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106
4.6 out of 5 stars
This Island Earth [DVD] [1955]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Carl Meacham is an atomic scientist, who after passing a cunning test, gets invited to work at a top secret lab out in Georgia by the rather odd looking Exeter. The project is apparently in the cause of finding world peace, and once arriving at his destination, Carl finds other notable scientists are also there, including the radiant Ruth Adams. As things progress things don't quite add up, and this leads to a realisation that the future of Earth is very much in the balance.

This Island Earth not only divides the casual film viewer, it's also proved divisive amongst the most hardened of sci-fi genre supporters. Some say it's story is barely worth a second glance, whilst others point to a distinct lack of scientific nous as a reason to do the film down. To me I find it to be very much on the money for the era it was made. This film comes nearly ten years after America ended World War II with an atomic attack on Japan, nuclear reactors had been commissioned and were no longer seen solely as a weapon of mass destruction, the nuclear age was prominent and very much a reality.

Yes the film is far fetched fantasy, and it tries too hard to encompass a myriad of plot strands, something which to the younger viewers is likely to fly right over their heads. But the value comes very much in the production as a whole. Marvel at the sets, the model work and the gadgets that feature heavily in this delicious slice of berserker sci-fi. Take in the incredible work of cinematographer Clifford Stine as we find ourselves on a desolate planet, it's a beacon of the genre because it identified the benefits of Technicolor to sci-fi and used it vividly to enhance its story (even if subsequent home entertainment releases have yet to restore it to a print fully worthy of the color venture).

The lovely Faith Domergue and square jawed Rex Reason play our intrepid scientists with verve and vigour, whilst Jeff Morrow is uneasily quirky as the mysterious Exeter. This Island Earth is a technically wonderful film, a shining light from a time when cinema was a craft from all quarters of the medium, it's also intelligent and knowingly astute of its time frame.

Don't believe the nay sayers, this is a smart, poetic fantasy that also contains genuine moments of beauty. 7/10
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2009
This was my first ever experience of Science Fiction which I remember fondly. I liked it so much I also bought the paperback many decades later. I was particularly bowled over by the thought that there could ever be beings from another planet, that they could be amongst us, that strange devices called interroceters could be used as an intelligence test & the bug eyed worker on Metaluna was very scary, when I was 5 yrs old. I actually enjoyed the paperback better as the film doesn't stand the test of time so well. On the whole I would watch this if it comes up on the telly, I would read the book (much more believable & interesting) but I can't honestly recommend anyone buy the film except for nostalgia.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2010
We remember the fifties era of SF movie-making as a triumph of the B movies but it is easy to forget that the B list depended on a number of highly succesful A movies to lead the way in what was a golden era of sf in general. This Island Earth is one of the "proper" sf stories to make it to the screen at that time. It presents our scientist hero with a mystery that only his technical expertise can solve and, in solving it and building an "interossiter" he is plunged into a deeper mystery and an interstellar adventure.

The effects are very slick for the time, presenting some of the best model work and matte painting to be found in movies. Clearly some money was spent. The converter tubes present a reasonably subtle "red button" for a genuinely scarey finale and the story of the metalunans struggling to save their civilisation by any means possible is a worthy utopian plot drive the whole movie forward.

If you enjoy good science fiction in cinema and solid 50s sf writing, This Island Earth should be in your collection. Oh, and there's the best ever movie BEM in this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
It goes great with popcorn. It keeps cooking from the time the jet plane is saved from crashing on burn out, to the mysterious metal-paged catalog. Right up to the end. And notice that the cat could tell that they were being scanned. This was probably the original "CAT scan."

Russell Johnson has this thing for islands. First there is "This Island Earth" then there is "Gilligan's Island" and my favorite island with him on it is in "Attack of the Crab Monsters" (1957) where he gets his tubes ate.

After viewing the movie be sure to read the book for comparison." This Island Earth" (Forrest J Ackerman Presents)
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2006
I was 9 years old when I saw this film in a little cinema of Rome, with a little screen and a sound that was...something near to a sound, but I was astonished the same.The emotional impact is really great, some scenes like the green-lighted UFO that captures the aeroplane are worth of a cinema anthology. I am sorry that this film is not available in zone 2 DVD and don't understand the reason, because it is a little masterpiece !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2013
A scientist mysteriously receives and builds an 'interossiter'(?!) machine and then discovers that it is infact an intelligence test designed by some aliens, disguised as Tefal men (off the old adverts), who are actually from the planet Metaluna! Apparently they're recruiting Earthies in order to work out a strategy to protect themselves from their arch enemies, some jokers who keep firing Meteors at their planet. Will the Earthlings save the alien planet from doom or will their Metalunian kidnappers simply tire of their inability to complete difficult tasks yesterday and explode them for the hell of it...
Sci~Fi adventure from the 50s that bombards the viewer with some state of the art effects (which are still good enough today, if you are capable of using your imagination in this modern cgi world!) along with a fun script, full of interplanetary intrigue and cornyness..
I don't believe this is anywhere near as good as the best of the genre from that era but never the less it's still a thoroughily enjoyable and undeniabley iconic sunday afternoon space yarn.
Personaly i would've liked to have seen more mutant attacks and fighting, and errr... more Tefal babes in silver space bikinis!
The region 2 dvd is a good print with no extras! 3.5/5 rounded up to nearest star!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2013
Okay you have to be of a mindset to enjoy films with poor effects, but the story line is really good, oddly it shows that we can destroy our world, the same as they did, maybe we can learn from this film even now?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2009
This classic is up there with the likes of Forbidden Planet, The Thing from Another World and, my personal favourite, The Day The Earth Stood Still. Any true fan of 50s sci fi should have this in their collection - yes I know it's a bit naff by todays slick CGI enhanced standards (as most, no ALL, 50's sci fi movies are) but that's part of the reason we love 'em - uncomplicated, unsophisticated fun!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2009
When this was made Sputnik was still 2 years away. You'll expect spaceships bouncing on their strings - so when you see the special effects you'll be blown away. This is not Star Wars - but you will be immersed in the paranoia of 1950s America. My only criticism is that they spend so little time on the alien planet. I guess the special effects caused serious budget problems - plus ca change!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2010
I have viewed this movie for years on T.V. Owned the VHS & Laser Disc. versions I have to say seeing this movie the way fans saw it in 1955 was like seeing it for the 1st. time ! The colors are stronger , there's more image to be seen on the ends , as opposed to the "zoomed" in vhs & laser disc. copies. Overall a better movie experience. Gary Tooz's review of the movie in the PAL version is spot on & the slightly speeded up voicesare there, but not to objectionable. If you"ve seen the movie a lot you"ll notice it, other wise you can deal with it. Maybe in the not to distant future Universal will put some effort into a good restoration & some additinal info on the making of this movie, it would be worth for the movie viewer who wants a bit more" meat on the bone" version. If you have a multi regional dvd player , by all means get the Pal version , its worth it. Enjoy..Thats what movie viewing is all about!
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