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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quatermass Saves The World!
The DVD version looks bright and sharp, although sound may not be up to scratch, although one should bear in mind that it is after all 44 years old! I remember watching this on Television during the winter of 1958/1959 and been sat on the edge of my seat throughout. Being in black and white, it has retained a wonderful atmosphere unlike the colour version made in 1967...
Published on 5 July 2002 by E. A. Redfearn

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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars British cinema at it's best.
Hollywood it ain't. With a typically British cast the main star is the script. Very intelligent and well paced- as it unfolds a gradual realisation and horror takes hold. Written by Nigel Kneale (who also wrote other masterpieces in the Quatermass series) this is a genre classic. If you love 'old' London it has a wealth of 'lovable' characters. Chirpy cockneys, officious...
Published on 13 Mar 2003 by marcusmuck


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SciFi triumph - has to be experienced to be believed!, 17 July 2001
By 
Ewan Carmichael (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In short, one of the best SciFi productions EVER. That it was produced in the 1950s, and recorded LIVE, makes it all the more impressive. Compulsory viewing for anyone with a SciFi/Cult/Horror/Classic TV interest. Chilling, atmospheric, intelligent, scary, horrific, compulsive - I could go on but won't. A top quality drama, very British, very black-and-white (if you don't understand what that means now, you will once you have seen it) - well worth watching!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BBC 1958/59 Live production which still thrills and chills, 9 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958] (DVD)
This is a DVD version of the 1958/59 BBC Live serial, which has never been fully repeated since 1961. The story (written by Nigel Kneale) concerns the discovery of an missile like 'object' in the vicinity of a building site in central London. This 'object' is quickly written off as a wartime V weapon, however strange events around the site start to happen, leading the scientist Quatermass to a different and much more terrifying conclusion. Stark lighting, primitive, but effective effects (by Jack Kine and Bernard Wilkie) and a very capable cast (Cec Linder and Andre Morrell), bring the whole production to a very tense highpoint in the sixth episode 'Hob'. Morrell is possibly best known today for his relatively brief role in the 1959 MGM 'Ben-Hur'. First of all and most importantly, this version of the BBC Live six part serial is a compilation version made in 1988. This means that there have been some very minor cuts and the removal of the original end credits (plus some recreated opening credits). If you are a purist, this might put you off buying, but there is only a slim chance that the BBC may eventually re-master the series again. This was the third Quatermass serial (the others being 'The Quatermass Experiment'(1953) and 'Quatermass II' (1955). It was also allocated the largest production budget of the three. The original Live camera feed was recorded on 35mm film and survives in this form. The picture quality is remarkably good for the time. Sound quality is also excellent. If you are interested in general science fiction with a layer of Horror thrown in, this production will surprise and entertain you. The most dramatic element of the serial is that the 'live' conditions make it seem more real than the more famous 1967 Hammer Film version. The programme was recently voted in as one of the BFI Top 100 British Tv programmes of all time.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Stuff, 24 Oct 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958] (DVD)
This is gripping stuff, and all the better as most of it was performed live. The only gripes I'd have with this release are that the original six TV episodes have been spliced together to make a whopping 3 hour long 'movie', and though there are chapters on the disk, it's hard to know when one starts and the other finishes. It would have been nice to have kept the original openig and closing sequences, but I'd imagine there was some technical difficulty, or it has something to do with the fact that this was originally release on VHS in 1995, and it had to be shortened to fit on the tape. As for the production, pretty good, and the ending is pretty exciting. If you're serious about TV science fiction, buy this DVD, but if you just like a good story, go for the 1967 Hammer film of this story, if you can find it in the UK!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My brother likes it., 28 Jan 2013
By 
J. Swales (Teeside, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958] (DVD)
I bought this dvd as a gift for my brother, he likes this sort of stuff and is very pleased with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quatermass And The Pit., 18 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958] (DVD)
This is the original BBC series and the best. It has stood the test of time well and is a lot better than the 1960's film, set in a cardboard tube station. There is something about black and white film which makes the program more eerie. If you are a Science Fiction fan' this is highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Scariest Thing Of It's Time, 31 Jan 2012
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958] (DVD)
For those of a certain age, `Quatermass & The Pit' became an almost infamous term back in the 1950's. Nigel Kneale's six-part serial was broadcast live on evening primetime. Each episode was preceded by a statement to the effect; `The following programme is not considered suitable for viewers of a nervous disposition". It was a piece of typical BBC understatement. I was about 7 years old at the time and begged my parents to let me watch it.

