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|Index||49 reviews in total|
In Norrisville, Bill Farrell (Tom Tryon) leaves his bachelor party on
the eve of his marriage with Marge Bradley (Gloria Talbott). He is
abducted by an alien that takes his shape and marries Marge on the next
day. Marge feels something strange with Bill and one year later she
realizes that he is a totally different man. One day, Marge follows
Bill and he goes to the woods; she finds that he is an alien and sees
his spacecraft. She tries to tell to Washington and to the FBI, but the
aliens have dominated key people in town that do not allow any sort of
communication with the exterior world. What is the intention of the
"I Married a Monster from Outer Space" is a great sci-fi movie from the 50's. The storyline is a rip-off of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", with aliens switching places with humans in a small town with the purpose of breeding. But the plot is well-constructed and supported by good performances. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "I Married a Monster from Outer Space"
I can imagine teenagers at the drive-in back in 1958. The guys probably
anticipated a romantic encounter when the monster jumped out of the
bushes and Mary Ellen Rogers jumped into their arms.
Sadly for our young romeos, everybody in the car was far too engrossed in the flick to do much of anything.
As everyone else has commented the title is horrible, but the film is a true classic. It's better than "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" because it personalizes the aliens-among-us theme better. Instead of a swinging bachelor like Dr. Bennell, we get a young, white couple in the suburbs doing everything they're supposed to (including being celibate 'till marriage) and it all goes to hell. How's THAT for fifties conformity?
Ever think you'd see a woman with "female" problems in a fifties sci-fi flick? What about the lecherous alkies in the out-of-town country club and at the local watering holes? I didn't think those types existed in the fifties. Everything about this film flies in the face of the Eisenhower-era, and it does so unapologetically and without remorse... another reason it bests "Snatcher", a great movie in its own right.
Special effects are pretty good. The limited use of them enhances the effectiveness. As a kid, these aliens scared the hell out of me because of what I DIDN'T see. I recall watching it when I was about seven or eight on television, and for weeks I scanned the side of the road whenever the family traveled to the edge of town. I was on the alert to see the glowing creatures that were oh-so-close to the car just on the side of the road.
Writing and direction are tight and Tom Tryon (later Gothic novelist) is good as the wooden alien, but Gloria Talbot is primo as the protagonist. This is really her film and the performance of this late actress was Oscar caliber. Yep, it's that good. Again, not too many U.S. films had a female heroine as the lead.
I hear the new DVD release doesn't have any new information and both Tryon and Talbot are dead so don't look for any interviews. No matter... buy it without shame or embarrassment. This flick still packs a wallop today and I can't imagine what the 1950s sensibilities had to say about the message of the "red scare", alcoholism (there's booze everywhere in this movie), infertility and interplanetary sex. It's like an episode of Maury Povich, but done with class and style.
Despite being on the underbill of "I Was A Teenage Werewolf", this is NOT A B-MOVIE!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If I had seen the little-known actors Gloria Talbott and Tom Tryon in a
movie titled "I Married a Monster from Outer Space" in 1958, I very
likely would not have gone to see it because of the title. However, to
ignore this movie is cheating oneself, since it's a dark, creepy, and
altogether enjoyable sci-fi about an alien invasion.
Bill Ferrell (Tryon) is out drinking before his wedding day, and is overcome by a mysterious dark cloud. Now controlled by aliens, he marries Marge (Talbott) and is determined to populate the earth with alien babies. There's something wrong with the aliens though, and they can't breed with earth women. Soon many of the town's men are also controlled by the aliens, and Marge can't call, telegraph, or even leave town with the dreadful news. Eventually the local doctor (Ken Lynch) has the bright idea to recruit "real human men" among new dads at the local maternity ward, and the aliens are defeated in a pitched battle outside of town.
This film has an abundance of wonderful vignettes: a local B-girl tries to pick up one of the aliens; a gangster (James Anderson) is lurking around the Ferrell's house and is eliminated by alien-controlled policemen; an alien-controlled man dies when he is given oxygen by paramedics after an accident; a local bartender punches Bill Ferrell on the jaw repeatedly with no effect; and of course the human men overcome the aliens in the climactic battle in a forest.
