When a spaceship lands on the moon, it is hailed as a new accomplishment, before it becomes clear that a Victorian party completed the journey in 1899, leading investigators to that mission's last survivor.
While driving through the desert with his wife Carol Marvin to a military base to send the eleventh rocket into Earth orbit to assist the exploration of outer space in Operation Sky Hook, Dr. Russell A. Marvin and Carol see a flying saucer and accidentally records a message on their tape recorder. Once in the base, Dr. Russell is informed by his father-in-law and general that the ten first satellites mysteriously fell back to Earth. When Dr. Russell decodes the message, he encounters the aliens, who ask him to schedule a meeting with the leaders of Earth in Washington in 56 days in order to invade Earth without panicking the population. Dr. Russell develops an anti-magnetic weapon that becomes the last hope of the human race against the hostile aliens.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
One of the buildings struck by crashing flying saucers is Union Station, Washington's main train station. This may have been inspired by a 1953 accident when a runaway passenger train smashed into the station concourse. See more »
In the opening scene (and one other scene later in the film) when Dr Marvin and his wife first see the flying saucer Dr Marvin gets in and out of his car, the interior color and seat stitching pattern change from white with a wide stitching pattern outside the car, to dark and close stitching pattern inside the car. See more »
[into tape recorder]
July 16, to Internal Security Commission, re: Sky Hook. Summary and progress report, from project director, Dr. Russell A. Marvin.
And Mrs. Dr. Russell A. Marvin, without whose inspiration and untiring criticism this report could never have been written.
Married two hours and already she's claiming community property!
[directs his attentions to her neck]
Now that you're married, Dr. Marlowe, you don't have to sneak up on me.
You always did have eyes in the back of your head.
[...] See more »
As has been pointed out by most reviewers on IMDb, this film has all the perceived elements of cold war-period American cinema. However, what also should be considered is the influence it has had on contemporary SF movies and TV.
Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor and, especially, Morris Ankrum are well-known B-movie actors: they appeared in everything from Westerns to SF, with lots of stops in between. Thus, this film (complete with all the other stalwarts of '50s and '60s "Bs" who appear therein) can be seen as a progenitor of later low-budget productions which rely on a cheap yet capable cast.
At the time it was released (1956), Ray Harryhausen was proving his expertise with stop-motion special effects, later to be given much larger budgets in '60s colour productions. "Gumby" and similar TV items owe much to this man, as does Aardman Productions and, possibly, Dreamworks.
It has already been indicated (by others) that "Mars Attacks" owes its saucers to this film. So, too, "ID4" has a debt, as does "Dr Who"! (Specifically the outfits worn by the aliens - that leaden 'dome' on top of their environment suits belongs to a famous adversary of the good doctor - check out a couple of Tom Baker serials!) Be that as it may, Fred F. Sears does an acceptable job as director; Curt Siodmak supplies a clever screenplay based on Don Keyhoe's book (Keyhoe also wrote 'non-fiction' accounts of UFOs); and some of the dialogue is definitely quotable! IMDb has some ripper examples.
Watch it and enjoy it. Strip some of our contemporary SF of CGI and they really do lack substance in comparison with this entertaining and funny movie. OK. You won't gasp and ooooh. If you have a love of '50s B-movies however, this one is a 'corker'!
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