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Okay, this movie is not going to be amongst the Top Hundred listed on
the American Film Institute's "greatest" list, but it's the perfect
example of a so -called "bad" film that's still wildly entertaining and
good fun. Of all the notorious 1950s cheese flicks, this one takes the
cake and is not to be passed over, whether you love such offbeat
craziness or even if you don't. A good time is guaranteed for all
(whatever your cinematic tastes and values).
Nancy Archer (the curvy Allison Hayes) is a wealthy alcoholic housewife considered the town weirdo, and she cements that reputation one night when she cries that she's just seen a satellite in the sky that supposedly come down to Earth and then swears she's had an encounter with a king-sized bald-headed giant living inside. Her rotten-to-the-core and cheating husband Harry (the perfectly-cast William Hudson) spends all his nights at the local bar blatantly smooching with sexy floozy Honey Parker (Yvette Vickers), and the flirtatious pair would love to take all of Nancy's money and be rid of her. When he learns of his wife's nutty alien story, Harry figures it's the perfect chance to send her off to the booby hatch once and for all, but he gets more than he bargains for.
At only 65 minutes, this story moves comfortably quick and there's not an ounce of dead meat to be had. Considering the absurd storyline, director Nathan Hertz (Nathan Juran) manages to get some mileage out of it anyway. Some of the all-time very worst "special" effects are on display in this cult classic, and have to be seen to be believed (the over-sized gigantic feminine "hand" is an absolute laugh riot!). Even in this present day and age of "state of the art" CGI effects, there is something eternally entertaining and lovable about these low budgeted cardboard props and cheapo transparent blow-up renderings of the giants walking around the streets. This was a favorite on New York television in the early '70s, and no kid who grew up with it can ever forget it. Be a kid again, or be one for the first time, and give this a shot for a lark. *** out of ****
Surprisingly this late 50's Sci-Fi feature isn't all that bad. Decent acting and filming make it one of those Black and White science fiction numbers that's entertaining and fun to watch. The last line in this motion picture is an underrated classic among closing lines. Superior to the 90 something remake.
"Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" is now a legend in 50s camp, if only for
its near iconic poster. The image on the poster has subtly entered pop
culture lore. The film itself is pretty hilarious also. Like any good
b-movie, no matter how bad it becomes on a technical scale, its never
boring and certainly gives the audience what it wants.
The melodramatic and preposterous screenplay (coupled with some truly over-the-top acting) is the main source for the camp appeal. Yvette Vickers gives a decent performance (shes gained a small cult following for her work in this and "Attack of the Giant Leeches"), but Allison Hayes and William Hudson are fitfully lousy. Frank Chase gives memorable support as the deputy Charlie (I'm still trying to figure out if this character is meant as comic relief or not). The direction by Nathan Juran keeps everything at a brisk pace, and the brief running time ensures this'll never really begin to lag. The special effects also make Bert Gordon look like Ray Harryhausen.
By the way, those claiming this is some kind of feminist message film (there are a few out there who interpret as such) are only kidding themselves. This is hilarious and over-the-top atomic-age kitsch, nothing more, nothing less. (5/10)
Rich socialite Nancy Archer encounters an alien UFO with a giant while
driving on a desolate road. Her husband Harry Archer is cheating on her
with Honey Parker. None of the cops believe her but they still have to
investigate because of her wealth and power. Some suggests that she
should go back to the sanitarium. She drags Harry out to search for the
UFO. The giant takes her while Harry gets away. He tries to run away
with Honey but the sheriff is suspicious of the missing Nancy Archer.
They find her and put her away into the sanitarium. There she grows to
be a giant 50 foot woman.
This is more notable for the poster art and the amazingly cheesy title. There isn't anything quite like it. Others come close like 'Snakes on a Plane' or 'Sharknado' or 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes', but this one has the best title of them all. As a movie, this is strictly B-movie horror material. The special effects are almost laughable from the terribly fake giant hands to the badly done optical effects of the giants. The acting is kind of interesting. These actors are trying so hard and taking it so seriously. Sometime they overact, but they never let the silliness of it all take over. It's safe to say that this is a classic bad movie.
Attack of the fifty foot woman is one of those crazy low budget silly movies that truly is so bad its good.Allison Hayes(real sexy for her time)plays a rich but drunken woman who has a cheating husband(William Hudson)who has an affair with a red head floozy(Yvette Vickers)who was in attack of the giant leeches a year before.well Allison meets a giant alien baldy that makes her grow into a giant bathing beauty.not only does she grow to 50 feet tall but her bust size increases 30 feet as well.and her hair turns blonde.the other special effects consist of a big inflated rubber hand.and some tinker toy electric towers.its silly but fun stuff.i found it truly insane but i have to keep watching it,maybe the 50 foot woman could meet the amazing colossal man(57)and they could get it on.and have giant kids.i wish they would release this to DVD soon.they did however do a remake in the 1990's with Daryl(splash,kill bill 1&2)hannah,but its not the same even with better special effects.i personally like the original,its so bad its good.6 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's unfair! Unfair I say - Turner Classics starts off it's prime time
line-up tonight with "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" and follows up with
"Village of the Giants", "Queen of Outer Space" and "Mars Needs Women".
When am I supposed to get some sleep? This just ain't right.
Well this is one flick I've been waiting to come around for a long while. Not having seen it before, I've always been intrigued by the theatrical poster and the enticement of seeing a giant woman in scant attire. The film however only partially satisfies, there's just not enough of it! The rampage barely gets going with Allison Hayes on the attack in the final minutes and then it's all over in an anti-climactic showdown with the authorities. Bummer.
