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Target Earth (1954)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 November 1954 (USA)
Giant robots from Venus invade Chicago. Stranded in the deserted city are strangers Frank and Nora.

Director:

Sherman A. Rose

Writers:

William Raynor (screenplay) (as Bill Raynor), James H. Nicholson (original screenplay) (as James Nicholson) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Denning ... Frank Brooks
Kathleen Crowley ... Nora King
Virginia Grey ... Vicki Harris
Richard Reeves ... Jim Wilson
Robert Roark ... Davis, the Killer
Mort Marshall ... Charles Otis
Arthur Space ... Lt. General Wood
Whit Bissell ... Tom, Chief research scientist
James Drake James Drake ... Lieutenant (as Jim Drake)
Steve Pendleton ... Colonel
House Peters Jr. ... Technician
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Storyline

A large city is ordered to be completely evacuated as an army of robots, believed to be from the planet Venus, attack it. Left behind are Nora King and Frank Brooks, strangers until their chance meeting in the deserted streets. They meet a celebrating couple at a café, Vicki Harris and Jim Wilson. The quartet escape the robot patrol and take refuge in a large hotel. There, they encounter a new danger in Davis, a psychopathic killer. Venus robots or not, Davis practices his profession. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Raw Panic The Screen Never Dared Reveal! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Denning's character is from Detroit, which was also producer Herman Cohen's home city. See more »

Goofs

As the group ascend the stairs followed by the robot, you can see the rear wall undulating, revealing it to be a tight painted canvas. See more »

Quotes

Nora King: You don't need a reason to die, Frank. Just one to live.
See more »

Alternate Versions

One TV version contains an extra scene after the opening credits showing several alien craft flying out from the side of the moon.This scene looks very much like it comes from another sci-fi movie of the time as it is very badly edited in to the movie.This scene is not on the DVD. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Aliens (1996) See more »

User Reviews

 
TARGET EARTH (Sherman A. Rose, 1954) **1/2
26 October 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Since it was co-written by the man behind ROBOT MONSTER (1953), I really wasn't expecting anything from this one (whose SE DVD I bought dirt-cheap from VCI outright). However, the film proved worthy of some attention – though failing to keep up the initial momentum, despite a brief 75-minute duration.

The plot starts off with a typical 'Last Man On Earth' scenario (albeit restricted in this case to just one big American city, and the reason it's deserted is due to evacuation rather than decimation). Eventually, a handful of people (including a constantly squabbling couple) band together in a hotel; we gradually learn their individual reasons for being left behind – which would actually be replicated in the much later THE QUIET EARTH (1985) – and, amidst fighting one another (especially the bossiness of an armed criminal on the run), they heroically withstand the alien invasion (consisting of a single solitary robot!) which is threatening the planet. Ultimately, the military springs into action – scientist Whit Bissell having finally hit upon a particular sound wave which can 'kill' the clunky automaton(s), also able to shoot a deadly ray a' la Klaatu from THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) – and rescues those still standing (obviously the hero and heroine).

The male lead is once again played by Richard Denning, whom I had just watched in THE BLACK SCORPION (1957): amusingly, as in that film, for all his ruggedness he's made up to be something of a dope as well, since Denning cluelessly purports to defend himself with a mere firearm (at the end, when he's told the alien was actually a robot, his character displays genuine amazement – duh!). In the end, though no classic, the film is extremely typical of its time and reasonably entertaining while it's on (with, as I said, the best moments coming at the very beginning via the eerie depiction of deserted city streets).

The extras are perhaps over-generous for such minor genre fare: that said, I haven't listened to its late producer Herman Cohen's Audio Commentary – while I was already familiar with the tribute featurette to him from its inclusion on VCI's own edition of HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (1959).


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Target Earth See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$85,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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