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The Day Mars Invaded Earth (1963) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • The Martians are actually protecting themselves from US!!. - since the Earth probe landed on their planet they are taking measures to ensure their security by replacing our scientists with doppelgangers who report nothing. A very insightful film that was under-rated and ahead of it's time, with a 1963 vision of a primitive mars rover.

    fletch
  • Martians replace a scientist and his family to pave way for their invasion.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • A probe explores a desolate planet. It comes to a stop, begins to spin then drills into the surface to bury itself.

    On Earth a Dr Dave Fielding (Kent Taylor) dictates a report of the probes fate to his secretary Miss Moore, (Henrietta Moore). Web Spencer (William Mins) a colleague enters as he completes the report.

    Suddenly Fielding seems to be overcome with momentary paralysis before recovering to speak to his wife Clair (Marie Windsor) on the phone from California. Hearing her mother on the phone, Judi (Betty Beall) interrupts her. She is sent away to fetch Rocky (Greg Shank) her younger brother.

    As Fielding speaks to his wife there is some obvious friction over the amount of time he has been away. Promises are made to catch up celebrating Christmas and New Years. Dave speaks to Web about his domestic situation. Web suggests a few days of leave could help the situation.

    Dave then goes with Web to talk to the press. The camera pans back from the door he just existed to a desk, sitting there appears to be a second Dr Fielding.

    Fielding keeps his promise and flies back to California to see his wife. There is clear stress on their marriage. Dave is concerned about the home situation. Although they live on a large estate, they actually occupy a small servants cottage. This is because Dave refuses to have anything to do with the wealth his wifes family has. While wandering the gardens Dave has another episode and his personality undergoes a substantial change. He sees his wife in the gardens calls to her but she disappears without responding. Puzzled he continue to search for her until Judi and Rocky come home from school.

    Arriving at the house David asks why Clair disappeared in the garden; she is puzzled and explains that she had not left the house all morning. As promised Dave opens his Christmas presents before settling down to have dinner.

    During the night Judis boyfriend Frank Hazzard, (Lowel Brown) picks her up to go to a lecture As they leave Clair has a similar episode to Dave. Recovering she sees Rocky who explains he went for a walk and noticed the main door to the big house is wide open. Clair goes to secure the property. Dave waking from a nap encounters Rocky who complains about the amount of studying hes been doing.

    Arriving at the house Clair finds no explanation for the open door, after securing it, she thinks she hears footsteps following her back through the garden. Becoming progressively more panicked she rushes back to the house in an exhausted state. She pauses to try and unlock a door, the footsteps draw closer and she see her husband, oddly dressed. Screaming she reaches the house and runs into her husband. She is confused and cant decide how she met her husband in the garden, but also encountered him at the house. Together they return to the garden but cant find any trace of the intruder.

    Later they celebrate a late New Years celebration. Rocky joins them and his mother questions him about going out for a walk. The boy is puzzled by the comment. Clair and David continue a broader discussion about what is occurring. She fears that whatever is stalking them means harm and very evil.

    That night Judi and Frank are finishing up a date with discussions about meeting up on Saturday. David interrupts the discussion to ask him to take the rest of the family to a relatives home. Frank drives away but is stunned to encounter Judi further down the driveway. He swerves to miss her and is killed in the resulting car accident.

    Highly distress over the death of Frank, Judi tries to sleep till she is disturbed by a presence in her bedroom. Waking she sees a mirror image of herself standing at the foot of the bed. She challenges the figure who responds by attacking her. Breaking free Judi races to her parent room, she tells them what happened but her father finds no one when he investigates, but does find an open window.

    Dave goes ahead with his plan to relocate the family and organizes Web to come over. Web has a special report with him that Daves looks over. There is a strange anomaly in the signal received from the destroyed probe on Mars. Rather than get weaker as the unit failed, the signaled increased and changed form.

    After this information, Dave confides in Web all the strange sightings that have been occurring in the area. Dave then explains his theory that the loss of the probe and the events around the house being linked. He then talks of the episode back at the Cape and the sensation of being powerless.

    Dave is convinced the big house on the estate is the center of the strange activity. After the family leaves, Dave goes alone to investigate. The family reaches the front gates of the Estate but cant unlock the gates. Calling up to the house they get Webb to try the mechanism from there. After repeated failures to operate Clair decides to turn the car around and return to the house.

    Clair becomes more concerned when she attempts to call someone to repair the gate. Other than a strange buzzing sound the phone is inoperable. Dave continues to explore the main house without incident until throwing a random switch reveals a hidden passage and a mirror image of himself. The second Dave explains that he is a life entity, from Mars. They normally dont inhabit physical form but have made an exception to come to Earth. He then admits destroying the probe. He has come to Earth to stop the project and stop attacks by Earth on Mars by replacing Dave and his family. The Martian then introduces Dave to the rest of the copied family.

    Stunned by the encounter Dave leaves the house and runs into his family. At first he is unsure it really is his family, but ultimately realizes they are the original and he goes on to explain what happened at the house Web decides that if they can cut of the energy source from Mars they might be able to stop the Martian plan. To do this he needs to get back to the Cape and work on a process. Web then decide to try and open the locked gates with a crowbar.

    Getting the gates open he returns to the house to get Dave and the rest of his family. On the way he encounters the Martian. At first he attempts to run the creature over with his car. Failing he is suddenly surrounded by the other Martians and killed.

    Back at the main entrance a copy of Web organizes everyone into the car and leaves the property. The scene cuts to an empty swimming pool with 5 charred bodies in it, suddenly the pool begins to fill water. We realize the Martians have been successful and all evidence of their activity is being washed away.

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