133 user 57 critic

Invaders from Mars (1953)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 22 April 1953 (USA)
A young boy learns that space aliens are taking over the minds of earthlings.


Richard Blake (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Helena Carter ... Dr. Pat Blake
Arthur Franz ... Dr. Stuart Kelston / Narrator
Jimmy Hunt ... David MacLean
Leif Erickson ... Mr. George MacLean
Hillary Brooke ... Mrs. Mary MacLean
Morris Ankrum ... Col. Fielding
Max Wagner ... Sgt. Rinaldi
William Phipps ... Sgt. Baker (as Bill Phipps)
Milburn Stone ... Capt. Roth
Janine Perreau ... Kathy Wilson


One night, young David McLean sees a spaceship crash into a nearby sandpit. His father goes to investigate, but comes back changed. Where once he was cheerful and affectionate, he's now sullen and snarlingly rude. Others fall into the sandpit and begin acting like him: cold, ill-tempered and conspiratorial. David knows that aliens are taking over the bodies of humans, but he'll soon discover there have been far more of these terrible thefts than he could have imagined. The young doom-monger finds some serious help in a lady doctor and a brilliant astronomer. Soon they meet the aliens: green creatures with insect-like eyes. These beings prove to be slaves to their leader: a large, silent head with ceaselessly shifting eyes and two tentacles on either side, each of which branches off into three smaller tentacles. It's up to the redoubtable earth trio to stop its evil plans. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Horror | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The screenplay was originally optioned by Arthur Gardner and Jules V. Levy. The option expired before they could get a production off the ground. The rights then went to Levy's boss, producer Edward L. Alperson. See more »


Several shots throughout the film are "flipped", run in reverse, apparently to lengthen some sequences. This includes the military police chase of McLean's car after his attempt on Dr. Wilson's life (the vehicles' steering wheels are clearly on the "right" in the flipped sequences), a reversed shot of the fence and path, and numerous shots underground of the Martians and soldiers running through the tunnels. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: The heavens. Once an object of superstition, awe, and fear. Now a vast region for growing knowledge. The distance of Venus, the atmosphere of Mars, the size of Jupiter, and the speed of Mercury. All this and more we know. But their greatest mystery the heavens have kept a secret. What sort of life, if any, inhabits these other planets? Human life, like ours? Or life extremely lower in the scale? Or dangerously higher? Seeking the answer to this timeless question, forever seeking, ...
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Alternate Versions

When released cinematically in 1953, there where two versions: one American and one European. In the American version Jimmy Hunt wakes up at the end, having dreamt it all. Then he hears a flying saucer land. In the slightly longer European version, the storyline is retained and the "nightmare/waking up-sequence" is cut. This version also adds a section in an observatory. See more »


Featured in It Came from Hollywood (1998) See more »

User Reviews

The Martians Are Coming, The Martians Are Coming
22 May 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

When I was a lad I got to see this one on television fairly early, about five years after it was in theaters. I was pretty taken with the film, I was still in grade school. Seeing it again though I managed to note a lot of the scientific flaws in the film.

I cannot imagine that Arthur Franz who is identified as Helena Carter's favorite astronomer was able to deduce so much about life on Mars from telescope observation. We haven't got that far with the Mars probes we've sent in more recent times. The Martians know plenty about us though, they know exactly where on Earth man is learning about them and they want to do something about it.

This all starts when young Jimmy Hunt sees a flying saucer actually land in a field near his house and bury itself beneath the soil. When his astronomer father Leif Erickson goes out to investigate, he gets caught in some artificial quicksand and when he comes back in the house he's not your typical Leave It To Beaver Hugh Beaumont like dad any more. He's got a little crystal knob sticking out the nape of his neck and pretty soon these start sprouting up on people, like Jimmy's mother Hillary Brooke, the police chief Bert Freed, etc.

Fortunately for the world's sake, young Master Hunt convinces people before Kevin McCarthy did in Invasion Of the Body Snatchers that something ain't kosher out in that field. The armed might of the US Military is brought to bear.

William Cameron Menzies put together some real nice sets and special effects in a film that is before those computer graphic things we're now so jaded with. He also got some convincing performances out of a good cast of character actors, mostly from Jimmy Hunt. The young man got his career role in this film, we see this invasion through his eyes.

Of course there's perfectly logical reason why it is with his eyes which I cannot reveal.

The conception of the Martians when we do meet the invaders could possibly be where the inheritors of Gene Roddenberry got their idea for the Founders and the Jem Hadar. If you see Invaders From Mars, see if you don't agree.

Though the film is dated, positively saturated with Fifties attitudes, Invaders From Mars is still a good source of entertainment and speculation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

22 April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Invaders See more »


Box Office


$290,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Supercinecolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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