ALL SCI-FI Forum Index ALL SCI-FI
Nothin' but pure science fiction!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

It Came from Outer Space (1953)
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ALL SCI-FI Forum Index -> Sci-Fi Movies and Serials from 1950 to 1969
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 10387
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:45 am    Post subject: It Came from Outer Space (1953) Reply with quote

____

Jack Arnold directed this screen version of Ray Bradbury's short story, "The Meteor", about a crashed spaceship in the mid-western desert.

Overall, the story is pretty good, avoiding things that would later become clich??s, long before they even became clich??s. It's not an alien invasion yarn, it's an alien-in-distress yarn, and it gives us the most alien-looking aliens we've ever seen in a movie — even sixty-one years later. I mean, damn — just look at this guy!





And I promise you, we've never seen this creature head to foot (figuratively speaking) like it appears in THIS photo!




No arms or legs — much less hands — so apparently it floats around on pure brainpower, and it's got a 400 cubic-inch brain under the hood that would probably do zero-to-sixty in ten seconds flat!

And yet the FX guys gave it one big, wiggly-wobbly eye in the middle that makes the whole thing look thoroughly alive and wet-your-pants scary!

And since we never get to see the aliens as well in the movie as we do in these photos, I might be first person to ever ask this disturbing question . . .

What the hell is THIS thing? Shocked



How this creature managed to transform into a human within seconds is never even hinted at — but it can"t just be a hypnotic illusion, because Richard Carlson discovers that they stole clothes out of his closet, and we see the human version of Russell Johnson talking to the alien Russell Johnson, with the alien imposter wearing a pair of overalls it apparently found in the repair truck.

And yet a few seconds earlier that same alien's hand was smoky and transparent as it reached out towards Barbara Rush's shoulder before turning solid an instant later.

Admittedly we don't see the sleeve of the garment, so maybe they just needed the clothes for . . .

. . . for . . . ummm . . .

Okay, I got nothin'. Help me out, guys.

Anyway, the human characters are a nice assortment. Science writer Richard Carlson lives on the outskirts of a dried-up little town in an area that looks remarkably like the surface of those rocky earth-normal asteroids featured in Twilight Zone episodes. Rolling Eyes

Girlfriend Barbara Rush wins our foolish hearts in the first ten minutes with her flirtatious manner and her to-die-for face.





Charles Drake ("Tobor the Great") is the skeptical sheriff who can't figure out what's going on, but he wants to take immediate action anyway, just to be on the safe side. Russell Johnson plays both a human and an alien in his best sci-fi related role.



Bradbury's tendency to become a trifle too poetic is apparent in the dialogue when the characters wax philosophic from time to time, and frankly I wish they hadn't. When phone repairman Joe Sawyer stands on a ladder and tells us that the wind gets into the wires and talks from time to time, it's just a bit too ethereal for my taste.



The mushy scenes between Richard and Barbara at the beginning don't last long before a spherical spacecraft with a geodesic exterior ( -- and enough sparks falling off to give Smokey the Bear a stroke --) comes streaking down from the sky and smacks the desert hard enough to make a crater so deep that within a few weeks the little town will be organizing mule rides to be bottom, like they have at the Grand Canyon! Wink





Stalwart old Richard, however, hikes to the bottom on foot without any assistance just to see . . . well, I have no idea what he expects to see, but what he does see is worth the trip — and it gives us the best scene in the movie.



That big door closing is a right good special effect, friends and neighbors, and it still impresses me every time I see it.



Richard has to beat a hasty retreat when a landslide starts, covering the ship. Frankly I've never been able to figure out how the spaceship managed to hit hard enough to make a crater that deep and then push itself sideways into the mine shaft it winds up inside.

After Carlson climbs out of the crater and tries to tell people what he saw, none of the local authorities believe his story about a buried spaceship filled with alien invaders.

