6.7/10
4,719
84 user 69 critic

The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)

Professor Bernard Quatermass' manned rocket ship returns to Earth, but two of the astronauts are missing and the survivor seems ill and unable to communicate.

Director:

Val Guest

Writers:

Richard H. Landau (screenplay) (as Richard Landau), Val Guest (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Quatermass 2 (1957)
Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Professor Quatermass, trying to gather support for his Lunar colonisation project, is intrigued by mysterious traces that have been showing up.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sidney James
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: James Donald, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley
Quatermass II (TV Mini-Series 1955)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Professor Quatermass is trying to perfect a dangerously unstable nuclear-powered rocket engine. After a disastrous test firing in Australia, his soon-to-be son-in-law, Captain John Dillon, ... See full summary »

Stars: John Robinson, Monica Grey, Hugh Griffith
X the Unknown (1956)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A radioactive, mud-like creature terrorizes a Scottish village.

Directors: Leslie Norman, Joseph Losey
Stars: Dean Jagger, Edward Chapman, Leo McKern
The Quatermass Experiment (TV Series 1953)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Professor Bernard Quatermass, Director General of the British Experimental Rocket Group, launches the first manned space flight from Australia. A malfunction sends the rocket and its three ... See full summary »

Stars: Reginald Tate, Isabel Dean, Hugh Kelly
Quatermass and the Pit (TV Mini-Series 1958)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A team of scientists search for the origin and purpose of a mysterious capsule found on a building site.

Stars: André Morell, Cec Linder, Anthony Bushell
Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A kindly English botanist and a gruff American scientist lead an expedition to the Himalayas in search of the legendary Yeti.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Forrest Tucker, Peter Cushing, Maureen Connell
The Quatermass Experiment (TV Movie 2005)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Professor Bernard Quatermass' manned rocket ship returns to Earth but two of the astronauts are missing and the survivor seems ill and unable to communicate.

Director: Sam Miller
Stars: Jason Flemyng, Adrian Dunbar, Mark Gatiss
Quatermass (TV Mini-Series 1979)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the near future, civilization has broken down to the barest fragment of recognizable life. Young people are forming gangs and dominating the wrecks of cities like London. But the ... See full summary »

Stars: John Mills, Simon MacCorkindale, Ralph Arliss
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A separate screenplay by Nigel Kneale for theaters, parallel to the 1979 Quatermass four part mini-series. The story set in the near future involves influences from outer space that are possessing people. Professor Quatermass must save his granddaughter from the clutches of a popular and sinister cult "Planet People" that "performs raptures".

Director: Piers Haggard
Stars: John Mills, Simon MacCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman
The Reptile (1966)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In a Cornish village, various locals die from mysterious snake bites, but the coroner rules the deaths as heart attacks, until a family of newcomers starts an investigation.

Director: John Gilling
Stars: Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Young workers are dying because of a mysterious epidemic in a little village in Cornwall. Doctor Thompson is helpless and asks professor James Forbes for help. The professor and his ... See full summary »

Director: John Gilling
Stars: André Morell, Diane Clare, Brook Williams
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Brian Donlevy ... Prof. Bernard Quatermass
Jack Warner ... Insp. Lomax
Margia Dean ... Mrs. Judith Carroon
Thora Hird ... Rosemary 'Rosie' Elizabeth Wrigley
Gordon Jackson ... BBC TV producer
David King-Wood David King-Wood ... Dr. Gordon Briscoe
Harold Lang Harold Lang ... Christie
Lionel Jeffries ... Blake
Sam Kydd ... Police sergeant questioning Rosie
Richard Wordsworth Richard Wordsworth ... Victor Carroon
Edit

Storyline

In the countryside of London, a rocket crashes on a farm and Professor Bernard Quatermass and Scotland Yard Inspector Lomax arrive in the spot. The rocket was launched by Prof. Quatermass with the astronauts Victor Carroon, Greene and Reichebheim; however only Carroon is found very sick in the cabin. He is transported to a private clinic to stay under observation despite the protests of his wife Mrs. Judith Carroon. She bribes a nurse to bring Carroon to her and she finds that he is transforming into a monster. Carroon escapes, killing people and animals during his metamorphosis while the Scotland Yard is hunting him down and Dr. Quatermass discovers that his process is an alien invasion. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Beware of "THE CREEPING UNKNOWN!" See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Quatermass Xperiment See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

£45,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original onscreen title of this film was The Quatermass Experiment, as it should have been, of course. Only contemporary posters advertising the film gave it as .....Xperiment, undoubtedly only to emphasise the fact that it had been granted an X certificate by the BBFC. The BBFC's website confirms this fact. The onscreen title was probably changed for the film's reissue or its issue on VHS and DVD, for some obscure reason. See more »

Goofs

At the crash site, in the engine compartment of the VW micro bus , there is radio equipment instead of an engine. See more »

Quotes

Insp. Lomax: Nobody ever wins a cold war.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original 1955 "Quatermass Xperiment" print has the closing caption "The End"; the reissued version (with a still bearing the new title "The Quatermass Experiment" inserted into the opening credits) replaces this with "A Hammer Production Produced at Bray Studios". See more »

Connections

Followed by Quatermass and the Pit (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Stands the test of time
25 December 2013 | by tomgillespie2002See all my reviews

After the enormous success of the BBC mini-series of the same name, Hammer Studios, which at the time were specialising in supporting features, swooped in to action a feature film adaptation. This being the first horror film they produced, The Quatermass Xperiment can be labelled as the birth of Hammer horror, and for that we are truly thankful. The surprising thing is, for all it's B-movie clunkiness and 1950's science-babble, Quatermass has stood the test of time. It's a serious, occasionally thrilling, and undeniably entertaining little picture.

After a rocket ship holding three astronauts crash-lands in the English countryside, Professor Quatermass (Brian Donlevy) arrives with his troupe of investigators and fellow scientists. After they open the hatch, they find two of the pilots vanished, and only one - Victor Carroon (Richard Wordsworth) - barely survived. He is taken in for treatment, and watched over by Dr. Briscoe (David King-Wood), who notices his skin taking an oily form. But Carroon's wife wants her husband back and smuggles him out of the hospital, where he escapes into London, absorbing any lifeforms he comes across.

Writer Nigel Kneale apparently disapproved of Donlevy's rather prickly performance as Quatermass, but I feel Donlevy (who was apparently sozzled throughout the entire shoot) is the reason Quatermass works so well. Rather than simply being your average scientist, Quatermass is a subtle madman, waving away procedure and safety in the name of science, playing God because he has the brains to do so. The film also works thanks to some impressive special-effects work, and a stoic Wordsworth in a performance and role that surely became the framework for Christopher Lee's Monster in Hammer's The Curse of Frankenstein (1957).

It's a short, snappy piece that moves along nicely, never getting too caught up in the science and wholeheartedly embracing the fiction. There's also a fine humour that prevails throughout the film, especially in the scenes involving Jack Warner's brilliantly sarcastic Inspector Lomax. It seems silly now to think that the film received the dreaded 'X' certificate back in 1955, but Hammer deliberately aimed the have the film stamped with this rating (as reflected in the 'Xperiment' of the title). This willingness to dare the audience to be scared had them flocking to see it, and, of course, the rest is history.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 84 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Alfonso Cuarón's 'Roma' Stars Are the Heart of His Film

Director Alfonso Cuarón sits down with IMDb to talk about his 10-time Oscar-nominated film, Roma, and its breakout stars, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira.

Watch the full interview

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed