6.2/10
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62 user 31 critic

X the Unknown (1956)

Approved | | Horror , Sci-Fi | May 1957 (USA)
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0:53 | Trailer

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

Directors:

Leslie Norman, Joseph Losey (uncredited)

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (story), Jimmy Sangster (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dean Jagger ... Dr. Adam Royston
Edward Chapman ... John Elliott
Leo McKern ... Insp. 'Mac' McGill
Anthony Newley ... LCpl. 'Spider' Webb
Jameson Clark Jameson Clark ... Jack Harding
William Lucas ... Peter Elliott
Peter Hammond ... Lt. Bannerman
Marianne Brauns Marianne Brauns ... Zena, the Nurse
Ian MacNaughton Ian MacNaughton ... Haggis (as Ian McNaughton)
Michael Ripper ... Sgt. Harry Grimsdyke
John Harvey John Harvey ... Maj. Cartwright
Edwin Richfield ... Soldier Burned on Back
Jane Aird Jane Aird ... Vi Harding
Norman MacOwan Norman MacOwan ... Old Tom (as Norman Macowan)
Neil Hallett ... Unwin (as Neil Hallet)
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Storyline

British Army radiation drills at a remote Scottish base attract a subterranean, radioactive entity of unknown nature that vanishes, leaving two severely radiation-burned soldiers... and a "bottomless" crack in the earth. Others who meet the thing in the night suffer likewise, and with increasing severity; it seems to be able to "absorb" radiation from any source, growing bigger and bigger. What is it?? How do you destroy a thing that "feeds" on energy? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It rises from 2000 miles below the earth to melt everything in its path! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La incógnita X See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally intended to have been a sequel to another Hammer success, The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), but creator Nigel Kneale vetoed the use of his character(s) by another writer - hence Prof. Bernard Quatermass swiftly became Dr. Adam Royston. See more »

Goofs

Near the end, when John is backing up the jeep to the pit, he is sweating profusely. In the next scene his face is dry. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Adam Royston: It's on its way for the biggest meal of its life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Blob (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22: V. Finale: Allegro vivace
(uncredited)
Written by Antonín Dvorák
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Hammer Films Classic
25 June 2004 | by vmwritesSee all my reviews

Often overlooked even by those who enjoy the sci-fi films of the fifties, "X The Unknown" is one of those sleepers that real afficionados will watch over and over. Starring Dean Jagger, the cast also features a very young Anthony Newly as a British Army corporal.

There's not much that professional critics would find either amusing or compelling about this film, but when considered in its place as a landmark movie both for the sci-fi genre and for Hammer films, it shines somewhat brighter.

As has aready been mentioned, this film occupies a prominent role among those that feature a "blob" monster. The special effects, incidentally, are not bad for the year (1956), and the concept of a radioactive blob is perhaps even more interesting than one that merely gobbles up people.

I understand that this was one of the early films produced by Hammer, as a step toward making more sci-fi entries. I'm glad they took the chance. This film and those that followed it enriched the genre for all fans of 1950's and 1960's sci-fi films.


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