MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 40,170 this week

X: The Unknown (1956)

 -  Sci-Fi | Mystery | Horror  -  May 1957 (USA)
6.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,351 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 29 critic

Radioactive mud-like creature terrorizes a Scottish village during the 1950's.

Directors:

(as Joseph Walton) ,

Writer:

(story)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 10 Jul 2011
 
a list of 21 titles
created 22 Feb 2012
 
a list of 3286 titles
created 08 Apr 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 08 Mar 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "X: The Unknown" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: X: The Unknown (1956)

X: The Unknown (1956) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of X: The Unknown.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Belle (Melina Mercouri) is a tempestuous gypsy girl who is after Sir Paul Deverill (Keith Michell). Her plan is to marry him and take him for every cent he has before moving on to other lovers.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Melina Mercouri, Keith Michell, Flora Robson
Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ancient Martian spaceship is unearthed in London, and proves to have powerful psychic effects on the people around.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: James Donald, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley
Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Professor Quatermass, trying to gather support for his Lunar colonisation project, is intrigued by mysterious traces that have been showing up.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sidney James
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The story of an exiled Spanish revolutionary, now a successful screenwriter, dangerously drawn back to his homeland and the "good fight" for freedom from fascism.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Yves Montand, Miou-Miou, Laurent Malet
Mystery | Thriller | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Dutch painter Jan-Van Rooyer hurries to keep a rendezvous with Jacquleine Cousteau, an elegant, sophisticated Frenchwoman, slightly his elder, whose relationship with him had turned from ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Hardy Krüger, Stanley Baker, Micheline Presle
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A psychotherapist attempts to rehabilitate a convict in his home after he breaks in. The criminal cooperates rather than being handed over to the police. The therapist's wife becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Alexis Smith, Alexander Knox
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A missile, launched by the team led by Prof. Quatermass, lands in the English countryside. Of the three members of the crew, two have mysteriously disappeared. The third one, barely alive, ... See full summary »

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Jack Warner, Margia Dean
Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A kindly English botanist and a gruff American scientist lead an expedition to the Himalayas in search of the legendary Yeti.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Forrest Tucker, Peter Cushing, Maureen Connell
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Rocks from a meteor which grow when in contact with water threaten a sleepy Southwestern desert community.

Director: John Sherwood
Stars: Grant Williams, Lola Albright, Les Tremayne
Plunder Road (1957)
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

On a dark night of pelting rain, five men stage a well-planned train robbery and get away with a 10,000,000 dollar, nine-ton gold shipment. Dividing the massive haul into three concealed ... See full summary »

Director: Hubert Cornfield
Stars: Gene Raymond, Jeanne Cooper, Wayne Morris
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A married movie studio executive's life, starts to fall apart when he is intimately stalked by a beautiful woman he claims he does not know.

Directors: Joseph Losey, Alec C. Snowden
Stars: Richard Basehart, Mary Murphy, Constance Cummings
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A nameless, homeless and rejected man who is looking for a new life and a young boy from an impoverished family, who is forced to steal when he loses the milk money. These two come together in the same hiding place.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Paul Muni, Joan Lorring, Vittorio Manunta
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Edward Chapman ...
John Elliott
...
Insp. 'Mac' McGill
...
LCpl. 'Spider' Webb
Jameson Clark ...
Jack Harding
William Lucas ...
Peter Elliott
Peter Hammond ...
Lt. Bannerman
Marianne Brauns ...
Zena, the Nurse
Ian MacNaughton ...
Haggis (as Ian McNaughton)
Michael Ripper ...
Sgt. Harry Grimsdyke
John Harvey ...
Maj. Cartwright
Edwin Richfield ...
Soldier Burned on Back
Jane Aird ...
Vi Harding
Norman Macowan ...
Old Tom
Neil Hallett ...
Unwin (as Neil Hallet)
Edit

Storyline

British Army radiation drills at a remote Scottish base attract a subterranean, radioactive entity of unknown nature that vanishes, leaving two severely radiation-burned soldiers... and a "bottomless" crack in the earth. Others who meet the thing in the night suffer likewise, and with increasing severity; it seems to be able to "absorb" radiation from any source, growing bigger and bigger. What is it?? How do you destroy a thing that "feeds" on energy? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It rises from 2000 miles below the earth to melt everything in its path! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Mystery | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Het onbekende  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's release was delayed by eight months because of a dispute between RKO and Warner Brothers over distribution rights. See more »

Goofs

Out of interest, the Thompson sub machine gun was issued to British forces. It was issued to regular army, Home guard (later TA) and especially axillary units. It was also issued to commandos, both army and later RN. Originating form the early twenties, the Tommy gun was issued to Brits much later, and some stayed in service for a very long time. See more »

Quotes

Peter Elliott: How do you explain it, sir? All this extraordinary damage just to steal an old sample container?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Another Great Hammer Outing
6 June 2002 | by (Fort Worth, Texas) – See all my reviews

Hammer Films was known mostly for its horror outings like the Dracula, Frankenstein and Mummy films. It did, however, score well in the science fiction department with such hits as the Quatermass series, "The Lost Continent" and this movie.

The film was originally pitches as a potential sequel in the Quatermass series until author Nigel Kneale objected. Thus, the scientist became Alan Royston (played by Dean Jagger of "Twelve O'Clock High" fame) who worked at a nuclear plant instead of a rocket base and the location was moved to Scotland to avoid comparisons to Quatermass.

Ironically, the film still kept the same black & white photography, as well as the creepy string score.

The story involves radioactive mud (sounds silly unless you actually stayed awake during physical science class) that makes it way up to the surface of the earth every so often looking for new energy. Previous trips found nothing but fossil fuel. Now, however, nuclear energy is abundant. The race is on to not just figure out what is turning people into crispy critters, but how to stop something made of pure energy.

Dean Jagger as Royston is quite good and the exact opposite of Brian Donlevy's Quatermass. Leo McKern (of "The Prisoner") is on hand, as is the late British pop star and actor Anthony Newley as a soldier unfortunate enough to be on guard duty when X, the Unknown strikes.

The special effects are adequate, although British films still couldn't show explosions that didn't look like match heads flaring. The visual effects are really creepy, from radiation burns on a boy's chest to a doctor's face melting like wax to a security guard's body literally deflating like a balloon. The ending features a surprise, as well, leaving the viewer with the feeling that, although man appears to have triumphed again, something may still be amiss.

All in all, a good film, especially late on a Saturday night.


18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Meaning of final line of the movie? FlamRatamacues
It's still available on DVD at a reasonable price onnanob2
Quatermass Retrospective gareth-36
Discuss X: The Unknown (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?