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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)
Reviews
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 ... Jane
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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:

THE OUTER SPACE ROCKET SHIP! THE THUNDERING AVALANCHE! (original ad - all caps) 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

This iconic movie is one of those named in the main theme for The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), "Science Fiction / Double Feature".

The specific lyric is: "Then at a deadly pace / It Came From Outer Space / And This is How the Message Ran...." See more »

Goofs

Perry, wearing a space cadet suit and helmet, opens the hatch over his face. The point of view quickly switches to Ellen and the open door, as Perry walks through the doorway, but now the hatch over Perry's face is closed. 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 'War of the Worlds': Revisiting the Invasion (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Good story for the 1950s
31 October 2000 | by curtcassSee all my reviews

I caught this movie in 2D and b/w, on the AMC channel this Halloween weekend. Prior to now, I'd never seen nor heard of it.

Set in and around a small town in the Arizona desert, it tells the story of an amateur astronomer who was trying to get to the truth behind a large, fiery object that fell to earth in the desert. Was it a meteroid, as the Army had proclaimed after its investigation, or a crashed space ship? Though he caught a glimpse of the latter, the evidence was buried in a landslide in the crater before anyone else got there.

Ray Bradbury's believable story is the now-common question of how we deal with things we don't understand, or are "ugly".

I thought it played well, had decent special effects, etc., for a film made for 1950s audiences' sensibilities and movie-watching sophistication.

One scene included a shapely, flirty young woman who really had nothing to do with the story. It wasn't until I heard this was a 3D movie that her presence on screen made any sense.


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