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Earth vs. the Flying Saucers [DVD] [1956]

Hugh Marlowe , Joan Taylor , Fred F. Sears    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Price: 5.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers [DVD] [1956] + When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] + This Island Earth [DVD] [1955]
Price For All Three: 19.60

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Product details

  • Actors: Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor, Donald Curtis, Morris Ankrum, John Zaremba
  • Directors: Fred F. Sears
  • Writers: Bernard Gordon, Curt Siodmak, Donald E. Keyhoe, George Worthing Yates
  • Producers: Charles H. Schneer, Sam Katzman
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Oct 2002
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UWUJ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,878 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Notable neither for its director nor its stars, Earth vs the Flying Saucers has been given the widescreen DVD treatment rather because of its special-effects man, the legendary Ray Harryhausen.

A Twilight Zone styled voiceover introduces Dr Marvin Russell and his wife of two hours as they're buzzed by an overhead flying saucer--the first of many. When a translation device reveals the saucer-occupants' fiendish plan to take over the world, it's time for a good old army-alien punch-up. Cue screenfuls of avuncular patriarchs, loads of techno-flannel space-speak and plenty of gratuitous American-monument destruction.

A by-numbers B-movie, this is only really notable for Harryhausen's stop-motion FX work--and though this, his fifth feature, isn't a patch on his later Technicolor masterpieces, his trick of demolishing facsimiles of recognisable landmarks is cited by many premier filmmakers as being hugely influential on their work. This is very much of its time, the saucer-people arousing few of the thrills engendered by his later creations (Sinbad's Cyclops, for example). And with Cold War fears now just a memory, the Ruskies, or rather aliens, can no longer prevail upon a zeitgeist of xenophobic paranoia for their power.

On the DVD: Earth vs the Flying Saucers's black-and-white picture is clean and crisp in this anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer and the Dolby digital mono soundtrack is clear enough. The theatrical trailer will please fans of kitsch, as will the featurette "This Is Dynamation" produced at the same time as the first Sinbad movie. The real corker here though is the generously proportioned documentary "The Harryhausen Chronicles": narrated by Leonard Nimoy, it features a stellar cast of devotees (George Lucas among them) waxing lyrical about the influence of Harryhausen's films, and allows the man himself to ramble fascinatingly over clips of his filmic canon. If you're a fan, it's Harryhausen heaven. --Paul Eisinger

Product Description

A Ray Harryhausen sci-fi movie. A flying saucer arrives at a US airbase looking for help in saving a dying planet. The inhabitants have tried to contact a Dr. Russ Marvin (Hugh Marlowe) to let Earth know they have come in peace, but the army opens fire and the fleet of UFOs that is waiting in the sky has to retaliate. With the task of trying to save the entire human race, Dr Marvin has to find the aliens' achilles heel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sci-fi classic on Blu-ray 21 April 2009
Earth vs The Flying Saucers comes to HD in nicely restored black and white and newly colourised versions, with loads of extras. If you feel inclined you can even switch between black and white and colour while watching the movie, using the angle button on the remote control. I preferred the black and white version which is significantly sharper and cleaner, and with better greyscale, than the original DVD edition. But the colourised version is equally impressive in muted pastel tones which suit the era of the movie. The sound has been remixed into 5.1 surround, although the surround effects are minimal. The extras are worthwhile and add to the enjoyment of this movie. These include an informative audio commentary with Ray Harryhausen and others, Remembering Earth vs The Flying Saucers featurette (21:25), The Hollywood Blacklist and Bernard Gordon featurette (29:27), Interview With Joan Taylor featurette (17:29), Colorisation Process featurette (11:02), Original Screenplay Credits (3:16), Photo Gallery (23:20), Earth vs The Flying Saucers Comic Book, and Theatrical Trailers for 20 Million Miles To Earth, It Came From Beneath The Sea, and The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad. All featurettes are in 16:9 widescreen in SD. This is a great Blu-ray release which I score an 8 out of 10. The disc loses two points for not including the theatrical trailer for Earth vs The Flying Saucers, The Harryhausen Chronicles featurette, Earth vs The Flying Saucers featurette, This Is Dynamation featurette and original mono sound from the original DVD release. Is the Blu-ray disc worth double dipping? Yes, for the significant improvement in picture quality and the new extras, but keep your original DVD edition for the original extra features.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mars Attacks?? 10 Jan 2005
By Nooj
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Tim Burton, see me after class for copying someone elses' work!
This has to be the inspiration for Mars Attacks, the spinning saucers, translating the alien language, the saucers flying over the cities and landmarks of the world, especially the Washington Monument scene, the Death-Ray the saucers use, even the way the saucer-men are beaten in the end. If you've seen Mars Attacks, you need to see this as well.
The big difference being though, that this film isn't a comedy. Well, not intentionally, the usual 50's Sci-Fi bad acting, laughable dialogue and ridiculous costumes are all there, but this film has an ace up it's sleeve, the hero of the film. Not the lead actor, oh no, the special effects guy.
Ray Harryhausen's effects make this film 10 years ahead of it's time. People are knocking out less convincing animation today, the guy is a genius in his field. Also the direction has quite a 'modern' feel to it, the story flows like something from the 90's rather than the 50's, perhaps helped along by the way Harryhausen shoots his scenes, his lighting and timing are spot on.
These two elements make this film stand head and shoulders above its contemporaries, it's 50's Sci-Fi, B-movie trash for the thinking man.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome scifi 18 Oct 2004
Whatever your prejudices against the genre, this is one 1950s scifi that you owe it to yourself to watch. I am only gradually becoming convinced that the genre is worthwhile, and this title is a jewel in its crown. So what if the director and even all its stars are complete unknowns, and that the special effects director Ray Harryhausen is the most household name here.
The film is so well-scripted that modern-day scifi epics ought to take notice and make a little more effort. Relationships are beautifully and organically interwoven, and the spectacular scenes of destruction are sublimely imaginative and astonishingly well-crafted, not likely to be forgotten any day soon.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They don't make them like this any more! 29 Jan 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Fans of Ray Harryhausen may want to know that there are none of the monsters that make his work so well loved in this film. His work in this film is on the flying saucers, and the various scenes of them crashing.
The story line is entertaining, and the acting is not bad. The aliens are pretty low budget, which to new viewers will be funny, though obviously this was not the intention at the time.
There are none of the stupid gung-ho type charecters we get in such films now (Will Smith, I'm looking at you!), and there is a little more depth in terms of exploring the reaction to finding the existance of aliens.
Good family fun.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien brainteasers 22 May 2010
By bernie VINE VOICE
Too many rockets seem to be going astray lately. Combine this with mysterious lights in the sky and you have some suspicious scientists. This is explained early on in the movie when recently married Dr. Marvin (Hugh Marlowe) and Carol Marvin (Joan Taylor) are making thinly valid romantic overtures and they are approached by (you guessed it) a flying saucer. What can this encounter mean? What are the consequences if they do not figure it out soon, as "Earth vs. The Flying Saucers"?

