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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.

Writer:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Mankind's oldest fear comes to life! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Among the cost-cutting measures made during filming was the elimination of Cricket, David's dog. The use of animals during filming almost always takes more time, and therefore more money, a luxury that director William Cameron Menzies didn't have. See more »

Goofs

After Dr. Blake is knocked unconscious, the drones roll her over to place the mind control device in her neck. As they roll her over, the actress clearly helps them move her. See more »

Quotes

[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

Because of pressures from UK censors the original ending of the American version was altered: it was believed that ending was too depressing and a more upbeat coda was appropriate. The British distributor recalled the cast and filmed new sections (with a dramatically older juvenile lead) to serve this purpose. This is the version referred to in a previous "alternate version" post. When Wade Williams obtained rights to "Invaders From Mars" he discovered that the original negative had been cut. For home video release, he constituted a "third" version of the film that contained some of the material from the UK version cut into the original American release, but retained the American ending (the "dream turns into reality" ending). See more »

User Reviews

"Invaders", still potent after nearly fifty years.
25 January 2002 | by KingkitschSee all my reviews

After reading many of the comments regarding this movie, I am somewhat amused to see how many have forgotten that there was life before CGI computer effects.

"Invaders From Mars" is still potent in the most valuable way, and that's imagination. The storyline, which owes a great deal to "The Wizard of Oz" in it's final moments, has deep psychological effects which still resonate today. If it wasn't so effective, people wouldn't still be discussing it after nearly fifty years.

CGI effects have dumbed down movies to nothing more than computer-effects orgies, relying on a "gee-whiz" factor that ultimately comes up empty in more than a few cases (the big-budget "Godzilla" leaps quickly to mind here). IFM was originally set to be a 3-D movie, which was ultimately scrapped for budgetary concerns. William Cameron Menzies, the director, used the original sets which had been designed to force perspective. The resulting film, which throws the objectivity to a child's point of view has fascinated viewers for years. Menzies did the best with what he could afford, and the visual results are still gripping even today. Yes, the film has it's flaws, but we need to consider the making of IFM in its historical context. Menzies was an Oscar-winning art director (for "Gone With the Wind", no less). Also consider his work on "Thief of Bagdad" with Sabu, one of the most beautiful color films ever made. IFM shows the same visual excitement (referred to by some viewers as "garish"), but rising above it's badly slashed budget to gain a foothold in popular memory.

It's sad to think that the work of a real artist will be dismissed simply because he worked in an era where technology hadn't swallowed vision.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Invaders See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$290,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Supercinecolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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