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Visit to a Small Planet (1960)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Sci-Fi | 4 February 1960 (USA)
The weirdest alien of the galaxy pays a visit to Earth...

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

Edmund Beloin (screenplay), Henry Garson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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From $4.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jerry Lewis ... Kreton
Joan Blackman ... Ellen Spelding
Earl Holliman ... Conrad
Fred Clark ... Maj. Roger Putnam Spelding
John Williams ... Delton
Jerome Cowan ... George Abercrombie
Gale Gordon ... Bob Mayberry
Lee Patrick ... Rheba Spelding
Milton Frome ... Police Commissioner
Ellen Corby ... Mrs. Mabel Mayberry
Barbara Lawson Barbara Lawson ... Desdemona - Beatnik Dancer
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Storyline

Jerry Lewis is Kreton, a childish alien who, against his teacher's will leaves his planet to visit the Earth, and lands in the backyard of a famous television journalist who doesn't believe in U.F.O's and aliens. Wanting to study humans but not able to fully understand them, Kreton makes a mess out of it, generating a lot of comic situations. Written by Alessio Quirino

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un marciano en California See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Wallis Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A poster for this film can be seen in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). It's on a wall in the final scene in the alley. See more »

Goofs

During the Hungry Brain sequence, the jazz band's trumpet player is shown playing with his horn "open" (unmuted), but the trumpeter heard on the soundtrack is using a mute. See more »

Quotes

Conrad: Remember that scoop you had about Elvis? You said he was going into the navy.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Morons from Outer Space (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Desdemona's Lament
(uncredited)
Written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman
Performed by Barbara Lawson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What must Gore Vidal have thought?
26 February 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Back in 1955 Gore Vidal wrote a television play that later went to Broadway for 388 performances and starred Cyril Ritchard and Eddie Mayehoff. It was meant to be a satire on McCarthyism with an alien miscalculating a visit to Earth's American Civil War and arriving in Virginia a century later. So what must he have thought when his Broadway play wound up a vehicle for Jerry Lewis. Not that it's a bad Jerry Lewis, not his best to be sure, but surely not what Vidal intended.

Jerry plays a most innocent alien with powers akin to what Ray Walston had in my favorite Martian. His people from way the other side of the galaxy have progressed to not only having powers beyond mortal men, but have dispensed with emotions. His people like his mentor John Williams are just below the Organians from Star Trek in that they still have corporeal bodies. Jerry wants to feel some earth like experiences so Williams gives him a chance.

He experiences emotions all right, but a little too much for one Visit To A Small Planet. How he copes with Earth and its Earthlings is for you watch the film for.

I can see that the characters that are played by the cynical Fred Clark and the excitable and paranoid Gale Gordon might have made great counterpoints for satire. But Jerry Lewis never has done satire and I doubt at his age he'll try it. Lee Patrick plays a role modeled on what she did as Leo G. Carroll's wife in the television version of Topper.

It's jealousy that does Jerry in, mainly the jealousy that Earl Holliman feels as his girl and Clark and Patrick's daughter Joan Blackman starts taking an interest in their outer space visitor. Truth be told I can't see what Blackman sees in Holliman's lunkhead character. Holliman must have felt ridiculous doing the part.

Best sequence in the film is Lewis and Blackman's visit to a beatnik joint and the impression he makes on all those cool cats. You'll get a chance to see ace drummer Buddy Rich in that scene and that should never be passed up.

Visit To A Small Planet is a decent enough Jerry Lewis film, but far from whatever Gore Vidal had in mind.


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