X the Unknown ()

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


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Cast verified as complete

Dr. Adam Royston
John Elliott
Insp. 'Mac' McGill
LCpl. 'Spider' Webb
Jameson Clark ...
Jack Harding
Peter Elliott
Lt. Bannerman
Marianne Brauns ...
Zena, the Nurse
Ian MacNaughton ...
Haggis (as Ian McNaughton)
Sgt. Harry Grimsdyke
John Harvey ...
Maj. Cartwright
Soldier Burned on Back
Jane Aird ...
Vi Harding
Norman MacOwan ...
Old Tom (as Norman Macowan)
Unwin (as Neil Hallet)
Sapper Lansing
Michael Brooke ...
Willie Harding (as Michael Brook)
Ian Osborn (as Fraser Hines)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Max Brimmell ...
Hospital Director (uncredited)
Robert Bruce ...
Dr. Kelly (uncredited)
Angela Crow ...
Bit Part (uncredited)
Vicar (uncredited)
Raymond Dudley ...
Bit Part (uncredited)
Archie Duncan ...
Sgt. Yeardye (uncredited)
Lawrence James ...
Gerard (uncredited)
2nd Soldier (uncredited)
Stella Kemball ...
Willie's Room Nurse (uncredited)
Jack Lambert ...
Police Sergeant (uncredited)
Stevenson Lang ...
Reporter (uncredited)
Philip Levene ...
Security Man (uncredited)
1st Soldier (uncredited)
Anthony Sagar ...
Gateman (uncredited)
Barry Steele ...
Soldier in Trench (uncredited)
John Stirling ...
Police Car Driver (uncredited)
John Stone ...
Jerry (uncredited)
French Taylor ...
PC Williams (uncredited)
Shaw Taylor ...
Police Radio Operator (uncredited)
Russell (uncredited)

Directed by

Leslie Norman
Joseph Losey ... (uncredited)

Written by

Jimmy Sangster ... (story)
Jimmy Sangster ... (screenplay)

Produced by

Michael Carreras ... executive producer
Anthony Hinds ... producer
Mickey Delamar ... associate producer (uncredited)

Music by

James Bernard

Cinematography by

Gerald Gibbs ... director of photography

Film Editing by

James Needs

Editorial Department

William Bouvet ... first assistant editor (uncredited)
Henry Richardson ... second assistant editor (uncredited)

Casting By

Joseph Losey ... (uncredited)

Art Direction by

Edward Marshall ... (uncredited)

Makeup Department

Philip Leakey ... makeup artist / special makeup effects

Production Management

Jimmy Sangster ... production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Christopher Sutton ... assistant director (as Chris Sutton)
Hugh Harlow ... third assistant director (uncredited)
Roy Stevens ... second assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

Don Mingaye ... draughtsman (uncredited)
Tony Woollard ... draughtsman (uncredited)

Sound Department

Alfred Cox ... sound editor
Jock May ... sound mixer
Charles Bouvet ... sound maintenance (uncredited)
Jim Perry ... boom operator (uncredited)
Michael Sale ... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Clifford Sandall ... sound recordist (uncredited)

Special Effects by

Jack Curtis ... special effects
Les Bowie ... special effects (uncredited)
Ray Caple ... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Roy Field ... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Brian Johnson ... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Vic Margutti ... special effects (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Len Harris ... camera operator
Tom Edwards ... still photographer (uncredited)
Harry Oakes ... focus puller (uncredited)
John Reid ... second camera operator (uncredited)
Mike Rutter ... clapper loader (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Molly Arbuthnot ... wardrobe

Music Department

John Hollingsworth ... musical director / conductor (uncredited)

Other crew

June Randall ... continuity
Bill Batchelor ... publicist (uncredited)
Margaret Quigley ... production secretary (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies

  • The War Office (the producers wish to acknowledge the co-operation received from, during the production of this film)


Plot Summary

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

Plot Keywords
Taglines NOTHING CAN STOP IT! (original print ad - all caps) See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Lo desconocido (Spain)
  • Het onbekende (Netherlands)
  • X - okänd (Finland, Swedish title)
  • X - den ukendte fare (Denmark)
  • X - czynnik nieznany (Poland)
  • See more »
  • 81 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

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 Out of interest, the Thompson sub machine gun was issued to British forces. It was issued to regular army, Home guard (later TA) and especially auxiliary units. It was also issued to commandos, both army and later RN. Originating from the early twenties, the Tommy gun was issued to Brits much later, and some stayed in service for a very long time. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in X the Unknown (1979). See more »
Soundtracks Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22: V. Finale: Allegro vivace See more »
Quotes Major Cartwright: You know this Royston chap - brilliant, of course, I'm sure - but the trouble with some of these scientific types is they can't see the easy way out of anything. It's got to be complicated if it's going to work.
See more »

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