when their spaceship is propelled into the future. They land and discover a vastly different Earth than the one they left. All of the elements that went into the 50s scifi genre are here. Space travel, mutant creatures, and life in the far distant future. This film was a better than average film for its time. The effects are poor compared to today but the dialog makes up for it. The color is sharp and clear and there is a good cast to make it enjoyable. Pull up a chair and break out the popcorn. Following the adventures of the newly returned space travelers makes for a good Saturday afternoon viewing.
Yes this movie is a little corny, but most of the sci-fi/horror movies of that time were corny, but still fun to watch. And this movie still has a good underlining story. The astronauts find themselves in another world from the one they left, their families and homes are gone and mutants attack them. Then they find another race like their own. And after fighting the mutants and the others they work together to start to rebuild the Earth. Corny but good.
I recently watched this movie for the first time and found it a cross
between Planet of the Apes and The Time Machine, complete with Rod
Four astronauts returning from a space mission go through a time warp and end up on earth thousands of years into the future after a nuclear war. They encounter rubber giant spiders, mutant cavemen and hostile survivors who have survived the war and are living underground. At first they don't believe how the astronauts got there but they do eventually and they help them to destroy the mutants and start afresh and live without the fear of these unfriendly cavemen. Two of the astronauts fall in love with two of the local women.
As well as The Time Machine's Rod Taylor, the film also stars Hugh Marlowe (The Day The Earth Stood Still) and Nancy Gates. The acting is good from all.
I found this movie enjoyable and is beautifully shot in colour, despite the low budget. The giant spiders look cheap though. A must for sci-fi fans.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
A few years ago I watched this movie with a group of friends. We had a
terrific time with it. It was great to see `The Time Machine' star Rod
Taylor with `The Day the Earth Stood Still' star Hugh Marlow. Other high
points included that great rocket ship (which was first designed for
`Destination Moon', but rejected in favor of the one actually used). The
rocket was first used in `Flight to Mars', and it later appeared in `It!
The Terror from Beyond Space' and `Queen of Outer Space'.
If your not into rockets, perhaps the stunning girls in the short `futuristic' skirts will hold your interest. Famed pin-up artist Alberto Vargas is listed in the credits, although he's credited with `production design', instead of `costume design'. Perhaps he did both.
The story has strong points and weak points. The weak points are forgivable: few special effects, a terrible `giant spider', and sets that not exactly spectacular.
The strong points are, I guess, a matter of personal taste. The story is simple, but still interesting. In a post-holocaust world, a small society of civilized people live underground, safe from the violent mutants who live on the surface. The characters interact well, and when they take on the mutants in the climax, my friends and I were cheering as if we were watching the Super Bowl.
Maybe it'll affect you the same way. Give it a chance.
I saw this film for the first time when I was about 8 years of age and
never forgot a lot of the issues raised during the plot. The first 15
minutes or so, the viewer is shown a rocket traveling from Martian
orbit which subsequently takes off suddenly at a fantastic undefined
velocity. The special effects imply that it is going through some sort
of convulsion or warp. The rocket eventually crashes on some planet.
After the astronauts start to explore the "unknown" planet, they encounter some unearthly phenomena such as a surface reading of elevated background radiation that would be uncharacteristic of comparable measurements on earth. Tnen, inside a cave, they encounter a giant spider (a staple of 1950s SF, somewhat hokey here) which would be impossible on the earth that they knew. Sunsequently, they meet a group of savage humanoids that could be throwbacks to a stone age era. Now, the key point which I never forgot - a visit to an abandoned cemetery that contains monuments dating back to at least the 20th century on earth. This shocking detail reveals that they have somehow returned to earth, but not the earth that they knew. Then, they discover the grave of someone who lived from the years 1985 - 2068 !!! (The astronauts went into space around 1957) The concept of time dilation dates back to the Einstein Special Theory of Relativity and I have been fascinated by the possibility ever since. The astronauts try to speculate about the velocity that they actually attained, beyond 100 miles / second - or, was it 1000 miles/second, 10000 miles/second, or faster still (the velocity of light is 186,000 miles/ second at which fundamental physical concepts such as length, mass, and time undergo fantastic values in magnitude). As one approaches the velocity of light, time becomes asymptotic and at actual light speed, time is reduced to 0. According to physicists, light speed is the absolute limit in the universe. That is why concepts such as warps in space-time are being discussed as possible methods of achieving faster than light conditions. In any case, the astronauts discover that sometime between their departure in 1957 and their appearance on earth several centuries later, there was some horrific atomic world war that decimated civilization as they knew it.
