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This Island Earth (1955)
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
However, surely the designer didn't mean to suggest that the Mutant's carapace physically merged with his pants! And yet, as Wayne pointed out, the note doesn't say the pants "end at mid-calf", it says they "change texture at mid-calf".

The drawing posted by Kidd was made for a proposed model kit by Aurora, rather than being the original costume design. That's why I surmised from the note that the artist for the Aurora figure was as puzzled as we are.
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the lifesize model that was actually constructed, the veiny lower leg blends right in to the pants.







However in another model he wears no pants and you can see the legs as originally conceived.


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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gord Green wrote:
... the legs as originally conceived.

What is the source of this being the original concept?
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Apparently the creator of the life-sized version wasn't as observant (and as logical) as Gord. Having pants that cover the legs — but do NOT combine the features of both cloth and the Mutant's varicose veins — is accurate according to the close up Gord presented.

As wonderful as the Mutant is, we all know he just puts on his pants one leg at a time like the rest of us! Very Happy

(And then he puts on his big clawed feet, because those things would NEVER fit through the pants legs! Shocked)

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder which was the major consideration for dressing the mutant: 1950s morality or cost reduction? Or perhaps both birds with one stone.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I imagine it might have been a bit cheaper to make the pants instead of the insect-like legs, and it might have made it a bit easier for the stunt man to get the costume on.

. . . and off when he needed to pee. Shocked

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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In many discussions on TIE it's discussed that legs more similar to the arms were constructed, but were too difficult to move when in use (I'll have to look for the original source of this.) so the decision made was to use pants to cover the legs so the actor in the suit could move more efficiently.

from Wikipedia:

"In a magazine article, the special effects department admitted that the "mutant" costume originally had legs that matched the upper body but they had so much trouble making the legs look and work properly they were forced by studio deadline to simply have the mutant wear a pair of trousers. Posters of the movie show the mutant as it was supposed to appear."

"Original print Information: This Island Earth (1955)." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: October 30, 2014.
6. Internet Movie Database Trivia
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WTF?

(The Italian translates as Citizen of Space.)

I see at least four separate movies represented in this artwork. The only thing that could possibly be from This Island Earth is the guy's head. Maybe it saves having to pay an artist for each movie. Just change the text.

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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From TV Tropes and others :

This Island Earth provides examples of:

Anti-Villain: Exeter, at the worst, is this. He later performs a full ⦁ Heel—Face Turn.

Exeter: What happened back there [the death of all the scientists] was beyond my control.
Meacham: What happened was mass murder!
Exeter: We're not all masters of our souls, Meacham.
Meacham: That's a nice phrase, coming from you.
Exeter: I learned it on Earth.

Artistic License — Physics: Lots of it.
Some examples:

⦁ The laboratory cat is called Neutron "because he's so positive". These people are meant to be nuclear physicists and yet they can't tell the difference between a neutron, which has no electric charge, and a positively-charged proton.

⦁ The Earth is surrounded by a "heat barrier" which causes the saucer's hull to glow red-hot, flame and smoke. Note this is well after they have left Earth's atmosphere, and only occurs when leaving Earth.

⦁ A similar effect occurs before Exeter crashes into the sea, but again, this is well after re-entry since Cal and Ruth have already disembarked.

⦁ Magnetic clamps hold flesh and blood fast.

⦁ The Zahgon planet used to be a comet.

⦁ The planet Metaluna is transformed into a sun by meteorite bombardment. Exeter claims that this new sun may warm other worlds some day, though it's not clear where he expects them to come from in defiance of the laws of orbital mechanics.

⦁ Conversion is a process necessary to allow a human or alien to transition from Earth to Metaluna air pressure and back. Yet converted and unconverted crew are exposed to the same ship air pressure without ill effect. The mutant does not fare so well.

⦁ Possibly we are meant to assume that the ship's atmosphere changes during the conversion process, although this is never made clear.

⦁ Cal's research is into how to turn lead into uranium.

⦁ Cal is introduced as an electronics expert, but by the time he joins Exeter's team he's a nuclear physicist, and finds it odd that Exeter isn't recruiting electronics experts.

Attack Its Weak Point:
The big-brained Mutants are unsurprisingly vulnerable to blunt trauma to the head.

Awesome Mc Coolname: Rex Reason. And that's his actual birth name, too.

Bittersweet Ending:
Sure, the Earth is saved, but the entire Metalunan race is wiped out by the Zagons.
The Metalunans weren't really evil, just desperate. And the movie ends with Exeter's ship crashing into the ocean in flames.

Bluff The Imposter:
A variation; Cal Meacham isn't an imposter, and Ruth doesn't think he is, but when she greets him at the airfield she fakes mis-remembering their last meeting, forcing him to fill in the details so she can be sure he hasn't been mind-zonked.

Cataclysm Climax:
Exeter and the humans escape Metaluna just in time to watch it go ker-blooey.

Chewing the Scenery:
Exeter's unnecessarily-dramatic commands to the Mutant. Possibly justified as this particular Mu-tant was malfunctioning.

Exeter: Stand back! I command you, STAND BACK!

Cool Chair:
Averted and played straight. The captain has a cool chair that bears some resemblance to a tricked-out chrome toilet, but in other ways Metalunan furniture technology is light-years behind Earth's. The "chairs" Cal and Ruth use are basically upright slabs with arm rests and a small ledge for the butt. (The lead actress revealed that their jumpsuits were so impossibly restricting that the chairs were the only way they could comfortably sit for extended periods.)