The special effects are truly good for 1958, and Tryon--who usually had the acting range of a statue--is very convincing. I think Talbott gave the performance of her career, as the woman who is trapped with aliens and has no way out. Highly recommended, despite the title.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Maligned by many for its title, but recognised by most as a movie whose
depth, entertainment value and chilling moments certainly belie the
triteness of the title. Personally, I think it's a great title; it's
like the teenagers from the 'I was a teenage
' movies have grown up and
are ready for marriage only to discover that there are even greater
threats than werewolves and patchwork monsters to contend with.
Basically, male shape shifting aliens whose females died out
subsequent to a planetary catastrophe have infiltrated a small American
town by assuming the appearances and to some extent the characters of
local young men with a view to eventually altering female DNA to allow
them to bare their offspring. The story focuses for the most part on
the plight of newlywed Marge Farrell (Gloria Talbott) whose husband
Bill (Tom Tryon) is abducted by aliens of the eve of their wedding and
replaced by one of them who initially seems like a perfect copy but
whose true nature is gradually revealed as Marge's fears and paranoia
deepen in a clever commentary on how well we really know people. But
there's a lot more to it than that; you really need to check it out to
see how good it is. Gloria Talbott is great as Marge; her deepening
crises as she proceeds through feelings of confusion, doubt, fear,
acceptance and, ultimately, recognition of her role in the survival of
the 'human' species (be it under threat from aliens or communists
depending on your perspective) are all expertly conveyed and seem to
improve with subsequent viewings. Tom Tyron is OK as Bill and does
manage to express a kind of detachment that suits the 'not quite there'
nature of the character. Gene Fowler's direction is fine, except for
the day for night work which is unpardonably bad, and John Fulton's
special effects are great for the time and include such highlights as
laser beams and really disgusting melting effects for the eerily
glowing aliens. And what about those aliens! For my money they are
simply the best aliens of the 1950s
big, ugly, and glowing yet trying
to get to grips with the complexities of being human! Stephen King when
describing the aliens faces called them 'runnelled and knotted and
warty', elsewhere they've simply been described as 'rhubarb like',
although one critic dismissed them as 'risible' (perhaps he was
watching the 'pompous ass' cut of the film; I'm sure that critics see a
different version of these movies than the rest of us!) and they are
all of these things and more, depending on how you look at them.
Some of the themes are interesting even today. Modern day ufologists for example will be very familiar with alien abduction accounts and the notion of emotionless extraterrestrials attempting to cross breed with humans, a fairly unusual perspective in the 1950s which from the UFO viewpoint was dominated by the contactee movement. The viewer may also find themselves experiencing mixed feelings towards the aliens. You can easily understand why they want to keep their species going and can to some extent sympathise with their confusion over human emotions but it's hard to reconcile those feelings with the ruthlessness with which they attempt to achieve their goals. Having said that, I had no qualms about them killing the sleazy bar fly who was stalking Marge but did feel some pity when the hooker got zapped!
Whatever way you decide to view this movie, it is, in my opinion, an absolute gem and fully deserving of 'classic' status. For some reason it doesn't appear to be available on DVD in the UK, so I am having to rely on my battered and worn old VHS copy taped years ago when the TV channels here still had the balls to show mad old movies but, if you do get the chance to check it out I'm sure you'll agree that this is 1950s American sci fi at its absolute best!
This was such a great time to be a kid. We had a constant ration of these cold war movies. We were taught to duck and cover if we saw a nuclear flash. My sister and I went to see this as part of a double feature with "The Blob" about four times. Like "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers," there were aliens who were up to no good. Since they were the incarnation of the communists, they had no soul. They were there to force their ideology on us all, turn us into zombie like automatons. The danger in this movie came from the authorities who had been absorbed by the space critters. You just couldn't trust the police. The good thing was that if you knew who they were, you could kill them pretty much like other humans. And, when they died, they turned into pudding or applesauce or something that flowed out of their sleeves and pants legs. The hard part was like in "Invasion." You had to get the word out and convince people that what you were saying weren't the rantings of a lunatic. Nevertheless, we can take solace that good will out and the good old American way will turn those suckers into pudding.
Despite the fact that this film has a ridiculous title, it really is quite a little gem. During the 1950's the spread of Communism was the great fear in America and many films reflected this through the analogy of aliens infiltrating society. This movie is one of them....aliens taking over the population without being noticed....the guy next door may be a Communist (or a monster from outer space). Gloria Talbot,who appeared in a score of 50's movies (whatever happened to her?) does a good job as the suspicious wife but she wears one of the strangest pointed bras you've ever seen and even wears it in bed! Tom Tryon sleepwalks through the part of the husband, which in this film is appropriate for the role. He was a very bland actor and eventually went on to a sucessful career as a novelist. The black and white cinematography is well done and the film evokes a sense of impending doom. The special effects, which are limited, are not too bad...remember this was 1958. This film is a standout in a series of lower budget movies of the time but the awkward title may cause some to pass it by. Recommend it to a friend.
