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Enemy from Space (1957)

Quatermass 2 (original title)
Approved | | Sci-Fi, Horror | September 1957 (USA)
Professor Quatermass, trying to gather support for his Lunar colonisation project, is intrigued by mysterious traces that have been showing up.

Director:

Val Guest

Writers:

Nigel Kneale (story), Nigel Kneale (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Donlevy ... Quatermass
John Longden ... Lomax (as John Longdon)
Sidney James ... Jimmy Hall (as Sydney James)
Bryan Forbes ... Marsh
William Franklyn William Franklyn ... Brand
Vera Day ... Sheila
Charles Lloyd Pack Charles Lloyd Pack ... Dawson
Tom Chatto ... Broadhead
John Van Eyssen John Van Eyssen ... The P.R.O.
Percy Herbert ... Gorman
Michael Ripper ... Ernie
John Rae John Rae ... McLeod
Marianne Stone ... Secretary
Ronald Wilson Ronald Wilson ... Young Man
Jane Aird Jane Aird ... Mrs. McLeod
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Storyline

Professor Quatermass, trying to gather support for Moon colonisation his project to colonize the Moon, is intrigued by the mysterious traces that have been showing up on his radar - meteorites crashing down?. Following them to the place where they should be landing he finds a destroyed village, a mysterious factory too close to his designs for the Moon colony for comfort, and some strange, aerodynamic objects containing a mysterious, ammonia-based gas that infects one of his assistants. Officially, the factory is producing synthetic food; but despite the veil of secrecy surrounding it Quatermass succeeds in finding out it harbours aliens with deadly designs on the Earth... Second in Hammer Films' trio of screen versions for Nigel Kneale's classic 1950s BBC serials, with the same director and star as 1955's "The Quatermass Experiment". Written by Jorge Mourinha <rjmourinha@mail.telepac.pt>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A horrible enemy from the unknown strikes terror across the earth!

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Hammer Films official page

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enemy from Space See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£92,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hammer originally wanted their sequel to The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) to be the Jimmy Sangster-penned X the Unknown (1956), but Nigel Kneale vetoed the use of his character(s) by another writer, forcing script revisions on that film. See more »

Goofs

When hurrying to the phone in the Pressure Control Block, McLeod puts down his jacket, which slips to the floor. It appears to have returned to where he originally placed it when he retrieves it in another shot, however. See more »

Connections

Featured in The World of Hammer: Sci-Fi (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Midsummer Mood
(uncredited)
Music by Kenneth Essex
Paxton Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Never trust a person with skin problems
17 July 2006 | by Vomitron_GSee all my reviews

Thanks to a good friend I'm currently undergoing what sci-fi fans refer to as "the Quatermass-experience". That simply means watching the three QUATERMASS-movies in a short time period. The first one felt like a true sci-fi classic, but I honestly couldn't really tell, because I haven't seen enough of those black & white sci-fi flicks to compare it too. But I'm working on that.

After having seen QUATERMASS 2, I'm starting to get convinced that those movies really are a stellar trilogy (even though the individual stories aren't actually related). This second installment was the first British movie ever to feature a number "2" in its title, to indicate that it's a sequel. The movie itself shows a lot of similarities with the original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (an alien organism invading earth, loss of human identity, a common higher consciousness, a global threat at hand...). But since they were produced around the same time none of the movies can be accused of stealing from each other.

Writer Nigel Kneale presents us a solid, coherent story undermined with plausible scientific facts. To put it rather simply: an organism not of this earth infects humans and even infiltrates the highest ranks of the British government. The story moves at a decent pace and never gets boring. Val Guest's directing is as good as it gets for a movie from the 50's. He clearly knew what he was doing on the set. Some minor continuity problems can be encountered (some night shots feature a few glimpses of daylight) and at least one scene seemed a bit artificially staged for convenience's sake (the one where Broadhead and Quatermass get their passes from the ministry-chap). But all that really isn't anything to complain about.

I sort of liked Brian Donlevy as Quatermass. He really feels like the prototype of an anti-hero. He's often a bit rude and really persistent. Especially that last characteristic made his character more believable. The rest of the acting was also decent, though all of the supporting roles were too small to be memorable. And I so much liked the fact that there wasn't an obligatory love-interest in the plot for Mr. Quatermass. That simply would not have worked.

There were a few details I really liked, like when Quatermass arrives in that little town in the area of Winterton Flats (or was it Willingdon Flats?). All the inhabitants work for the alien-infested factory and they have posters on the wall with slogans like "Remember: Secrets mean sealed lips" and "Talk about your job. Lose it". Another cool thing about the story was that it was actually Quatermass who designed the factory facility with the domes, which was originally to be a moon-colonization project. Only, the government stole his design and build it here on earth, for the alien organism to adapt itself. The factory was an excellent location and felt real. So were the few special effects (mainly miniatures of the domes). The 'rocket-lift-off' shots and effects looked rather silly though. I'm glad this movie was in black & white, that way, when we finally see the alien organism in all its giant glory, it looked a bit more terrifying.

So if you're curious about the history of sci-fi movies, than you just can not miss this one. Now I'm really looking forward to see QUATERMASS AND THE PIT.


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