It Came from Outer Space
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Richard Carlson - who also starred in another 50s sci-fi classic, "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" - plays John Putnam, an amateur astronomer and scientist who lives in the desert outside a small town in Arizona. The townsfolk consider John to be a loner and something of an oddball, but he does enjoy the love of Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush), a pretty schoolteacher who thinks he can do no wrong. John's relationship with Ellen has earned him the ire of the town's sheriff (Charles Drake), a down-to-earth, cowboy-type fellow who can't understand Putnam's interest in "weird" things like science and astronomy and who wants Ellen for himself. One evening both John and Ellen watch as a huge meteor crashes near an old mine outside of town. The next day they investigate the meteor's crater, but only John makes it to the bottom, where he sees a large spaceship which is promptly buried in a landslide that nearly engulfs him as well. Ellen believes his story, but others are doubtful and laugh at him, and even the local radio station makes fun of him.Read more ›
The story, created by Bradbury, concerns an amateur astronomer who discovers that aliens have crashlanded in the desert--but no one will believe him. Although the basic premise has been done to death, at the time OUTER SPACE was released it was still fresh, and Bradbury gives the tale an unusual spin that lifts it out of the realm of later 1950s and 1960s teenybopper flicks. But shorn of its 3D effects, the film lacks impact, and the creatures that were so impressive on the big screen become literal and slightly silly. Viewers who have never seen the film in its original 3D will be apt to wonder what all the fuss is about.
And this poses a question. Why can't we have 3D films--a roster that includes THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, Vincent Price's WAX MUSEUM, and IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE--on tape or DVD in their original format? Admittedly the glasses are cumbersome, and there might be some issues about including them in the package, but other (and considerably less interesting) films have been released to video in 3D; why not the great classics, so we can see them as they were intended to be seen--and enjoy such films as IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE to their fullest? The original 3D version deserves a five-star rating, but in flat presentation it is worthy of only a three. I'm splitting the difference.
GFT Amazon Reviewer
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very cheaply done Roger Cormen directed film. I give this movie a *2* star review!Published 29 days ago by A Roger Zelazny Fan
Wonderful Cold-War Era thriller. Great plot, good graphics, considering the time period from which it comes, and just fun.Published 2 months ago by Dr. Jim
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