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

Price: £4.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Earth vs. the Flying Saucers [DVD] [1956] + This Island Earth [DVD] [1955] + It Came from Outer Space [DVD]
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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 (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UWUJ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,829 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Relive the exciting days of sci-fi movie matinees with the cult classic EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS! Featuring extraordinary visual effects by cinematic genius Ray Harryhausen, the film pits earthlings against alien humanoids in a violent battle for Earth's survival! When the zombielike aliens arrive at the U.S. Army base in search of help for their dying planet, they try to make friendly contact with scientist Dr. Russ Marvin (Hugh Marlowe) and his recent bride Carol (Joan Taylor). But the military greets their fleet of saucers with gunfire, and the aliens are forced to retaliate. Can Marvin invent the ultimate weapon in a deadly game of beat-the-clock to save the human race? Hold on to your seat for an intergalactic flight into fantasy with EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS!


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

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By stickinsect on 21 April 2009
Format: Blu-ray
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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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Nooj on 10 Jan. 2005
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 By Michael Bo on 18 Oct. 2004
Format: DVD
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By saint michael on 30 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm a sucker for these old black and white movies, or is it im showing my age! You have got to view film's such as these in context, particulary when they were produced. Naturally, "Independence Day" and other recent film's makes this film look clumsy and hopelessly out-dated, but take an imaginary seat alongside all those 1950's cinema patron's and imagine what effect such ideas and ideals had on them. Now, i know the aliens had "paper bin's" on their heads, and the U.F.O's didn't half wobble about, but i can see in my mind even now, those 1950's guy's and girl's exiting that cinema, and taking a sneeky peek up towards the sky, hoping that they never experience,(deep voice)"EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS!"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Sept. 2014
Format: DVD
Reports of flying saucers start coming in thick and fast until sure enough alien invaders begin to attack the Earth. Focal point of their attack is the U.S. Space Programe, can hero in waiting Russel Marvin conjure up a defence weapon to save the day?

Obviously a template for many an alien invader film since its release, Earth Vs The Flying Saucers never quite reaches the heights that perhaps it should have. Bogged down by maudlin scripting and restricted by its budget, it often hints at what a great picture it could have been. The lead cast are poor and this hurts the film even more, Hugh Marlowe as Russell Marvin bores us with the scientific speak when really he should be fascinating us, whilst scream queen duties fall to poor Joan Greenwood who forgets that she is actually supposed to emit some sort of terror when the alien hordes attack! However, on the plus side the aliens themselves are certainly creepy enough to grab your notice, Ray Harryhausen's flying saucers animation is of course top dollar for its time, whilst the final battle across Washington DC is classic gold, an all buzzing assault with splurges of death rays at every turn.

An important film in the pantheon of the genre for sure, but it's just a tad too restrained for its own good. 6/10
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