That was a mistake. Threatening cords boomed-out utter menace, as dust dribbled down from a stone tablet, revealing the program title. For a kid who had never seen anything scary before, this was jaw-dropping stuff. Scenes like those of electrician, Sladden, left to himself in the pit, as cables and wires writhed into life and just about everything else began flying, were the stuff of nightmares. Kneale seemed to have discovered the very essence of terror. Long before the series was through, I went from a normal kid without any care, to one who lay in bed quaking. It didn't help that we lived in an old house and birds had managed to nest in the roof. From time to time they would scuttle across the loft at night! For a couple of years after its screening, my solitary bedroom remained a place of fear, where unfamiliar shadows gathered and furniture might assume a life of its own.

Ahh, but that was then; this is now. Darkness holds no terrors at all. And the series? Well; by today's standards it's a bit hokey. It's not just the rather cheap effects; for me the problem with `The Pit' is the same problem with a lot of Kneale's TV work. The characters seem just too excitable, too confrontational, too melodramatic. It all gets a bit tiresome. This was especially true of his `Stone Tape' serial, and the `Beasts' series. It's a shame, because when Hammer brought his `Quatermass Experiment' & `Quatermass 2' to the cinema screen, the acting and dialogue were much more natural. Both remain stand-out movies, even today. Otherwise, the 6 episodes have been integrated into a 3-hour filibuster quite seemlessly. Little or no remedial work appears to have been done, giving it a rather faded, bleary appearance, which is actually quite charming, like original newsreel. For a live broadcast, the overall presentation worked surprisingly well.

Today, then; `Alien', `The Thing', et al, have raise the bar of horror to a level that has perhaps hardened our hearts a little. `The Pit' is more an educational archive of early TV horror than a scarefest in its own right. Slighty boring at times; I think 30 minutes could easily be edited and some of the more needlessly confrontational verbosity perhaps removed. I also believe that as a sound-effect, that bizarre `Quatermass oscillation' continues to be the most disturbing noise in horror or science fiction. I mean - what the devil is it?

Despite its latterday tameness, I'm still giving it 5-stars because at the time of broadcast it did exactly what it was supposed to do, and then some. But the price quoted here is absurd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you do not have this movie, hop to it., 31 May 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958] (DVD)
This is a story about Martian hybrids that came to colonize earth five million years ago. One of their ships went off course and ended up in the mud. The ship is found during a subway excavation and the fun begins.

When I was a youngster many movies gave me nightmares such as "It Came from Outer Space" (1953) where I kept seeing eyeballs. Now only one movie left to get over, you guessed it, this one. I can not look a grasshopper in the face. And as with most viewers I saw it on late night television as "Five Million Years to Earth"

This film is logical and spooky especially by 1960's standards. And you get all the stereotypes such as the military that is just determined that this object found buried is a bomb. It makes you want to slap him around. Then there is the professor that knows better and is ignored. I could go on. But you need to see this movie. The only thing that is stretching but fits in a sci-fi movie is the device that changes thoughts into pictures; see this setup again in "Brainstorm" (1983).

It Came From Outer Space ~ Richard Carlson
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quatermass Rules! OK?, 5 Dec 2000
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This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958] (DVD)
Confession: I'm not reviewing the DVD, only the video tape which I've had for years. Quatermass And The Pit is classy and classic. It's what was best about British SF and British TV in the late fifties. It oozes atmosphere and suspense. There are characters to love and others "the type I loathe on sight". Imagine the character of the early Dr Who series and you have an idea of this production. The 1967 remake, "Five Million Years To Earth" with James Donald as Quatermass, was a worthy successor but the original is better. For lovers of classic science fiction, this is a must-have!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not hi-fi sci-fi, but very original., 23 Feb 2009
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Brings back memories of the weekly slot which I watched over fifty yars ago. Pity that the original "Mars" from the Planets' suite as the opening music has been changed for something else - my only criticism. A truly gripping film, which builds up to a stunning conclusion - and it's great in black & white. I rate it on the same level as "2001 - space odyssey".
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Creeps, 27 Sep 2012
By 
James Wells "Cambyses" (KSA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958] (DVD)
I remember "The Pit" and the almost deserted streets during the broadcasts. Even the local police found a weak excuse to visit a local pub during the broadcasts.

Nigel Kneales script seemed to explain so many aspects of human behaviour and almost predicted one discovery. Since the discovery of DNA the biologists suggest that the apes and humans seperated off as species about six million years ago, which is when the Quatermass aliens were visiting Earth for humanoid specimens.

Andre Morell remains the best player of the main role although the other cast were very convincing. Even years later Morell was remembered for his part in this serial.

I'v always considered myself a rational man but at the time the sight of the aliens leaping and hopping gave me the creeps. I've since been to hard headed university but the sight of those aliens still gives me the creeps. Most cinema aliens seem almost laughable but these weren't

One final thought has to be that if such a space machine is found, the budget to visit the original planet of origin would be almost bottomless, it may not be what the human race is really looking for but at least would prove that we are not alone.
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Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958]
Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958] by André Morell (DVD - 2000)
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