Cosmic Deadline:
The Monitor (Metaluna's President Evil) reveals that the Metalunans plan to relocate to Earth. Less than an hour later (in-universe time) Metaluna is destroyed, the mass exodus apparently never even getting off the ground.

Evil Is Petty:
The leader of Metaluna orders Cal and Ruth's brains to be wiped minutes before Metaluna is about to be destroyed.

Failed a Spot Check:
A rather bizarre example, in that Ruth and Carlson have detailed sketches of the "peculiar indentation" in Exeter's forehead but somehow have failed to notice that Exeter's forehead is seven inches high.

Green Rocks:
Interocitors can be used as communication devices, viewscreens, autopilots, road-layers, and of course,death rays.

Heroic Sacrifice:
Steve Carlson bought Cal and Ruth time by making the aliens think they blew up the car killing all three.

⦁ It's possible that was his intention, but it's also likely the aliens waited for Cal and Ruth to leave the car before killing the expendable Carlson. Cal and Ruth were then allowed to reach the aircraft, in which they were easily abducted.

Hollywood Darkness:
Our heroes attempt to sneak away from the aliens "under cover of afternoon."

Hyper-Competent Sidekick:
Joe Wilson is a highly competent assistant. Yes, he's already ordered replacement condensers, AND tested one of the weird beads that came in their place AND set up another bead ready for Cal to test himself.

It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY":
The big-brained bug people the Metalunans benevolently use as laborers aren't mutants, they're Mutants ("myu-TAHNT").
⦁ It's funny, in a way, because they have bug heads like ants and don't talk. Mute-Ants.

It Runs on Nonsensoleum:
Pretty much anything that Exeter says when he attempts to explain anything sciencey. Particularly the Mutant "Similar to your Earth insects, but larger of course," ignoring all the other clear differences. He also says that the clamps are magnetized and hold flesh and blood fast.

Jerkass:
Cal Meacham comes off as a bit of a smug jerk. He jokingly tells the reporters he "hopes you taxpayers don't mind" paying for his plane, says his lab assistant's wife would gain twenty pounds if she had access to the tools in the alien catalog, and keeps reminding Love Interest Ruth about how much of a sissy she is.

Mind Control:
⦁ The Thought Transformer is planned to be used when the Metalunans relocate to Earth.

⦁ Presumably it has been used on the scientists at the plantation as well. The way Ruth and Carlson talk, it's entirely possible that they and Meacham are the only three who haven't been mind-controlled.

My Brain Is Big:
The oddly-skulled Metalunans probably qualify, as do the Mutants, whose heads are at least 50% exposed brains.

Non-Action Guy:
Cal Meacham's most dramatic action is socking Exeter as they try to escape Metaluna. He also bonks an alien mutant on the head with a fire extinguisher, thus saving Exeter. For the rest of the movie he's either being led around by aliens or trying to flee them.

Planet Looters:
Initially, the Metalunans want our uranium so they can maintain the forcefield protecting their planet. But when their enemies attack before this is completed, they decide to relocate to Earth.

Same Language Dub:
during the approach to Metaluna, a deep voice reports as if over a powerful speaker system. It is disconcerting to realise that the voice is apparently coming from the pilot who's sat right behind the lead characters, and whose lip movements do not remotely sync with the announcements.

Space Is an Ocean:
At least when it comes to picking a title.
In explaining the cosmic war his people are waging Exeter compares Earth to a small Pacific island in the recently concluded World War II. He explains that the natives could not comprehend the conflict raging around them, but that they can, nonetheless, contribute something to the war effort, such as by building airstrips.

Spiritual Successor:
The Last Starfighter also involves a human drafted into an extraterrestrial conflict under somewhat similar circumstances.
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scotpens
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

orzel-w wrote:
I wonder which was the major consideration for dressing the mutant: 1950s morality or cost reduction? Or perhaps both birds with one stone.

Would a half-humanoid, half-insectoid creature even have genitalia -- at least, in the place where we're accustomed to seeing them?
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scotpens wrote:
Would a half-humanoid, half-insectoid creature even have genitalia -- at least, in the place where we're accustomed to seeing them?

In the '50s people were afraid of the possibility. After all...


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Krel
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gord Green wrote:
The "chairs" Cal and Ruth use are basically upright slabs with arm rests and a small ledge for the butt. (The lead actress revealed that their jumpsuits were so impossibly restricting that the chairs were the only way they could comfortably sit for extended periods.)

I can't remember the name of it, but it is a common chair in the movie industry. It is used for actors and actresses that have costumes where they can't use a regular chair, giving them a place to rest. There are photos of Anthony Daniels in the C-3PO costume using one of these.

David.
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

orzel-w wrote:
I wonder which was the major consideration for dressing the mutant: 1950s morality or cost reduction?

Third possibility: The pants provide some ventilation for the actor.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

__________

Starlog #15 had a great article about This Island Earth, and the Internet Archive.org has scans of that issue.

Robert Scotak and Scot Holton — the authors of the Starlog article — obviously have great respect for This Island Earth, based in the eloquent way they describe the film and the high praise they give it. The article offers much much more than just well-researched information about the production, it also describes what makes the movie so effective, and why it is so well remembered even today, sixty-two years later.

If you're a fan of This Island Earth, this article will definitely put you in the mood to watch it again soon! Very Happy


Click on each page here to see a large, easy-to-read version you can zoom in on. Click on the large version again, and then zoom in as close as you want!









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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:48 am; edited 5 times in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

____________________________

This is Brack's little brother — Broke. He's not very good at managing his money, and he's been known to sell defective Metalunan technology to gullible humans.





Bud (The beer-drinkin' cousin of Brack and Broke)

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
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