_

The movie employs some impressive indoor sets that work really well. I found two behind-the-scenes photos that are very impressive.





And I found the picture below on a website that offered no info about it — such as, why it shows a distant explosion being observed by Carlson and Rush when there's no scene like this in the movie!



Many fans of Jack Arnold's sci-fi films consider this one his best. I was just five years old when it came out, so I wouldn't have appreciated it then, but if they'd released it around 1958 I would have watched it all the way through without blinking a single time. Shocked

And it certainly got the full Hollywood treatment when it was released, judging by the photo below. Wow, I'd love to hop back in time and attend this little shindig.



The climax is a sci-fi Hootenanny with all the trimmin's -- a glimpse inside an alien spaceship, and a showdown between our heroes and the high-minded nonhumans willing to blow themselves up to keep their dangerous technology out of our hands.





The special effects are credited to David S. Horsly and Clifford Stine, the art direction to Bernard Herzbrun, and the makeup to Bud Westmore. One of the original designs considered for the aliens was later used as the Mutant from Universal's This Island Earth.

The film was originally released in both 3-D and stereophonic sound. This explains why so many scenes look strangely composed. Objects occasionally fly towards the camera or seem to be pushed toward the audience. In 3-D, these scenes worked as novelty FX. The title work was designed to float a few feet in front of the screen.

The fine music is by Henry Mancini -- often credited to Herman Stein as the head of the studio's music department.

_________________
____________
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:44 pm; edited 13 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Pow
Galactic Ambassador


Joined: 27 Sep 2014
Posts: 1263

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely one of the more intelligent & thoughtful sf films from the 50s.

Barbara Rush was married to Jeff Hunter who would make the very first Star Trek pilot as Captain Chris Pike.

Charles Drake would guest star on ST in the episode The Deadly Years.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 10387
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Pow!

(I've been waiting for the right moment to say that . . . Very Happy)

Interesting facts, sir. Thanks.

_________________
____________
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:18 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eadie
Space Sector Admiral


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 1088

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same picture you posted of the Xenomorph but brightened to show the background.



It looks like a guy in a dark sweater with a shirt under the sweater holding the Xenomorph on a stick. I wonder if Jeff Dunham (Ahmed the Dead Terrorist, etc.) knows of this?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Krel
Space Sector Admiral


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 1143

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have read that the figure of Richard Carlson standing in front of the spaceship in the long shot is a marionette.

David.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 10387
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

__________________________________

The original prints of this movie (and the ones used for the old VHS tape) had a strange flaw in the scene of the "meteor" racing straight at the camera. There seems to be a large mirror on the left side of the frame, visible at the last instant of the shot.





So, I was delighted when I saw that it had been removed from the most recent DVD. These screen grabs were taken about a half second apart.















The mirror is gone!

In the original scene, the right edge of the sphere is suddenly cut off at the last instant, and the mirror quickly comes into view on the left. It looks like they moved the image to the left to leave out the mirror, and then stuck in a digital FX on the right to fill the gap.


__


I wasn't surprised when I checked Mr. Weaver's commentary and heard no mention of the missing mirror. Very Happy

And while I was doing that, I put on my headphones and discovered they had fixed that unfortunate problem with the reversed stereo: the blazing ball of sparks travels from right to left on the screen -- and the sound effect moves from right to left too, as it should. Very Happy

You can watch the original version (with the mirror) in the trailer on this YouTube video.

_________________
____________
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Robert (Butch) Day
Galactic Ambassador


Joined: 19 Sep 2014
Posts: 1486
Location: Arlington, WA USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:07 pm    Post subject: Re: It Came from Outer Space - (1953) Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
... Anyway, the human characters are a nice assortment. Science writer Richard Carlson lives on the outskirts of a dried-up little town in an area that looks remarkably like the surface of those rocky earth-normal asteroids featured in Twilight Zone episodes.

Mostly Victorville (for the town) and Palmdale (for some of the desert scenes), both in California.

