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on 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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on 10 January 2005
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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on 18 October 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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on 29 January 2006
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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Offering leading man Hugh Marlowe a rare chance to get away from his weaselly supporting roles and play the hero for once, Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers is the most enjoyable and spectacular of the black and white scifi films Ray Harryhausen made at Columbia for quickie producer Sam Katzman. It may not offer an iconic creature or match the Technicolor spectacle of George Pal's War of the Worlds, but it compensates by taking gleeful delight in destroying most of Washington D.C. with the kind of reckless abandon that must have been a big influence on Tim Burton's Mars Attacks. The plot's all in the title, with Marlowe finding his experimental satellites constantly being knocked out of the sky shortly after reaching orbit, and it's not long before it's revealed that the reason is aliens from a disintegrated solar system who are looking for a new home - and if they can't persuade the sitting tenants to co-operate they'll just kick them out unless the human race can come up with a weapon to stop them...

Harryhausen had pitched a stop-motion version of War of the Worlds years earlier, even doing a brief early colour test of one of the Martian creatures (which can be found on Ray Harryhausen: The Early Years Collection [DVD] [2006]), and this is clearly his consolation prize, and it's not a bad one at all. Some of the devastation is hindered by not having the budget to use high-speed cameras, which means that the debris had to be suspended in the air on wires and animated one frame at a time, which often makes for an obviously jerky effect, but that's all part of the film's charm. It helps a lot that, unlike It Came from Beneath the Sea, this doesn't keep the threat offscreen for most of the picture and relies a lot less on stock footage, giving it both more action and a bigger scope. Directing a Harryhausen film was always a thankless task but despite having no reputation to speak of director Fred F. Sears shows quite a bit of imagination at times, throwing in some decent visuals and keeping things moving with a hint more panache than you usually find at this budget level. It may not be one of the great 50s scifi films, but it is a superior bit of vintage exploitation fare that's still a lot of fun.

The Bluray transfer is good but not the most detailed and suffers from slight overcropping to 1.85:1 widescreen, though it does reveal that Hugh Marlowe has almost as much hair on his back as Chewbacca. As with 20 Million Miles to Earth and It Came from Beneath the Sea [Blu-ray] [2008][Region Free] it also offers a typically unconvincingly colorised version alongside the original black and white version (both with restored credits that give blacklisted writer Bernard Gordon his due, with the original credits preserved as an extra) and another plentiful selection of extras - audio commentary by Ray Harryhausen, Jeffrey Okun, Ken Ralston and Arnold Kunert, featurettes Remembering Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers, The Hollywood Blacklist and Bernard Gordon and The Colorization Process, an interview with Joan Taylor which can also be found on the 20 Million Miles to Earth [Blu-ray] [1957] [US Import], stills and poster galleries, a preview of the digital comic book adaptation and trailers for It Came From Beneath the Sea, 20 Million Miles to Earth and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Completists might want to bear in mind that it doesn't include the 59-minute The Harryhausen Chronicles documentary (which can be found on the Jason and the Argonauts Blu-ray) or the same Ray Harryhausen interview from the original DVD release, although much of the same ground is covered.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 September 2014
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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on 30 November 2011
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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VINE VOICEon 22 April 2003
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 and Carol Marvin 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”?
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.
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on 29 June 2016
I enjoyed this film. The only negative comment is that Hugh Marlowe was the male lead, and I consider him a poor actor. He was also in "The Earth the Day Stood Still" (the 1950 version) and he was disappointing in that as well. The female lead in "Earth vs the Flying Saucers" (Joan Taylor) more than made up for him. She was good and unlike many of the 1950s era films she wasn't there just to scream at appropriate moments. I bought the DVD because it had been recommended as a good example of Ray Harryhausen's stop motion art. This was his first film in which he used machines (the flying saucers, as well as collapsing buildings) instead of humanoid figures. The opening scene of a fighter pilot looking out his cockpit at a flying saucer spinning past is memorable. Definitely not to be compared with today's computer generated animation, but as an example of the stop-motion art it is excellent.
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on 11 April 2009
I initially bought this Blu-Ray as a bit of a novelty; a 1956 film on BD? Hmm that's really pushing the Hi-Def technology isn't it!!
But I quickly became absorbed by this classic B-Movie;
What really makes this an excellent disc is the additional content;
The explanation & method of the Colourisation was nothing short of astounding, and the Ray Harryhausen interview was both a fascinating insight into the stop-motion animation of the day, and detailing the great man's legacy.
Plus the feature about the 'Hollywood Blacklist',something that I hadn't even been aware of in the history of movie-making, was revealing.
All in all, this feature-packed BD was a surprising gem.
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