The goofiest part of this whole thing was the dizzying sense of proportion throughout the picture relative to the size of the Fifty Foot Woman. I mean that hand, just hanging there in the Archer house took up the whole bedroom, how could the rest of her fit in there? Don't try to think about it too much, it will make your head hurt.
But boy, I just love this stuff. Alien space ships, diamond powered orbs, a giant beach ball in the middle of the desert, and an heiress to millions (fifty to be exact, hey that's a million per foot!). And Yvette Vickers looking sexier than in any other flick I've seen her in. Except maybe "Attack of the Giant Leeches" in 1959. Hey, that's two 'Attack' pictures within a year - now there's a twin bill at the drive-in I'd go to see any day.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a very enjoyable movie for those who are fans of the genre
(B-movies with giant monsters) and probably would provide some laughs
to those unfamiliar with these types of movies as well. There are many
giant monster films and even some notable giant man films ("Amazing
Collossol Man", "Dr. Cyclops") but this was the earliest I've seen with
a Giantess. It has some of the deliberately campy appeal of "Village of
the Giants" from a few years later. I truly doubt that this film was
designed to ever really scare people except maybe small children. The
point of films like "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" is to excite children
and amuse adults, then as well as now.
And actually the grown-up men might find more to get "excited" about in this sci-fi film than in most thanks to spunky Yvette Vickers (nice lady, I've met her a few times at conventions) as a young vamp and Allison Hayes as the titular curvaceous Giantess. Hayes was never better as far as I know than she was in this one (although I do recommend her work in the solid femme-Western "Gunfighter"). She does OK with the earlier bits where she's a boozy neurotic who saw a "satellite" (this film amusingly uses that early name for the UFOs) with a giant bald man who tried to steal her diamond necklace, and she does really well once she becomes a Giantess and hits the road in search of her errant hubby. Hubby is played by William Hudson with some measure of panache he really makes you loathe him for his cheating ways and his thoughtless, selfish attitude towards the wife. The other remarkable performance in this film is the comic relief offered by Frank Chase as Deputy Charlie. Yes this type of character is pretty ordinary but for some reason, a combination of the way he was written and the way the actor played him, he seemed distinctive and interesting. I like how much of a toady he was portrayed as being and that made it so much fun when he finally had to get tough with the husband towards the end. The actor played it with an air of desperation that enhanced the comic possibilities.
Not much else to say about this one. The director Nathan Hertz is apparently a pseudonym for Nathan Juran, experienced Columbia director of Randolph Scott and Ronald Reagan Westerns who is best known for directing several of the most notable Harryhausen/Schneer productions in the late 50s and early 60s including the beloved "Seventh Voyage of Sinbad." To compare "Sinbad" or "Jason and the Argonauts" to this film is fruitless because Juran is not an "auteur" in the modern sense of the word and had little input in the subject matter of his films. He's good at getting competent performances out of average actors, and that ability does come in handy for a project like this one.
This film has to be one of my all time favorite bad movies. I used to watch it often as kid on New York City's WPIX Channel 11's Chiller Theater. The special effects(ha!) are dreadful, the dialog laughable, the acting non-existent, but I still loved it! Sultry knockout Allison Hayes wasn't a terrific actress, but she sure looked good! As a kid I remember thinking that her husband HARRY! was a big dope. Why would he want that pinch-faced blonde, when he had gorgeous, sexy and stacked Nancy to come home to every night? What a moron. Finally available on DVD after many years (Warner Bros. has distributed it but I was hoping for a better restoration--oh well)....it's still a pleasure to watch.
Next to Citizen Kane, this is my favorite movie. It has all the elements a film could have. It has a man doing the most stereotypical drunk, a group of hick sheriffs, a couple bimbos, and a transparent woman who ranges from 8 feet in height to about 75 feet, depending on where the camera is. When she was transformed, she also became quite single minded in her pursuit of her errant hubby. She began to speak in three or four word phrases which were directed by her monomania. As large woman films go, this has to be a classic. I first saw this film when I was in high school. Some local TV guy hosted a show where we got to see these kinds of films. Bless his heart. This was a time of great fun and just plain awful stuff, but it was so much fun.
It's true, we're all wondering how a 50 foot woman can fit in a
bedroom, even a big bedroom that is 20' by 20'. But we shouldn't
quibble, for obviously the tall girl had her knees bent.
Let's get down to cases. I'm not worried about Nancy seeing satellites, or my favorite line in the film, beautifully delivered by the deputy when he's ordered by the sheriff to fire his gun at the towering, vengeful female, "I CAN'T SHOOT A LADY!"
What I really want to know is why nobody that has commented on this film, from the experts to the fans, has wondered aloud why philandering Harry Archer prefers a slim blond in Honey Parker, to his rich, sultry, curvy, gorgeous wife, Nancy. Allison Hayes is so sexy, so leggy, and so hot in her black dresses and black high heels that Yvette Vickers looks like a pale, washed out blond in comparison. Yes, Yvette Vickers is pretty, but she's not a former Miss America contestant with the raw sex appeal that Allison Hayes has.
In conclusion sci-fi fans, when I watch this movie its because I get to see Allison Hayes walk around a lot in tight dresses, and to see all that leg and cleavage she shows while walking through the countryside and when she's busy demolishing the roof of that seedy little bar and grill where Harry & Honey hang out.
For those who get the latest DVD for this film with the commentary by Tom Weaver and Yvette Vickers, be advised that the whole commentary is a showcase for Vickers career. They spend about two minutes total talking about Allison Hayes, which I found infuriating.
Meanwhile, let me get back to looking at this movie one more time, so I can see my favorite, dark-haired bombshell, Allison Hayes, swing those hips and strut her stuff while she knocks down another drink and twirls that 'Star of India' diamond around her graceful fingers.
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