Bud Brewster wrote:
Girlfriend Barbara Rush wins our foolish hearts in the first ten minutes with her flirtatious manner and her to-die-for face.


She still looks great and turns 89 on Monday, January 4, 2016!



Bud Brewster wrote:
That big door closing is a right good special effect, friends and neighbors, and it still impresses me every time I see it.

Even more remarkable it created an urban legend. According to Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Came_from_Outer_Space:

Urban legend has it that an extra in an Army corporal's uniform seen at the "meteor" crash site is comedy writer-performer Morey Amsterdam. While the briefly glimpsed extra does indeed resemble Amsterdam, no hard evidence (e.g., cast call bureau records, interviews with Amsterdam) has ever confirmed this is actually him. The most recent DVD re-release of It Came from Outer Space comes with a documentary, "The Universe According to Universal" It was written and directed by David J. Skal and has audio commentary by Tom Weaver, in which Weaver notes the extra's similarity to Morey Amsterdam.


Bud Brewster wrote:
And it certainly got the full Hollywood treatment when it was released, judging by the photo below.




And some extras we never saw (Nat "King" Cole and Russ Morgan)!

Bud Brewster wrote:
The fine music is by Henry Mancini -- often credited to Herman Stein as the head of the studio's music department.

The uncredited music score for the film was composed by Irving Gertz, Henry Mancini, and Herman Stein.

ABOUT THAT EXPLOSION SCENE. This might be either a 'Behind-The-Scenes' or alternative shot of the truck crashing - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045920/trivia?tab=gf&ref_=tt_trv_gf:

When the posse shoots the alien Frank while driving the truck, he crashes head-on into the rock. But when the next shot shows the burning truck it is facing away from the rock.

_________________
Common Sense ISN'T Common
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
alltare
Quantum Engineer


Joined: 17 Jul 2015
Posts: 306

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw this the first time as a kid. Two 3D scenes were impressive enough to me that I still remember them vividly today. The first was at the beginning of the movie, when Carlson and Rush were looking through his telescope. He swung the scope around toward the camera and I flinched out of its way. A couple of bud's stills, above, are from that scene. The other memorable scene was when Sawyer was working at the top of the telephone pole. The camera looked down on Sawyer from above, and past him down the ladder to the people on the ground. The depth of the 3D image was very effective. Another of Bud's stills is from that scene, but taken at a different angle. Both of these scenes are still on the flat DVD, but it's pretty obvious that they were intended for the 3D camera.

Is there any news of an upcoming 3D disc?

I don't know where I read or heard the following about the flaw in the meteor footage:

The incoming meteor prop was reportedly a heavy metal sphere with hexagonal cutouts, with some kind of flare or sparkler inside. From a distance, it was slid down a long wire toward the camera as it burned. The "post" seen above the meteor is the equipment suspending it from the wire. Cameras are expensive, so it was actually a mirror that the meteor crashed into, while the camera viewed the meteor's reflected image at a safe distance. The square thing to the left of the approaching meteor is actually part of that mirroring system. I can't quite figure out the relative positions of camera, mirror, and meteor in that shot, but this explanation makes more sense than anything else I've read.

I like the snazzy crash bars on the front of the linemen's truck.

This makes 3 situations in which Russell Johnson has been marooned or stranded (Gilligan, Crab Monsters, & ICFOS). He's also been on 3 islands (Gilligan's, Crab Monsters', & This ISLAND Earth).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
orzel-w
Galactic Ambassador


Joined: 19 Sep 2014
Posts: 1847

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:58 pm    Post subject: Re: It Came from Outer Space - (1953) Reply with quote

Robert (Butch) Day wrote:


And some extras we never saw (Nat "King" Cole and Russ Morgan)!

The word on the marquee just ahead of "NAT 'KING' COLE" is "PLUS". So that was probably a separate musical short of Nat singing a song accompanied by Morgan's orchestra.
_________________
...or not...

