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It Came From Outer Space is one of the better films brought to life in the golden age of science fiction. It is not an alien invasion story; rather, it develops and explores the ambivalence of man's own scientific progress in regards to the unknown. The aliens are not Martians; they are quite un-E.T.-like "monsters" who hide themselves. They seem to know one of the tragic secrets of humanity--it very often hates and destroys that which it does not understand. The story starts with amateur astronomer John Putnam (Richard Carlson) and his fiancée Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush) looking at the stars and engaging in some lovey-dovey conversation; suddenly, a giant fireball goes sailing across the sky and strikes the earth with a terrific impact. Putnam and Fields rush to the site via helicopter, and Putnam goes down into the crater to examine the "meteorite." He finds a ship lodged in the ground and senses a presence there; before he can peer into the ship's interior, the door closes and a landslide covers everything up. Putnam fearlessly tells the authorities what he saw and is, of course, laughed at. The sheriff, who obviously has the hots for Ellen, is particularly hard to convince. Eventually, some townspeople disappear and, even more mysteriously, reappear with whole new personalities (or lack thereof). The resolution of the movie has a philosophical aspect to it; there are no bad guys and no good guys, and one is left to ponder the real standing of Earth and society in a universe in which alien life does exist. This thought-provoking movie is based on a story by Ray Bradbury, which does much to explain its success. Some viewers may also be interested to know that Darrell Russell (the Professor from Gilligan's Island) has a co-starring role in the picture.
In its theatrical release, this movie was shown in 3-D, and it is unfortunate that today's viewers cannot enjoy it in its original format. However, it is the story and not the special effects that makes this movie a success. While its themes do not captivate modern audiences the way they did viewers in the 1950s, the movie retains a moral clarity and vision that distinguishes it from most science fiction movies of its era. It asks the viewer to trade places with the aliens and consider how things would look if he were the outsider arriving in a foreign land, which is a refreshing theme to emerge in a Cold War American motion picture.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 March 2007
This 1950's Sci-fi classic is well worth getting. It influenced a number of films that followed it and stands up well, even now, over 50 years later.

Really its only obvious weakness is the alien spacecraft in flight, which special effect wise is very poor. However, in most other areas this is a great film. The acting is pretty good, the other special effects are well done and best of all is the sense of paranoia that runs throughout the film. Seeing this film at the Cinema in the 1950's must have been some experience for the audience as there is a sense of foreboding which must have been very unusual in its day.

In the end of course this being 'Hollywood' we know everything will be alright in the end, but this film keeps you guessing right to the very end.
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VINE VOICEon 7 May 2006
I originally saw this movie "It Came from Outer Space" aka "Strangers from Outer Space" on a 14" black and whit TV as a child. And believe me I was seeing eyes all over the place for several nights.

John Putnam (Richard Carlson of "Creature from the Black Lagoon" fame) an amateur astronomer was watching the desert sky with his girl, Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush) a local school teacher, when a strange meteor came down near buy. John, first to reach it swore he saw a door shut. We see it and believe him. However no one else does. What will happen next? Watch and find out.

You can spot a Jack Arnold film by the pacing and initial dialog. This one gave me nightmares as a kid. However now when I watch this film now, I can enjoy the DOWN TO EARTH portrayal of misplaced aliens. You get the alien view from its innards. I was disappointed to find that this is not a 3-D film. I also have the children's book of this with still shots. Your next film to view is "OUT THERE" (1995) an HBO film staring Bill Campbell and Wendy Schaal. It shows real alien interaction with people and accordions.

There is always hope that a 3D version has survived and will surface in the form of a DVD.
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VINE VOICEon 11 April 2005
I originally saw this movie "It Came from Outer Space" aka "Strangers from Outer Space" on a 14" black and whit TV as a child. And believe me I was seeing eyes all over the place for several nights.
John Putnam (Richard Carlson of "Creature from the Black Lagoon" fame) an amateur astronomer was watching the desert sky with his girl, Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush) a local school teacher, when a strange meteor came down near buy. John, first to reach it swore he saw a door shut. We see it and believe him. However no one else does. What will happen next? Watch and find out.
You can spot a Jack Arnold film by the pacing and initial dialog. This one gave me nightmares as a kid. However now when I watch this film now, I can enjoy the DOWN TO EARTH portrayal of misplaced aliens. You get the alien view from its innards. I was disappointed to find that this is not a 3-D film. I also have the children's book of this with still shots. Your next film to view is "OUT THERE" (1995) an HBO film staring Bill Campbell and Wendy Schaal. It shows real alien interaction with people and accordions.
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on 26 September 2005
This is a wonderful movie, even in the flat 2-D we are offered on this DVD. I've actually never seen this movie in its original 3-D splendor, but I've been told it was stunning.
The story is, by today's standards, typical for the 1950's science fiction film. Handsome, rugged scientist (Richard Carlson of Creature From The Black Lagoon fame) and beautiful girlfriend (Barbara Rush) witness a meteor crashing to ground in the Arizona desert, only to learn it is a spacecraft from another world. No one believes them until people begin to disappear, and later return as almost robotic zombies. But this story was based on a Ray Bradburry short story, and that story, combined with wonderful script writing, takes this from a bland sci-fi popcorn muncher to a thinking man's (at least on the B-grade movie level) story of paranoia and terror that ultimately shows the weaknesses, and the strenths, in humankind.
What most young people today don't realize is that this film was a first of many kinds. It was the first science fiction movie to portray aliens as anything but blood thirsty. It was the first of the desert sci-fi films. It was one of the first films to use the theremin for the eerie, wavering, electronic music we all associate with science fiction films from that era. It's the first time a movie used the perspective of the "monster", by letting us see through its cyclopian eye.
The lonely desert landscapes are almost alien in themselves, sweeping and harsh, and seen many times in the long shadows and gray light of dusk. The soundtrack is mono that has been encoded to stereo, which sound wonderful on a home stereo system. The acting is top notch, and the special effects, though dated, have that comic book Buck Roger's feel that was bigger than life in the 1950's.
The extras here are nice, as well. There's a really nice documentary about the movie and a few other films in the same genre. There's a audio commentary with film historian Tom Weaver. There also a nice photograph and poster gallery, as well as the theatrical trailer, production notes, and a brief cast and filmakers section.
The only reason I don't give this DVD five STARS is because they didn't include a 3-D version of the movie. Maybe that's asking too much for the ... price tag, but darnit, Univeral has been so commited to releasing wonderful horror and sci-fi gems to DVD in wonderfully restored condition, that I can't help but wonder why it was decided not to offer this rare and exciting way of viewing the movie. Especially after the glowing way it is described in the docummentary included on the DVD. What a missed opportunity for Univeral and for the fans of this wonderful movie. That aside, this is a lovely package and a wonderful edition to any science fiction film fans collection.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 October 2011
An alien ship crashes into the desert, at first it's thought to only be a meteorite, but small time scientist Richard Carlson gets to view the stricken ship before it is totally buried beneath the collapsing crater it created on its crash landing. Nobody believes Carlson, but soon the aliens start taking on human form and it's then that everyone else must sit up and take notice before it's deemed too late.