Why brain teasers? Watch when Maj. Huglin, Liaison Officer (Donald Curtis) is fool enough to look up when he is inside the saucer.

This movie has just about everything you need for a good sci-fi film. It has a 50's feel (probably because it is a 50's movie.) It has Ray Harryhausen effects Vs nondescript CGI. And you recognize Hugh Marlowe from "The Day The Earth Stood Still". At one point you can say don't look up (oops too late). More to the point, it is just down right fun to watch.

Of course, this film was made before Blu-ray yet it is a perfect candidate for the big screen and high definition. There is no fuzzy filming in this presentation.

Bamboo Saucer
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Earth vs the Flying Saucers
Brilliant 50's black and white sci fi.
Really for the addicts of this genre.

Effects are low budget, as to be expected by todays standards, but at the time I... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Chas Tidswell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Special effects rather ropy but for the era that it was made they are not bad at all, a classic B movie that is great for a rainy day and a classic.
Published 10 days ago by Peter White MA 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
The 1950's was the cinematic decade of sci-fi flics, for the 'big bug' and awakened prehistoric beast, radiation kind and thirdly, the outter space kind in which either we go out... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michael Sommer
3.0 out of 5 stars 50s sci-fi
If you are a fan of these films then its okay,but even in Blu-ray its still very grainy.The acting in some scenes is laughable,but enjoyable
Published 2 months ago by Pauly
5.0 out of 5 stars Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
Top picture quality and sound very good picture picture quality a few very good extras just as good as As all films are I suggest you buy this film is to
science fiction... Read more
Published 4 months ago by paul block
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
If you are of this era, or just remember this, then you will not be is as was a wonderful, cheesey, fantastic film from start to finish...worth the money? Read more
Published 5 months ago by al
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad B-Movie
I remember seeing this many years ago as a kid and thinking it was awesome, and i had the trailer for it on a VHS tape... Read more
Published 6 months ago by captain scarlet
5.0 out of 5 stars great old film
its so good to be able to see these old films again on dvd. wonderful family fun, and something totally different.
Published 13 months ago by Margaret Rea
5.0 out of 5 stars Very watchable Old Movie
Forget the nonsense of reviewers who say these old films are trash, or similar. When you buy a dated movie (1950/60s) you KNOW the effects are going to be reasonbly limited to what... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Wessex Man
4.0 out of 5 stars "When an armed and threatening power lands uninvited in our capitol,...
Offering leading man Hugh Marlowe a rare chance to get away from his weaselly supporting roles and play the hero for once, Earth Vs. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Trevor Willsmer
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