WayneO
-----------
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 10387
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:53 am    Post subject: Re: It Came from Outer Space - (1953) Reply with quote

Robert (Butch) Day wrote:
When the posse shoots the alien Frank while driving the truck, he crashes head-on into the rock. But when the next shot shows the burning truck it is facing away from the rock.

By a strange coincidence, I made this screen shot today for a reply to a Tom Weaver post on CHFB about the crashed telephone truck.

The burning wrecking appears to be a old car chassis with a section of scaffolding laid across it to look like the truck's motorized ladder. Note that it really isn't a ladder at all.

The shot is very brief.



_________________
____________
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 10387
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I just found this announcement on the discussion board called Sci-Fi and Fantasy We Used to Watch.


New 3-D Bluray of IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953) is outstanding!


__________


And you'll enjoy this Youtube video with Bob Furmanek, Founder and CEO of the 3-D Film Archive, and a group of friends discussing their first screening of the 3D BD version of the movie.

Classic Movies & More - Preview #ItCameFromOuterSpace New Restoration 3-D Bluray


_________

_________________
____________
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 10387
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alltare wrote:
I saw this the first time as a kid. Two 3D scenes were impressive enough to me that I still remember them vividly today.

The first was at the beginning of the movie, when Carlson and Rush were looking through his telescope. He swung the scope around toward the camera and I flinched out of its way. A couple of bud's stills, above, are from that scene.

The other memorable scene was when Sawyer was working at the top of the telephone pole. The camera looked down on Sawyer from above, and past him down the ladder to the people on the ground. The depth of the 3D image was very effective. Another of Bud's stills is from that scene, but taken at a different angle.

Both of these scenes are still on the flat DVD, but it's pretty obvious that they were intended for the 3D camera.

I sincerely wish I'd seen this movie when I was a kid, and seeing it 3D would have been a magnificent experience!

Unfortunately I first saw it on TV in the 1970's (and a very small TV at that, the one shown below), so it just never had a chance to make the kind of great first impression it deserved on my young, sci-fi lovin' mind.



Over the years I've tried to upgrade my enthusiasm for it by watching the fine DVD (with dramatic stereo sound), and enhancing the experience by selecting just right evening and guzzling down just the right number of beers. Unfortunately it's true what Thomas Wolfe said.

You can't go back home . . .

_________________
____________
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Krel
Space Sector Admiral


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 1143

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When Richard Carlson's character tells the government about the shootout with the Alien, how long do you think it will take the government to excavate the mine to get the cadaver and raygun?

David.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 10387
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

Hey, that's a good point! Very Happy

Oh, but wait a minute . . . Carlson was totally sympathetic towards the aliens, so he'd realize that if the government learned important info about the aliens' physiology and technology, they'd be fearful and want to "get ready for them" when they came back.

Knowledge of the aliens' physiology might make it possible to create a biological weapon that would harm the aliens — or perhaps the study of the alien's remains might release a dangerous microorganism on Earth!

Reverse engineering the device the dead alien fell into the pit with might allow the government to produce a powerful new weapon . . . but an international struggle over the weapon's secrets could lead to conflict — and even war!

We should also remember that Carlson's character was a writer of articles for science publications, so he'd be caught on the horns of dilemma (a painful situation, I'm told, especially if it's full grown dilemma with large horns. Shocked)

He could make a fortune writing articles about his experience with the first aliens mankind has ever encountered. But if he revealed too much, the very situation Krel described would occur — along with the consequences I just suggested.

On the other hand, there's little chance that droves of government agents and scientist would NOT go into the abandoned mine and dig for whatever they could find, even if Carlson never utter a word about his encounter.

By gum, there's a wealth of material here for a sequel to this classic, which of course would include the return of the aliens, several years after their first encounter. They might have learned (from intercepted radio and television broadcast) that some of the things I described were happening here on Earth, and these scrupulously moral beings might feel responsible.