Some of those sci-fi movies from the '50s linger in the memory because
of the way they dramatize our most personal fears. "The Incredible
Shrinking Man," for example, plays upon a man's fear of becoming weak
and inadequate. "I Married a Monster from Outer Space" deals with a
woman's fear of entering into a relationship which proves disappointing
or even disturbing. (Some say the movie is a disguised account of a
woman's marriage to a gay man.) I'm not sure I'd call the resulting
movie a "classic," but its quiet, moody, and compassionate quality
clearly puts it above most of the noisy, special-effects extravaganzas
Gloria Talbot is both persuasive and appealing as the puzzled but faithful wife. (None of the shallow, comic-book character of Lara Croft here!) And the almost-too-good-to-be-true looks of the sexually-ambiguous Tom Tryon are put to effective use as the husband. As usual, the film's makers find an excuse to get his shirt off so we can get another look at that much-photographed torso. In this same scene, you'll also spot a bare-chested Ty Hungerford, just before he changed his name to "Ty Hardin" and became "Bronco" on the TV series. (And no, there's nothing sexually ambiguous about Ty.) Curiously, both men are included in the book, "Lash! The Hundred Great Scenes of Men Being Whipped in the Movies." Hardin's flogging in a "Bronco" episode ranks 26th and Tryon's whipping in "The Cardinal" ranks 46th.
The Fifties were a notable decade for Sci-Fi films. The Cold War was
on, and there was rampant paranoia about Communism; a generalized
paranoia that was fueled in a large part by McCarthy and his "House
Un-American Activities Committee". Personal example of the time: I was
born in the same year as this film was made, and I grew up in a house
that had been built to my parents' specifications to include a real
bomb shelter in its basement. Movies such as the classics "Invasion of
the Body Snatchers", and "I Married a Monster From Outer Space" played
on this theme, translated into Sci-Fi films.
The sensationalist title belies the quality of the film and its well-told storyline. Although I am also fond of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", which has a similar theme, it lacks the heart of the subject of this review, in my opinion.
Marge (Gloria Talbott) and Bill (Tom Tryon) are getting married, but Marge doesn't realize at first that the night before the wedding her groom's body was taken over by an alien being. She notices the differences in his personality but brushes them aside. She soon comes to realize the true nature of what she has married, and of course tries to warn everyone, and stop the invasion of aliens...aliens who are taking over the menfolk of her town in the hopes of breeding with the women and establishing a colony on Earth. The theme is: "They look just like us....but they aren't! And they'll take over!" This is Communism as represented by the Sci-Fi genre, and it was very popular in the Fifties. The movie industry was feverishly pumping out lots of low-budget films meant to distract the American public at the local drive-in theatre. However, "I Married a Monster From Outer Space" seems to be one of the accidental gems.
Tom Tryon makes for a very likable alien. He's tall, handsome, and manages to make his character very sympathetic as the film progresses. He starts to understand and appreciate Earth, its culture, and his beautiful wife Marge, as she simultaneously pulls away upon discovering that what she is living (and sleeping) with isn't really her husband. And as always in Sci-Fi, the dogs always know who's the alien and who's the human. Marge's present of a dog to Bill results in an episode that jolts her into realizing that something is truly wrong.
Subtle performances by both Tryon and Talbott help immensely. Both were highly respected and capable actors of the time, and Tryon in particular manages to go from gentle and kind to menacing with a very subtle and believable ease in this film. Tryon was in several well-known films, and received especially good critical reviews for his role in the film "The Cardinal". Interesting bit of trivia: he was also considered by Alfred Hitchcock for the role of Sam Loomis in "Psycho." There are the typical Sci-Fi low-budget special effects, but what makes the film really work is the telling of the story in a manner that pulls you into all of the characters, despite the obvious shortcomings of the budget.
Note: Tom Tryon retired from acting in the late 1960's and became a successful novelist, publishing as Thomas Tryon; I remember my mother buying some of his books such as the bestselling "The Other", "Harvest Home", and "Crowned Heads", all of which I thoroughly enjoyed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Traveling tens of billions of miles through space the lead scout ship
lands on earth outside the sleepy little town of Norrisville USA. It's
there the aliens in it begin to take over he bodies, after their
kidnapped, of the young men in that town.
