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Invaders from Mars (1953)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 22 April 1953 (USA)
A young boy learns that space aliens are taking over the minds of earthlings.

Writer:

Richard Blake (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Helena Carter ... Dr. Pat Blake
Arthur Franz ... Dr. Stuart Kelston / Narrator
Jimmy Hunt ... David MacLean
Leif Erickson ... Mr. George MacLean
Hillary Brooke ... Mrs. Mary MacLean
Morris Ankrum ... Col. Fielding
Max Wagner ... Sgt. Rinaldi
William Phipps ... Sgt. Baker (as Bill Phipps)
Milburn Stone ... Capt. Roth
Janine Perreau ... Kathy Wilson
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Storyline

One night, young David McLean sees a spaceship crash into a nearby sandpit. His father goes to investigate, but comes back changed. Where once he was cheerful and affectionate, he's now sullen and snarlingly rude. Others fall into the sandpit and begin acting like him: cold, ill-tempered and conspiratorial. David knows that aliens are taking over the bodies of humans, but he'll soon discover there have been far more of these terrible thefts than he could have imagined. The young doom-monger finds some serious help in a lady doctor and a brilliant astronomer. Soon they meet the aliens: green creatures with insect-like eyes. These beings prove to be slaves to their leader: a large, silent head with ceaselessly shifting eyes and two tentacles on either side, each of which branches off into three smaller tentacles. It's up to the redoubtable earth trio to stop its evil plans. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

NATURAL or SUPERNATURAL? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Invaders See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$290,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Supercinecolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several well-known actors appear with very small parts. Among them are: Todd Karns playing Jimmy the gas station attendant who was also in 1946 It's a Wonderful Life as Harry Bailey; Lock Martin was the martian mutant carrying little David in the underground tunnel, and was also in 1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still as the giant robot Gort; Millburn Stone who was searching the sand area with a detector to locate the underground martians, was also in Gunsmoke for many years as Doc Adams; and Barbara Billingsley playing Kelston's secretary also played Mrs. Cleaver as Beaver's mother in Leave it to Beaver. See more »

Goofs

After Dr. Blake is knocked unconscious, the drones roll her over to place the mind control device in her neck. As they roll her over, the actress clearly helps them move her. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The heavens. Once an object of superstition, awe, and fear. Now a vast region for growing knowledge. The distance of Venus, the atmosphere of Mars, the size of Jupiter, and the speed of Mercury. All this and more we know. But their greatest mystery the heavens have kept a secret. What sort of life, if any, inhabits these other planets? Human life, like ours? Or life extremely lower in the scale? Or dangerously higher? Seeking the answer to this timeless question, forever seeking, ...
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Alternate Versions

Because of pressures from UK censors the original ending of the American version was altered: it was believed that ending was too depressing and a more upbeat coda was appropriate. The British distributor recalled the cast and filmed new sections (with a dramatically older juvenile lead) to serve this purpose. This is the version referred to in a previous "alternate version" post. When Wade Williams obtained rights to "Invaders From Mars" he discovered that the original negative had been cut. For home video release, he constituted a "third" version of the film that contained some of the material from the UK version cut into the original American release, but retained the American ending (the "dream turns into reality" ending). See more »

Connections

Featured in The Force on Thunder Mountain (1978) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Good & Bad Of 'Invaders From Mars''
30 December 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

A little boy is the star of this film, and he does a fine job acting. Jimmy Hunt is his name, and he didn't have a big career acting, "retiring" at the end of the following year (1954). He was a decent child actor, as he shows here. He did come back to be part of the remake in 1986, playing the police chief and uttering one ironic and inside-joke line.

I thought the best part of this 1953 sci-fi classic was the beginning where Hunt really took center stage as the kid who saw a Martian UFO crash-land in a nearby area and then saw what the aliens did to his parents and others. I appreciated the fact the film didn't overdo the "we-don't-believe-the-dumb kid-angle. I presumed they were going to go on and on about that, but they didn't. He got a good ally soon and it wasn't too long where people woke up to what was happening. This was made in the era, unlike the last few decades, in which Hollywood portrayed the U.S. military as the good guys.

There is no need to go into story details. The fun of the film is the corny lines here and there and, of course, the horrible special-effects, some of which will make you laugh out loud.

This was meant to scare kids 55 years ago but now, as adults, we just look at these films as "campy" or "cheesy" entertainment to give us laughs, and keep us entertained. For the most part, this film delivered in those areas. You can't take any of it seriously because it's too hokey for that. I was sorry to see them use stock footage. That really wasn't needed because the story and acting were acceptable enough, and the dialog dumb enough to be entertaining. Still, don't expect a "masterpiece," or something that is so bad, it's great. It's kind of somewhere in the middle.

Generally speaking, I enjoyed this film, but after hearing some rave reviews, expected a little more. My major complaint - and it only one - is that it lags halfway through, until the last 20-or-so minutes.


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