4.7/10
253
18 user 12 critic

The Monitors (1969)

Earthlings chafe at the peace established by a benevolent alien race and set about to rebel.

Director:

Jack Shea

Writers:

Myron J. Gold (screenplay), Keith Laumer (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Guy Stockwell ... Harry Jordan
Susan Oliver ... Barbara Cole
Larry Storch ... P.A. Stutz
Avery Schreiber ... Max Jordan
Sherry Jackson ... Mona
Shepperd Strudwick ... Tersh Jeterax
Keenan Wynn ... The General
Ed Begley ... The President
J.J. Barry ... Culp
Martin Harvey Friedberg Martin Harvey Friedberg ... Newt
Sid Grossfeld Sid Grossfeld ... Gate Guard
Burt Heyman Burt Heyman ... Fink
Helen Malone Helen Malone ... Mrs. Jordan
Mike Nussbaum ... Exercise Chief
Murphy Dunne Murphy Dunne ... Monitor Driver
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Storyline

Unusual sci-fi invasion film, with a black-comedy twist: The Earth is taken over by The Monitors, aliens who run it like hall monitors in a 1950's high school, with overtones of Big Brother. The film follows the progress of the human underground rebellion. The twist is that as the film goes on, the audience's sympathies shift to the aliens, who are basically benevolent. When the humans manage to oust them, it's back to corruption and bribery by the usual suspects. Written by Phil Olenick <prolenik@world.std.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Wildest Film Since "Birth of a Nation" See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Os Monitores See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are 30 "trouble spots" on the Monitors' map. They correspond (roughly) with the following locations: Anchorage, Alaska; San Diego, California; Chicago, Illinois; Lima, Peru; Santiago, Chile; Cochrane, Ontario; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Havana, Cuba; Salvador, Brazil; Marrakech, Morrocco; Abidjan, Cote d'Ivorie; Cape Town, South Africa; Mombasa, Kenya; Barcelona, Spain; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; Berlin, Germany; Oslo, Norway; Athens, Greece; Kyiv, Ukraine; Moscow, Russia; Jerusalem, Israel; Cairo, Egypt; Darwin, Australia; Manila, Philippines; Bangkok, Thailand; Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Vladivostok, Russia; Beijing, China; Lhasa, Tibet See more »

Goofs

As Tersch Jeterax prepares to leave Earth, shadows from the boom mic move across Barbara Cole's hair. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Stutz: [disguised as a preacher] Believe in the Monitors or the Heavens will open up and rain down horned toads, warted frogs, and all sorts of slimy, scaled yellow monsters.
See more »

Connections

Edited from Orgy of the Dead (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Voice of the Flower
Music by Fred Kaz
Lyrics by Sandy Holt
Sung by Odetta
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Historical artifact
24 May 2010 | by tomquickSee all my reviews

This was not easy to find, and the DVD I watched had an oddity. A stretch of 10-15 minutes repeats over during the first 1/3 of the film. Whether this is intentional, or whether it's a transfer glitch I'll never know.

Second City IS Chicago school improv comedy, and this looks like a first attempt to take it to film. 10 years later SCTV became very entertaining with Rick Moranis, John Candy and Eugene Levy involved. All the elements of good stand-up comedy are here, and it's full of great throwaway lines. Sometimes it's shockingly funny (Xavier Cugat with toy poodles?). Larry Storch is prototype John Belushi, and his limo with cheap deflector shields is a prototype of the Animal House cake-car. Odetta singing hippie songs? Everett Dirksen quoting from the Bible with a giant bronze bust behind him? Different.

But as the first SCTV efforts were sloppy and uneven, this earlier film is even more so. All the great improv comedy fails to marry with the sci-fi theme and cheap psychedelia and it ends up falling flat. I had trouble staying awake.


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