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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It Came From Outer Space (1953)

You simply can't have much more fun than watching It Came From Outer Space.  This is a delightful alien invasion story with a monster that's so bad it's good.  I especially enjoyed the "one-eye cam" where we see the world from the monster's perspective.  This one is right up there with Forbidden Planet as the best of 1950's Sci-Fi.  A delight from start to finish.

The basic story is a familiar one: a spaceship from another planet crashes in the Arizona dessert.  Everyone assumes it's a meteor except for school teacher and astrologer John Putnam who knows its a spaceship filled with aliens.  Richard Carlson [Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Little Foxes] is perfect as Putnam.  He gets every scene right, striking the perfect emotional tone with lots of energy and conviction.  His femme fatale is Ellen Fields, played by Barbara Rush [When Worlds Collide, Peyton Place], who is equally as strong as her male counterpart.  Naturally she's coiffed to perfection but is hardly a "helpless bimbo."  Instead she is strong and self-assured and helps her man triumph in the end.  The rest of the cast is great as well.  Not a weak link in the bunch.

The script for It Came From Outer Space has its origins in a story by famous Sci-Fi writer Ray Bradbury.  Harry Essex [Creature from the Black Lagoon] fashions it into a smart and solid screenplay.  It's as good as Them! which is another one of my favorite 1950's Sci-Fi features.  Director Jack Arnold [Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Incredible Shrinking Man] keeps the action moving at a good pace.  He also wisely makes the human characters the focus of the film rather than the aliens.  This is a good choice because the look of the space monsters is laugh out loud funny.  But because it's such a good human drama the silly monsters actually make it all the more enjoyable.

I could go on but I think you get my point.  If you're a fan of 1950's movies, don't miss this one.  Great movie!

RATING: Excellent.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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