Getting married to her high-school sweetheart Bill Farrel, Tom Tryon, Marge,Goria Talbott, begins to realize that he's not the man that she was in love with all these years!Marge later realizes that he's not a man at all but Bill is like what the title of the movie says: "A Monster from Outer Space".
Coming from a planet in the distance Andromeda Constellation the aliens escaped from their dying planet due to their sun's deadly radiation that killed off all the females of their race. Looking for a planet with life and to be able reproduce their people the earth was one of the few planets available to them. But they made a fatal miscalculation in both the human race and themselves. The aliens lacked any human feeling which is needed to attract a woman to fall in love with, and thus marry and have children,them. They were also not adapted to breath the oxygen on earth, which turned out to be fatal to the aliens. Most off all they were rendered sterile by the massive doses of radiations that they absorbed on their home planet from their dying, and later exploding, sun.
Much better then you would expect the movie "I Married a Monster from Outer Space" has a intelligent script and fine acting on the part of it's cast. It makes you interested not only in the people on earth that are being targeted for this grand plan on the part of the aliens but the aliens themselves in their attempt to save their race from extinction. The movie also makes you sympathetic to the aliens by realizing that their trying to do what any people would do the save themselves. By being able to sire future generations, through mating with the women on earth.
The movie does take a violent turn when the aliens, disguised as human beings, are beginning to be exposed by Marge. Marge tries to warn her girlfriend Helen, Jean Carson, not to marry her faïence Sam Benson, Alan Dexter, because he's one of the aliens like her husband Bill! Still she's not believed by anyone in town but only by the aliens, like her husband Bill, who try to keep Marge quite as well as anyone else who would suspect them.
The ending of the movie was in a way a bit sad with all the aliens from the scout ship destroyed by the townspeople, and two brave German Shepherd dogs since you could never really dislike them knowing that they warn't really evil. The aliens were just trying to do what any living entity, human being included,would try to do. Save their race from becoming extinct, and thus have the audience overlook the fact they they were what they were: Invaders from Space trying to take over and conquer a foreign planet and, for loss of a better word, rape it's human female inhabitants.
The competition of course is fiercer than the top spot on American
Idol. But, in my warped view, I Married a Monster from Outer Space
stacks up as the goofiest movie title from an era when goofy movie
titles were thicker than scales on Godzilla's monster neck. Naturally,
there was a reason for those goofy titles. They immediately signaled
"teen movie", which usually meant a drive-in special where teens tended
to congregate and waste their allowances. But then, kids at drive-ins
didn't expect much from their movies, because (surprise, surprise) they
were too busily engaged in their own hormonal development to catch up
with more than bits and pieces.
Okay, so I didn't see the movie all the way through until years later. But (surprise, surprise, again) it's a really good creepy movie that even adults like. And, I'm told, movie heavyweights catch up with the aliens and their body-snatched humans for all the symbolism they think they see, like "does a marriage ceremony turn all husbands into unromantic zombies". I guarantee no teen of the time saw anything on screen other than a good scary movie.
Anyway, I liked Gloria Talbott then and still do, especially when she runs around in her low- cut nightgown, chest heaving. However, I think she made a really bad life choice running into Slapsie-Maxie's all night bar in that same gown since it sort of gives the male barflies wrong ideas. But then, she's not getting any romance at home because her hubby Tom Tryon is, shall we say-- not of this earth. No, instead he's been taken over by a creeping gas cloud that dissolves people for later reassembly in, you guessed it, a space ship. Talk about bad gas! On the other hand, I was really turned off by that scene where the popsicle monster gazes at the doll baby in the window because you know what he/she/it /whatever is thinking. I don't think sex ed' in highschool prepares you for what to do in case of a randy space creature.
So, all in all, this is a good, even if slightly kinky, movie that manages to come up with some interesting ideas. Too bad I don't know what they paid dear Gloria, but whatever it was, she deserved a lot more. She's that good. But pity poor Tom Tryon. He had difficulty giving up his zombie act even in movies where he was supposed to be human. So, being the really smart guy he was, he put down the actor's part and picked up the writer's pen and became a best-selling author. Okay! so maybe the bad gas was not that bad after all. Anyway, if you haven't caught up yet with this slice of 1950's nonsense, please do. It's even good enough to watch all the way through.
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