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Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

Approved | | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi | 7 February 1968 (USA)
Trailer
1:01 | Trailer
A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.

Director:

Roy Ward Baker

Writers:

Nigel Kneale (original story), Nigel Kneale (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Donald ... Doctor Roney
Andrew Keir ... Quatermass
Barbara Shelley ... Barbara Judd
Julian Glover ... Colonel Breen
Duncan Lamont ... Sladden
Bryan Marshall ... Captain Potter
Peter Copley ... Howell
Edwin Richfield ... Minister
Grant Taylor ... Police Sergeant Ellis
Maurice Good ... Sergeant Cleghorn
Robert Morris Robert Morris ... Watson
Sheila Steafel ... Journalist
Hugh Futcher ... Sapper West
Hugh Morton Hugh Morton ... Elderly Journalist
Thomas Heathcote ... Vicar
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Storyline

While digging a new subway line in London, a construction crew discovers first: a skeleton, then what they think is an old World War II German missile. Upon closer examination the "missile" appears to be not of this earth! This movie examines the age old question of how we came to be on this planet. It is surprisingly scary. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Force more powerful than 1,000 H-Bombs unleashed to devastate Earth! World in panic! Cities in flames! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Hammer [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 February 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Five Million Years to Earth See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP275,000 (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)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Julian Glover had to perform his own stunts, including the scene where Colonel Breen falls over into the pit. See more »

Goofs

When the spaceship starts to come alive, you can see the wires holding up the floating debris in the tunnel. See more »

Quotes

Col. Breen: Mars is dead, nothing there but a few scraps of lichen.
Professor Bernard Quatermass: Five million years ago it may have been very different. Suppose at that time there were living beings on it with techniques that let them visit the Earth at a time when the most highly evolved creatures here, our own ancestors, were only a type of Pliocene ape.
Minister of Defense: Go on.
Professor Bernard Quatermass: They may have wanted to found another colony, when their own world was doomed, but couldn't endure our atmosphere, so they experimented.
Minister of Defense: Oh, and the insects were responsible?
Professor Bernard Quatermass:
Col. Breen:
Professor Bernard Quatermass:
Howell:
Professor Bernard Quatermass:
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2011 UK DVD and Blu-ray release has some of the credits in the opening titles reworked to remove the "Associated Britsh-Pathe Limited presents" credit and accordingly the titles appearing from "A Hammer Film Production" to the title of the film appear in a different synchronized order and accordingly have been extended to appear longer on the print by a few seconds so that the title of the film still appears at the same music clash points as intended. See more »

Connections

References The Witches (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Finale and End Credits
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by Tristram Cary
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant Sci-Fi horror that will mesmerise and get you thinking!
29 November 2004 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Quatermass and the Pit is one of the finest of Hammer's vast and largely very fine oeuvre. Strangely, however, when you hear people speak of Hammer horror, this film rarely gets a mention, and that's a great injustice as it easily ranks up there with the best of them. The plot follows a group of construction workers that discover a plot of skeletons while extending London's subway station. This immediately attracts the attention of local scientists Mathew Roney and Barbara Judd, and later the man of the title; Dr Quatermass, who end up facing opposition from both the army and the press while trying to investigate the find. Where did the skeletons come from? How did they get there? And what's the meaning behind that bomb in the tunnel? All these questions and more are answered in Quatermass and the Pit.

As you might expect, the film is very camp. The effects are truly ridiculous and very easy to laugh at; but they add to the fun and charm of the movie. The reason why Hammer Horror films succeed is that, despite being unpleasant at times, it's obvious that they were made with a lot of heart, and the good nature that went into making them always shines through. Unlike many horror (or Sci-Fi) films, however, this one actually bothers to pose some interesting questions and really gets you thinking. The normal idea behind alien based Sci-Fi is completely turned on it's head, and it makes for both an enjoyable and interesting, not to mention original movie. It's quite ingenious, in fact; much more so than many recent 'thought-provoking' movies. There is also quite a lot of the trademark British humour in the film, which is always nice to see. It's obvious that the film is meant to be tongue in cheek anyway, but it's always nice to have a few moments of laughter in there. Quatermass and the Pit is directed by Hammer Horror supremo Roy Ward Baker. When people think of Hammer directors, it's often Terrence Fisher that comes out on top; but Baker is by far my favourite. He's delivered the lovely Asylum, the ingenious Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde, not to mention The Vampire Lovers; and now this. And that's only the ones that I've seen!

Overall, this is an incredible movie. It's generous mix of horror, Sci-Fi and fantasy is truly refreshing and it makes for an interesting and enjoyable ride. I loved every minute of this film, and it easily ranks as one of the best Hammer Horror's that I've seen. Make sure you don't skip this one.


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