When a spaceship lands on the moon, it is hailed as a new accomplishment, before it becomes clear that a Victorian party completed the journey in 1899, leading investigators to that mission's last survivor.
While driving through the desert with his wife Carol Marvin to a military base to send the eleventh rocket into Earth orbit to assist the exploration of outer space in Operation Sky Hook, Dr. Russell A. Marvin and Carol see a flying saucer and accidentally records a message on their tape recorder. Once in the base, Dr. Russell is informed by his father-in-law and general that the ten first satellites mysteriously fell back to Earth. When Dr. Russell decodes the message, he encounters the aliens, who ask him to schedule a meeting with the leaders of Earth in Washington in 56 days in order to invade Earth without panicking the population. Dr. Russell develops an anti-magnetic weapon that becomes the last hope of the human race against the hostile aliens.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Carol Marvin is invited to test the alien language translator, she recites "The quality of mercy is not strained/It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven" into the microphone. Although someone identifies the source as Shakespeare a moment later, the play is not named. The lines are from "The Merchant of Venice," Act IV, scene 1. It is the beginning of Portia's most famous speech in the play, speaking to the plaintiff, Shylock, while she is disguised as a "young male doctor of law" named Balthazar. See more »
Even though Ray Harryhausen told Joe Dante that all signs of suspension wires were painted out by hand, a wire can be seen when the saucer encounters the bomber. See more »
We operate in a very different time reference. You might say all this is happening between the ticks of your watch or the beats of your heart.
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A solid 1950's B-movie sci-fi with all the weaknesses that come with the genre
Dr Russell Marvin is working on experimental rockets launched into orbit around the earth to help with the advancement of space exploration. He has so far lost 11 rockets for unknown reasons. However on a drive with his wife they witness a flying saucer. No-one believes them but later the same saucers attack and massacre their military base leaving only them as survivors. They are told that the earth has 56 days to come quietly rather than spark a pointless war against superior forces. However Dr Marvin and his team begin work on a weapon to repel the forces.
With a title like that I didn't need to be told I was in 1950's B-movie `allegory for commies' territory and all that that entails. The plot is pretty straight forward and the film wastes no time in wading into it. The meaning of the plot is a little tasteless and blatantly spells out these invaders are `humanoids'. The thing that annoyed me was that the film ignored the fact that soldiers opened fire on the aliens first without knowing why they were there. True they were coming to invade but the `shoot first ask questions later' message wasn't very palatable.
The effects are OK for the time but of course look very shaky nowadays. However it is still enjoyable and the aliens do look a little creepy despite being very stiff looking. The action is OK but I never felt tense as the 56 days counted down, and the race for the weapon seemed to happen a little too easily. The final battle in Washington is pretty cool though.
The cast are as wooden and stiff as you'd expect in a B-movie but I suppose it all adds to the feeling of the film! There are some funny lines and much of the dialogue (and effects) has been spoofed in recent films but it is still worth a watch. Overall as a film it is pretty poor, but if you're in a mood for a bit of 50's sci-fi hokum then this will probably deliver what you're after.
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