Perhaps they've got a moral code or an official policy which precludes them from causing any kind of interference with alien species of lower intelligence and less advanced technology than themselves.

This would be like a Prime Law . . . or an Imperative Directive . . . you know, something like that.

Just a thought, folks. Cool

_________________
____________
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 10387
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

My God, why didn't I think of this when I read Alltare's post a few hours ago!


alltare wrote:
This makes 3 situations in which Russell Johnson has been marooned or stranded (Gilligan, Crab Monsters, & ICFOS). He's also been on 3 islands (Gilligan's, Crab Monsters', & This ISLAND Earth).

Imagine a spoof of Gilligan's Island with Russel Johnson (produced just a few years after that sitcom went off the air) in which the Professor is frantically trying to protect his little band of castaways from a sudden rash of sci-fi related threats!

First there's an attack of giant crabs which threaten the helpless group, and the Professor battles them by arming the castaways with a series of hastily constructed (but absolutely lethal) hand-weapons — made almost entirely of bamboo, of course.

In the midst of the battle, an alien spaceship crash lands! Hideous aliens begin to abduct the castaways one-by-one and replace them with replicas! But the replicas soon prove to be much more intelligent than Gilligan, Ginger, Skipper, or Mr. and Mrs. Howell.

Mary Ann remains a bonafide human, and she's the lovely heroine to the Professor's hero. Together they work with the strangely unemotional (but surprising smart) lookalikes, completing the professors bamboo Crab Monster Guns in record time.

The Crab Monsters are defeated, and the aliens allow the real castaways to rejoin their friends after the Professor brilliantly diagnoses what caused their spaceship to crash-land on the island.

With his help, the aliens fix ship with a few pieces of carefully placed bamboo, and then they ask the Professor if he'd be interested in coming back with them to their planet. They beseech him to help win a terrible interplanetary war with a savage race called the Zagons!

The Professor agrees, and in a highly emotional scene, he takes Mary Ann into his strong and intelligent arms to bid her a tearful farewell . . . but she tells him he's going nowhere without her, by gum, because she's loved him for years (something we've ALWAYS known, right? Oh yeah, Baby! Very Happy)

They wave goodbye to their fellow castaways, board the spaceship and fly off into the sky.

Just minutes after this, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines surround the island in hopes of capturing the UFO that was tracked on radar when it entered the Earth's atmosphere a few hours earlier!

The castaways become international celebrities when the world learns that they made first contact with visiting aliens (not to mention defeating Crab Monsters with advanced weapons made of common bamboo), and they become the darlings of the talk show circuit and the game shows like Family Feud.

Meanwhile, the Professor and Mary Ann help the aliens defeat the Zagons, and the grateful nonhumans make them royalty on the home world after he and Mary Ann have the Wedding of the Century, celebrated across the galaxy.

Emperor Roy Hinkle (his real name, as we all know) and Lady Mary Ann Hinkle live long and happy lives, founding a dynasty that brings peace and prosperity to the civilized worlds of the Milky Way Galaxy.

They also terraform thousands of inhospitable planets simply by introducing a hardy strain of bamboo which converts the atmosphere into oxygen and the perfect blend of trace gases — along with providing an inexhaustible supply of a renewable resource which can be used as a building material for almost anything a struggle colony world might need!

(Come on, guys, admit. Can I write science fiction, or what? Very Happy)

~ I promise I'll add pictures to this post in day of so. Like, pictures of the Professor and Mary Ann and Gillian and Mary Ann and Skipper and Mary Ann and Ginger.

But I'll take just a moment to add one right now.


"Citizens of the United Worlds, all rise for Lady Mary Ann Hinkle, Galactic Empress!"



_________________
____________
Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    ALL SCI-FI Forum Index -> Sci-Fi Movies and Serials from 1950 to 1969 All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group