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X: The Unknown (1956)

 -  Sci-Fi | Mystery | Horror  -  May 1957 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,323 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 29 critic

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

Directors:

(as Joseph Walton) ,

Writer:

(story)
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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)
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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:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie began under the direction of Joseph Losey (working as Joseph Walton), exiled to England because of the Hollywood blacklist. However, when Dean Jagger arrived he refused to work with a director he thought of as a Communist sympathizer, and Losey was replaced by Leslie Norman before shooting began. Losey's departure was publicly attributed to "illness". It has also been reported that Losey simply didn't want to make the film and left the project, to be replaced by Norman, who also didn't want to make the film, but did anyway. 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

Major Cartwright: You know this Royston chap. Brilliant, of course, I'm sure. But the trouble with these scientific types is they can't see the easy way out of anything. It's got to be complicated if it's going to work.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The World of Hammer: Sci-Fi (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Hammer Films Classic
25 June 2004 | by (Pompton Plains, NJ USA) – See all my reviews

Often overlooked even by those who enjoy the sci-fi films of the fifties, "X The Unknown" is one of those sleepers that real afficionados will watch over and over. Starring Dean Jagger, the cast also features a very young Anthony Newly as a British Army corporal.

There's not much that professional critics would find either amusing or compelling about this film, but when considered in its place as a landmark movie both for the sci-fi genre and for Hammer films, it shines somewhat brighter.

As has aready been mentioned, this film occupies a prominent role among those that feature a "blob" monster. The special effects, incidentally, are not bad for the year (1956), and the concept of a radioactive blob is perhaps even more interesting than one that merely gobbles up people.

I understand that this was one of the early films produced by Hammer, as a step toward making more sci-fi entries. I'm glad they took the chance. This film and those that followed it enriched the genre for all fans of 1950's and 1960's sci-fi films.


13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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