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The Mysterians (1957)

Chikyû Bôeigun (original title)
TV-Y7 | | Action, Family, Sci-Fi | 15 May 1959 (USA)
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1:44 | Trailer

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Aliens arrive on Earth and ask permission to be given a certain tract of land for their people to live on. But when they are discovered to be invaders, responsible for the giant robot that ... See full summary »

Director:

Ishirô Honda

Writers:

Takeshi Kimura, Jôjirô Okami (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenji Sahara Kenji Sahara ... Joji Atsumi
Yumi Shirakawa Yumi Shirakawa ... Etsuko Shiraishi
Momoko Kôchi ... Hiroko Iwamoto
Akihiko Hirata ... Ryoichi Shiraishi
Takashi Shimura ... Dr. Tanjiro Adachi
Susumu Fujita Susumu Fujita ... Gen. Morita
Hisaya Itô Hisaya Itô ... Capt. Seki
Yoshio Kosugi Yoshio Kosugi ... Cmdr. Sugimoto
Fuyuki Murakami Fuyuki Murakami ... Dr. Nobu Kawanami
Yoshio Tsuchiya Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Leader of the Mysterians
Minosuke Yamada Minosuke Yamada ... The Secretary of Defense Hamamoto
Tetsu Nakamura Tetsu Nakamura ... Dr. Koda
Heihachirô Ôkawa Heihachirô Ôkawa ... Person at Board Meeting
Takeo Oikawa Takeo Oikawa ... Announcer on TV
Haruya Katô Haruya Katô ... Doomed Villager
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Storyline

Aliens arrive on Earth and ask permission to be given a certain tract of land for their people to live on. But when they are discovered to be invaders, responsible for the giant robot that is destroying cities, the armed forces attempt to stop them with every weapon available. Written by Todd A. Bobenrieth <TAB146@PSUVM.EDU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Join humankind's most treacherous battle for survival! See more »


Certificate:

TV-Y7 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

15 May 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mysterians See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$975,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1978 Toho Champion Festival)

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)| Mono (US prints)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are in fact two runs of The Mysterians. The original dub was released by RKO/MGM in 1959, and corresponded to the 3 minutes of edits in the American cut. This dub was released on VHS a few times, panned and scanned with warbly sound. For the DVD release, Media Blasters created a new dub which corresponds to the Japanese cut. This dub is generally regarded by the fandom as poorer, and is responsible for the goof mentioned in the Goof section, wherein it's mentioned that one of the firefighters has a Southern accent. This is an error only present in the DVD dub See more »

Goofs

One of the bicyclist firefighters has a very southern-US accent, when the on-screen actors are obviously Japanese. This occurs is the second English dubbed version done for U.S. DVD release, not the version shown in U.S. theaters starting in 1959. See more »

Quotes

Ryoichi Shiraishi: The tragedy of the Mysterians is a good example for us! Don't use science in the wrong way!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Scenes deleted from the American version:
  • During the final assault on the Mysterian Dome, a second Mogera tunnels up beneath a Markolite cannon causeing the weapon to crash down on the mecha, takeing out both machines.
  • When the Mysterians summon up a tidal wave, a shot of the wave swamping another Markolite cannon is excised. This leaves only one Markolite remaining on the battlefeild. The American version gives the impression that there are two.
  • After the Mysterians are defeated there is brief shot of retreating saucers returning to the satelite station.
  • The final shot in the film is of the American satelite in orbit above the earth. In the distance we can see the Mysterian satelite station recedeing into deep space.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kaiju Auteur
26 April 2010 | by flapdoodle64See all my reviews

This has some of the highest production values, some of the best FX sequences, the best musical scoring and some of the best acting to be seen in any Kaiju film. Personally, I rate this as 3rd or 4th all-time best in the Kaiju genre, behind such uber-classics as Godzilla, Invasion of the Astro-Monster, and War of the Gargantuas.

Ishiro Honda was the greatest auteur of Kaiju. He was not only the D.W. Griffith of that genre, he was also the Orson Welles. His Kaiju films can be put into 3 rough categories: earnest (i.e. Godzilla, War of the Gargantuas); surreal (Mushroom People); and camp (Invasion of the Astro Monster).

This film is mostly in the earnest category, but the sequence with the long tailed mechanical monster hints at Honda's immanent surreal and camp tendencies.

Anyhow, this is definitely a very well-made Kaiju, but it is a little slow in some places and the whole strategy of the Mysterians for conquering Earth has some serious flaws. Nonetheless, the idea of alien invaders occupying Japanese territory and and seeking total domination, not to mention the aliens' designs on the local women, is interesting. And surely this storyline must reflect Honda's attitudes toward the American occupation forces which still were maintaining high visibility in Japan in this period.

It is my understanding that this film was originally released in Cinemascope or the equivalent, and it really would have been a gas to see it on the big screen that way. The battles between the Earth forces in their strange slow-moving aerial battleships and the Mysterians' ray weapons, in glorious color and with the orchestra playing in full stereo, must have been a kick.

Of less interest is the fact that the aliens in this film seem to be the direct inspiration for a dreadful yet popular 1990's children's TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

All told, this movie is still a lot more interesting and fun than most of the scifi summer blockbusters nowadays, especially the crap with Will Smith or Tom Cruise.


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