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Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

Approved | | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi | 7 February 1968 (USA)
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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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A separate screenplay by Nigel Kneale for theaters, parallel to the 1979 Quatermass four part mini-series. The story set in the near future involves influences from outer space that are possessing people. Professor Quatermass must save his granddaughter from the clutches of a popular and sinister cult "Planet People" that "performs raptures".

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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 »
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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

Richard Shaw, who played Sladden in Quatermass and the Pit (1958), was asked to reprise his role, but could not because of a prior engagement. See more »

Goofs

When Sladden is being tossed about the martian missile, several tools are tossed about as well. Strings can be seen attached to the tools. See more »

Quotes

Professor Bernard Quatermass: The will to survive is an odd phenomenon. Roney, if we found out our own world was doomed, say by climatic changes, what would we do about it?
Dr. Mathew Roney: Nothing, just go on squabbling like usual.
Professor Bernard Quatermass: Yes, but if we weren't men?
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

Featured in Fantastic Fantasy Fright-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Opening Credits and Prelude
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by Tristram Cary
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the greatest science fiction films ever made - in fact my favorite.
14 May 2004 | by grafspeeSee all my reviews

This film is not your usual sci-fi monster from the deep or outer space but a story based on comprehensible logic - the suggestion that the human mind and it's psychic and sixth sense qualities was the result of alien intervention with our ancestral primates millions of years ago. Andrew Keir plays a fine role as the tweedy dressed sometimes gruff gentleman professor, Bernard Quatermass who teams up with equally amiable James Donald as Dr.Mathew Roney and his attractive female assistant Barbara Shelley as Barbara Judd to solve the riddle of a strange craft and several ape like skeletons unearthed during the reconstruction of an underground London railway station. At first thought to be an unexploded second world war missile an Army demolition team is brought in to disarm it, led by the bombastic single minded military thinking Colonel Breen played by Julian Glover who scoffs at the theories of the two scientists that this could be anything more than a German V weapon. The finding of large insect like creatures preserved within the hull of the craft and an analysis of their physical attributes leads Quatermass and Roney to conclude that they are Martians who along with their ape like passengers were killed as a result of a crash landing five million years beforehand. Quatermass also speculates that the apes had been previously taken from Earth to Mars and altered in order to give them Martian thinking characteristics which were then inherited by their human descendants. Breen dismisses the insect creatures as fakes and convinces his government superiors that the missile is safe, against the advice of Quatermass, Roney and Judd who have already discovered sinister awakenings within the craft after a workman dismantling his drill therein is seized upon by an invisible propelling force along with terrifying mental images. When the public and press are admitted to the site the craft comes to life generating a ghostly devil looking apparition, along with the now mind affected local population banding into groups and unleashing a killing spree on their own kind. Quatermass and Roney must now pool their scientific expertise to neutralize the menace and restore order. Nigel Kneale's compelling screenplay is sheer brilliance and gives this film a distinct and special uniqueness in the world of science fiction. A must see for the serious minded movie watcher.


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