Also known as: The Invaders (working title)
Release Date: April 9th, 1953 (Detroit premiere)
Directed by: William Cameron Menzies
Written by: Richard Blake, John Tucker Battle
Music by: Raoul Kraushaar
Cast: Jimmy Hunt, Helena Carter, Arthur Franz, Morris Ankrum, Leif Erickson, Hillary Brooke
Edward L. Alperson Productions, National Pictures Corp., Twentieth Century Fox, 78 Minutes
“Please God, let them find Mom and Dad before something bad happens. I don’t want them to die too.” – David Maclean
I’ve seen the ’80s remake of this film a half dozen times or more. Weirdly, I’ve never seen the original one until now.
I’ve got to say that this was pretty enjoyable but one would have to be a fan of ’50s sci-fi cheese for this to work for them. Since I am a fan of this type of stuff, I was pleasantly surprised to see just how good and cool this picture was when compared to the other films like it from its era.
Side note: this was the first movie to show space aliens and their craft in color. It was paired with War of the Worlds on a double bill but it was the film that was featured first and thus, got the distinction of being the world’s first color alien invasion flick.
For a picture that was rushed through production, just so it could be paired with War of the Worlds, the finished product is really good. The picture is kind of enchanting and beautiful and now seeing it, I understand why they designed the sets and shot the remake the way that they did. In fact, the remake is pretty damn close to this movie with the only major difference being the design of the aliens and the fact that the remake was friggin’ bonkers (but in an awesome way).
The kid actor isn’t annoying, which is a big plus, and the rest of the cast was decent.
Most importantly, the aliens were rather unique and cool looking and it made the picture that much better for just how truly bizarre the Martians were, especially the leader.
In the end, this was an amusing movie that worked well for what it is.
Pairs well with: other sci-fi/horror pictures of the 1950s. Specifically, those dealing with alien invasion.