It Came From Outer Space stands as one of the better sci-fi pictures to come out of the Cold War 1950s. Based on the Ray Bradbury story The Meteor, the story leans heavily on anti-conformist themes and confidently trumpets something different to ourselves actually having the damn right to be different, and that is something I can personally truck with. As with most of the other films from the sci-fi/alien genre, It Came From Outer Space perfectly captures the paranoia of the people, the sense of mistrust befitting the atomic age, the fear of the desert never more evident than it is here.

Directed with some style from Jack Arnold {This Island Earth/The Incredible Shrinking Man}, the film was originally shot in 3D, and tho sadly I have never been able to see the picture in that format, I can certainly imagine greatly the impact of certain scenes here. The picture is also notable for it's use of POV shooting from the alien perspective, all fuzzy focus from a spherical single eye, it works real well and would be something that many other film makers would use from here on in. This is not a film that relies on its creatures to see it home safely, in fact we barely glimpse the creatures here, but we don't need that to be the case, because they make their mark regardless, all of which leaves It Came From Outer Space as a very knowing and quite often intelligent piece of work. 8/10
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on 14 February 2011
Given the title, it may seem fairly obvious as to what this film is about. If you had any doubts, then they would surely be dispelled after the first 10 minutes. However, if you had noted that it was based on a Ray Bradbury story, and if you pay close attention to the subplot, there is a lot more to this film than simply being a run-of-the-mill 1950s sci-fi film. It has hints about of later films such as Peeping Tom, Night Of The Living Dead and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, diverse though they are.

The core theme of the film is that of trust. At the start of the film, one man's word is disregarded as 'nutty' and he is isn't trusted. Later, when discretion is required, can a group of people be trusted when they won't disclose in full the details of their intentions, when they have requested privacy. Ultimately, it culminates in the question of can the human race be trusted to refrain from violence. The alien race seem to be a bit of mixed metaphor: at times they are the focus of xenophobic behaviour and at other times they seemed to be an analogy for communists, which is particularly pertinent given that this was made in the middle the McCarthy era. There are then those who behave as McCarthyists, who cannot tolerate that which they do not understand and those who are more open minded and willing to help.

As a work of science fiction it is not the best by any means, but there is some real strength in the character interactions and it is well worth watching just for that.
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on 19 August 2013
This review is from: It Came From Outer Space [DVD] (DVD)
*****PLOT SPOILER REVIEW*****

One of the things I find fascinating is the similarity in plots of old science fiction movies and Star Trek episodes. It isn't until the end of this feature, after all the action, is the nature of the invasion revealed. They could have revealed this sooner and had a few alien scenes to make the film more interesting, but didn't, opted to make it a mystery.

At the point where earth people confront the aliens, we discover they have evolved into energy. As Spock's words "pure energy" sang in my ears, I became aware it had more in common with a different Star Trek episode of 1968, "By Any Other Name."

Elements in common:
1) Aliens are from a different galaxy.
2) Aliens occupy human beings and control them.
3) Aliens need a spaceship to return to their galaxy.
4) After a confrontation where aliens take over the humans and humans defeat their efforts, we offer to help them as friends.

A decent sci-fi film which incorporates the spinning color wheel.
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on 5 December 2009
Great 50`s Sci Fi ,Have not seen since a child, Bug eyed monster scared me to death in the sixties, my 6 year old watched it with me and thought monster was really funny ! all these films need to be appreceated for their own era and not compared to modern films with all their hi tech special effects.A much better time !
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on 7 November 2015
It was cutting edge at the time of its debut, and I remember it from then, so there is a deal of nostalgia in my attitude towards it. However, it is dated! And, of course, the ETs were hostile, or perceived as such.
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