The astronauts are chased into a cave by the savages in another encounter where they meet descendants of survivors of the atomic war living underground. At this point, the plot starts to focus on human interactions and the various behavioral passions and characteristics (including human frailties and weaknesses such as mistrust and jealousy) that seem to be universals in any era of the history of mankind, from ancient times to the present, to the future time of the year 2508. The girls in the movie are all knockouts (especially the bare-legged ones) which are a staple of 1950s SF (such as in "Missile to the Moon", "Queen of Outer Space", and others). After a number of debates followed by an act of treachery by one of the men from the future, the astronauts finally convince the subterranean people to let them fight their way to the surface, fight off the savages, and establish a base upon which the underground people can rebuild civilization.
As the future men and women from the year 2508 rebuild civilization, would they be able to control their negative passions in order to create a world at peace? Or once re-established on the surface, would new kingdoms, principalities, and nations take root again followed by the usual cycles of peace and war ? The saga of human history is marked by cycles of rise and fall and then subsequent rise and fall. Is this all we humans can do ? Or can we do better ? Can the human race rise above the flaws and frailties that made the atomic war (and all of the wars before it) possible ? Or can we learn to put intellect above violence and put an end to war forever ? Would this imply that Homo Sapiens would really learn to live up to its name. The term "Homo Sapiens" means "wise man". How "wise" are men who slaughter each other in cycles of wars that have come close to destroying entire segments of the population ? How "wise" would we actually be to destroy the earth and us with it ? There is nothing "wise" about taking another human life. Wars have plagued us humans from ancient times to the present. Can we eventually learn to control our lower instincts and passions in order to make war impossible? Can we truly create a civilized human order at peace with itself? These are questions that function as the subtext of the movie.
This fairly ambitious science fiction from minor studio Allied Artists used
to be one of my favorite science fiction films when I was kid. This is an
another one of those films I first saw on TV as kid and still recall with
fondness and enjoy re-watching on video every now and then.The story of
accidental time travel via space ship appealed to me. Although the idea of
time travel was novel to films when it was first released in 1956, the story
is obviously derived from the HG Wells novel "The Time Machine." The fact
that the time travel is accidental instead of deliberate via a time machine,
the mutants live above ground instead of below it and the normal people live
underground instead on the surface didn't fool me when I was ten years when
I first saw this film on TV.(I had already seen the George Pal version of
THE TIME MACHINE and read the "Classics Illustrated" version of the novel.)
Neither did it fool the estate of HG Wells, who filed a plagiarism suit
against Allied Artists when this film was first released. I have never
discovered the result of this suit however. Its somewhat ironic that both
this plagiarized version of "The Time Machine" and George Pal's authorized
version made a few years later, both star Rod Taylor.
While WORLD WITHOUT END is fairly entertaining film, it can not be considered one the great classic science fiction films from the 1950's. The film moves along a good pace, until director/writer Edward Bernds slows the story down and clutters up the film with scenes of "court intrigue." The names given to some of the characters shows some imagination. I thought the scenes of the rocket crashing in the snow, although obvious, looked attractive. Emile LaVinge's make up for the mutants is imaginative; no two mutants seems to have the same deformity. The Vargas designed costumes on the women are sexy. However, the mens costumes with the skull caps smacks of Flash Gorden in worst way. The giant spiders, to say the least are unconvincing. They are a gaudy blue and red color and look like pillows.
Despite the films faults, one should give credit to minor league studio Allied Artists, whom most of their previous science fiction films (and most those that came later) were low budget black and white quickies designed to fill the bottom half of a double bill, attempt to make something that would compete with the bigger budgeted science fiction movies being made by the big studios. The fact that they allowed for the added expense of shooting this film in Technicolor and Cinema Scope confirms this. Although not entirely successful, one could say that WORLD WITHOUT END was a nice try from a low rent studio.
Patterned somewhat after H.G Wells novel "The Time Machine" and a fore-runner of "Planet of the Apes" (1968) This space-time travel story is better than it sounds. The astronauts are thrown forward in time but. actually it seems the opposite, as they return to a planet inhabited by cave-man like creatures-save a small group hiding out underground. The tight script and superior cast prop up this small budget picture, and the action moves it along so we don't have time to concentrate on it's short-falls. One of the better 'B' sci-fi flicks of the 50s.
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