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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 sights the human eye has never before seen! 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

The Universal make-up department submitted two alien designs for consideration by the studio executives. The design that was rejected was saved and then later used as the Mutant in Universal's This Island Earth (1955). See more »

Goofs

When the posse shoots the alien Frank while driving the truck, he crashes head-on into the rock. But when the next shot shows the burning truck it is facing away from the rock. 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 C.O.D. (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Atmospheric and creepy
6 February 2001 | by sowrSee all my reviews

First of all let's get rid of that absurd notion that science fiction films of the fifties were merely a sub-conscious attempt to personify the threat from communism - this is a hackneyed idea, and far from the truth.

This is a thoughtfully crafted film, which like other good science fiction films of this era starts out portraying the aliens as monsters, only to reveal that they are benevolent and superior (how does this fit into the "Red Menace" theory?).

The screenplay was penned by Ray Bradbury and is full of very good dialog and ideas, especially the notion that we are not ready to meet such advanced civilizations. The scenes in the high desert are very atmospheric and creepy, and although the renderings of alien technology at first seem somewhat adolescent, there is a genuine sense of wonder when the internals of the alien ship are revealed. Something missing from today's, blase, computer generated, over the top, excesses.

The 3D is a useless appendage, and not worthy of discussion.

If you like science fiction pre-scifi channel and post-golden age, rent this movie and enjoy the atmosphere.


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