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It Came from Outer Space (1953)
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The exact arrangement of any mirrors other than the primary "sacrificial" mirror eludes me for now. I'm inclined to agree with the idea that this mirror was partially silvered (or even plain glass) in order to see the background through it.

But I'm also noticing that the wisps of "haze" across the screen remain superimposed over the phantom mirror's frame as that frame becomes visible. I don't have a 3D version to look at, but does that haze appear to float in the foreground optically?

What we might be seeing could be the result some other mirror or glass to add the haze in the foreground. Such a glass or mirror could either have the haze painted directly on it or it could be reflecting from a painted "flat". Whatever arrangement they set up to achieve this effect may have been exposed by illumination from the meteor/ship.

Here's how such a setup might produce the image we're seeing.



Here the wisps of haze are painted on a black flat and reflected into the camera by a pane of glass (mounted in a frame). I've shown the setup with the central lines of sight perpendicular to each other and the reflecting glass and mirror at 45??, but they could be set at other angles for whatever practical reason.

In this arrangement the back side of the Haze Glass frame would be illuminated by the meteor when it passed the plane of the glass. The illuminated frame would then be visible in the Sacrificial Mirror.

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Last edited by orzel-w on Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pursuing this subject still further, I adjusted the angles slightly such that the axes of the camera and its views of the meteor and haze reflections are no longer strictly 90??. (It wouldn't matter for filming purposes, as long as they had what they wanted to see in the viewfinder and had the subjects positioned for proper lighting.)



Now as the meteor approaches its collision with the Sacrificial Mirror and begins to illuminate the far side of the Haze Glass frame, the reflection of one end of that frame becomes visible to the camera.



Keep in mind that the angles I came up with for this diagram all depend on several factors, such as the distances of the camera from the mirror and glass, the widths of the mirror and glass, and the angular width of the camera's field of view. I just adjusted these relatively so they work for this illustration. In other words, the diagram is not to scale, and merely suggests a possible explanation for the mystery frame seen toward the end of the shot.

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I'm still struggling with just what the "haze glass" does and how it's revealed in the last instant of the shot, but since my initial theory could offer NO reason for the "phantom mirror" to be behind the "main mirror", I didn't have much faith in it to start with. Sad

But your theory offers a reason for it to be there, and it definitely works better with regard to the way the approaching "meteor" provides an increased amount of light which illuminates the "haze mirror" in the last instant.

Good job, Wayne. Your theory is the best one to date! Very Happy

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I missed It Came from Outer Space because I was only five years old, but my mother took me to see This Island Earth in 1955 at a downtown theater at the age of seven, and I was plum dazzled by it.

I'd love to know when these two Universal classics were released on a double bill, and the thought that I might have been able to see them both together at the Roosevelt Drive-in in 1955 is an intriguing idea! Shocked



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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
I'm still struggling with just what the "haze glass" does...

Maybe I should have called it the "cloud glass". It's my hypothetical reflector for giving the clouds (haze) some 3D depth in relation to the hills in the background. I colored them blue in this frame:



I got the idea from noticing that the clouds were still visible over the mystery frame after the frame appears. It led me to believe that the clouds had been superimposed for additional 3D effect. As I mentioned earlier, I don't have a 3D version of the movie to check the 3D effect. I'm going strictly by the visibility of the clouds over the frame.

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Bogmeister
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

____________
__________ "It Came From Outer Space" Trailer

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An early alien-visitors-in-the-desert sf tale from which several later fifties sci-fi pics took their cue. It's based on a story (or rather, a treatment) by Ray Bradbury, screenplay by Harry Essex. The 1st sf film directed by Jack Arnold.

An alien ship crashlands in the desert; this is witnessed only by a couple, John Putnam (Richard Carlson) and Ellen (Barbara Rush), who are relaxing in the man's house on the outskirts of the local town. Putnam is an avid astronomer and is instantly fascinated by what all this may mean, but his 'head-in-the-clouds' reputation causes problems for him later. He's the only one who manages to catch a glimpse of the alien ship at the crater he investigates, before a landslide buries the evidence. Everyone else just figures it was a standard meteor and regard his comments as wild talk.


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Pretty soon, however, a couple of the local handymen are behaving strangely — because they're not the same handymen any longer. Complicating matters further is the local sheriff (Charles Drake), who has a thing for Ellen and is hostile towards Putnam.

It boils down to the question of whether the aliens are benign or might be fabricating claims about simply needing to make repairs to quickly depart. Putnam becomes the sole reasonable voice (though Ellen backs him up) as everyone else is prone to panic or distrust.

Putnam, however, has his own innate prejudices to overcome: near the final act, he demands to see the alien as it truly appears, in the belief that he can handle the alien appearance; but, it proves to be a bit much for him.


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This retains some of the ideas and even poetic tonality from Bradbury's story (it should, as Essex copied much of Bradbury's treatment, just adding some dialog) and is one of the more intelligent sf offerings of the fifties. The key elements are the mysterious quality of the desert (when something alien might be there) and the sense of paranoia (when someone may not be who he seems).

There's also a commentary on how mankind needs to evolve before contact and relations with such aliens can be attained without violence; this preconfigures many later sf properties, the big one being Star Trek. It lacks a true sense of excitement that informs the best sci-fi films — but it's a thoughtful, elegant approach to the subject matter.

BoG's Score: 7 out of 10



Trivia From Outer Space: one of the handymen is played by Russell Johnson, later the Professor on Gilligan's Island.





BoG
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is what I call the "Stellar Accelerator":





Butdid you know that this device was used in Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Go to Mats (1953) as a info storage device and spy communicator?



Sort of a precursor to the Krell library in Forbidden Planet, perhaps?
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Gord Green
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This movie holds up well....Especialy in sharp b&w. The 3-D effects are still effective in 2-D!
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