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It Came from Outer Space (1953)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 5 June 1953 (USA)
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A spaceship from another world crashes in the Arizona desert and only an amateur stargazer and a schoolteacher suspect alien influence when the local townsfolk begin to act strangely.

Director:

Jack Arnold

Writers:

Harry Essex (screenplay), Ray Bradbury (story)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Carlson ... John Putnam
Barbara Rush ... Ellen Fields
Charles Drake ... Sheriff Matt Warren
Joe Sawyer ... Frank Daylon
Russell Johnson ... George
Kathleen Hughes ... June
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Storyline

John Putnam is a writer and an amateur stargazer with a new home out in the beautiful Arizona desert, which he enjoys with Ellen Fields, his girlfriend and a local schoolteacher. John is not trusted by the people of the small town near where he lives, certainly not by Sheriff Matt Warren, who feels protective of Ellen, and perhaps something more. One night, John and Ellen see a meteorite crash in the desert. John drags his friend, Pete, out of bed to take him over to the crash site in his helicopter. Once there, John climbs down into the crater. Unfortunately, he does so alone, as Pete and Ellen wait for him. John is the only one who sees the spaceship before a landslide covers it. And John is the only one who catches a glimpse of the hideous thing inside. At first John's story seems mad, until some of the townsfolk begin acting strange - as if they aren't really who they seem to be. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Amazing! Exciting! Spectacular! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 June 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atomic Monster See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Typing the helicopter's number into most web search engines will produce its registration and history (last checked in 2013). Although the copter is shown carrying three people in the film, it was registered as a two seat vehicle. See more »

Goofs

As the ship is coming toward the camera there is what appears to be a post and a mirror at the left side of the screen just before it hits. This may be part of the equipment needed for the 3D effect. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John Putnam: [off-screen] This is Sand Rock, Arizona, of a late evening in early spring. It's a nice town, knowing its past and sure of its future, as it makes ready for the night, and the predictable morning. The desert blankets the earth, cooling, resting for the fight with tomorrow's sun. And in my house near the town, we're also sure of the future. So very sure.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are at the end rather than at the beginning. They include shots of the characters with the cast names, and the pictures would mean nothing if seen before the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Command & Conquer: Red Alert (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Don't See This In A Theatre With Aussies!
31 March 2003 | by StuOzSee all my reviews

Aliens in a small town.

Between about 1975 and 1986, three 1950s sci-fi films were held in very high regard by me - It Came From Outer Space, Forbidden Planet and The Incredible Shrinking Man. All three were liked so much I constantly listened to them on audio tape. They were regarded as solid sci-fi movies to be taken very seriously. Then in the late 1980s I made the mistake of seeing these films in Sydney theatres with people who were not really in tune with 1950s movies. These films became comedy to them.

ICFOS begins with the male and female lead getting all romantic with each other. This cinema crowd almost laughed this scene off the screen. Too corny for them. Later, one character describes Richard Carlson as "a man who thinks for himself", the laughing was louder this time. And again, Carlson looks into space and starts talking to himself, out loud, about aliens. The laughing was getting stronger. And so it went on. What was once great mystery and suspense, such as Russell Johnson looking into the sun, was now comedy. They had good reason to laugh as it was funny. But this crowd destroyed a childhood favourite of mine. I did'nt like this film being laughed at. I did'nt want to know the funny side. Other cinema screenings of Forbidden Planet and The Incredible Shrinking Man were given the same reaction. For a while I wondered if all of my 1950s/1960s sci-fi favourites were just ... bad in the eyes of the public. Or was it just the Australian sense of humour?

I will rate this film by my 1970s reactions. It is a classic. The music score is dated but everything else is fine. The desert creates such mystery. Great sci-fi.


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