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Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

4.4 out of 5 stars 353 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Relive the exciting days of sci-fi movie matinees with the cult classic EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS! Featuring extraordinary visual effects by cinematic genius Ray Harryhausen, the film pits earthlings against alien humanoids in a violent battle for Earth's survival! When the zombielike aliens arrive at the U.S. Army base in search of help for their dying planet, they try to make friendly contact with scientist Dr. Russ Marvin (Hugh Marlowe) and his recent bride Carol (Joan Taylor). But the military greets their fleet of saucers with gunfire, and the aliens are forced to retaliate. Can Marvin invent the ultimate weapon in a deadly game of beat-the-clock to save the human race? Hold on to your seat for an intergalactic flight into fantasy with EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS!

A textbook example of '50s-era science fiction, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers boasts not only a solid script and competent performances, but some genuinely impressive stop-motion effects courtesy of one of the industry's uncontested masters, Ray Harryhausen. Scientist Hugh Marlowe (who faced a more benevolent invader from space five years earlier in The Day the Earth Stood Still) discovers that UFOs are responsible for the destruction of a series of exploratory space rockets launched by his space exploration project. The saucers' helmeted pilots land on Earth and deliver an ultimatum to humanity via Marlowe: fealty or complete annihilation.

Harryhausen's painstakingly intricate saucers and the destruction they wreak (particularly during an assault on Washington, D.C.) are the film's unquestionable highlights, but Marlowe and Joan Taylor (as his wife/partner) are capable leads, and veteran B director Fred F. Sears doesn't let the dialogue and expositional scenes fall apart in between the barrage of effects. Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is a fun and effective slice of sci-fi that should please younger audiences as well as nostalgic return viewers. Sears later reused some of the effects footage for his jaw-droppingly awful 1957 effort, The Giant Claw. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

  • "The Harryhausen Chronicles" documentary
  • "This Is Dynamation" featurette
  • "The Making of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers" featurette
  • Photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Taylor, Hugh Marlowe, Morris Ankrum, Donald Curtis
  • Directors: Fred F. Sears
  • Producers: Charles H. Schneer
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Black & White, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai
  • Dubbed: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Taiwanese Chinese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 17, 2002
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (353 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006CXGG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,354 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas F. Bertonneau on February 14, 2003
Format: DVD
Here is a list - for people jaded by "Star Wars"-type digital special effects and Bruce Willis-type smart-aleck dialogue - of what the classic science fiction film "Earth versus the Flying Saucers" (1956) does not boast: it is not processed in Technicolor but only in (glorious) black-and-white; it does not show whole cities sprung sky-high by death-rays or fleets of numberless star cruisers nuking it out among the nebulae; its aliens do not look like the dripping unsought-for results of recombinant DNA experimentation, nor are they invulnerable so that stopping them depends on a hasty "deus ex machina" tacked on by the screenwriters; its scientist hero and his wife are mature people, not teenagers or "twenty-somethings" escaped from prime-time television; they act with deliberation and do not pump air or dance a jig when their efforts prove effective; when people die in the film, they die without bravado. People who insist on such things should know in advance that their particular adrenaline-addiction will not be fixed by this film. Intelligent and discriminating viewers, on the other hand, can expect the superb model-work of Ray Harryhausen deployed economically but satisfyingly throughout the film. They can also expect thoughtful, jargon-free dialogue from screenwriters George Worthington Yates and Raymond T. Marcus, working from a story by Kurt ("Donovan's Brain") Siodmak, and taught direction from Fred F. Sears. "EVFS" gratifyingly violates one of the formulas of 1950s sci-fi cinema: it does not make the audience wait to see the alien nemesis, continually postponing a disappointing appearance, but exposes its first saucer within two minutes of the opening segment. As Dr.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
This is a 2 disk set. The main film is, like "20 Million Miles to Earth: 50th Anniversary Edition", on 1 disk in both a digitally-restored black & white original version and newly colorized version. This is made possible by a process Sony calls "Chromachoice". This allows you to switch between the color and b/w versions of the film at any time by simply pressing the "angle" button on your remote. It's a good idea but some would argue that it's flawed in execution. I'm one of those. On my player the "angle" icon comes up every time there is a chapter stop and will NOT go away until I press the "clear" button. This is very annoying but at least I can get it off the screen! Based on reports on "20 Million..." other players will display this icon the entire film. There may or may not be a way of disabling this on your player. Frankly, I would rather choose from a menu which version to watch as the novelty of switching wears off after a while and the annoyance of the constantly appearing icon does not. While this is possible you still get the icon "popup" at chapter stops.

Special features on a 2nd disk are:
Audio Commentary by Ray Harryhausen and Other Visual Effects Specialists
Featurette: Harryhausen on Earth vs. The Flying Saucers
Featurette: A Present Day Look at Stop Motion
Featurette: Tim Burton Sits Down with Ray Harryhausen
Featurette: Interview with Joan Taylor
Featurette: David Schecter on Film Music's Unsung Hero
Featurette: The Hollywood Blacklist and Bernard Gordon
Video Photo Galleries
Advertising Artwork video montage of film's ad materials by Producer Arnold Kunert
Sneak Peek of Digital Comic Book Flying Saucers vs.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Released in 1956, "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers" was the second film visual effects genius Ray Harryhausen did with producer Charles Schneer. They had previously worked together on the gigantic octopus vs. San Francisco film "It Came from beneath the Sea," and would go on to craft a long series of color fantasy movies that remain favorites with all ages today. "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers" (or "E v. FS" if you prefer) arose from Schneer's interest in the flying saucer-sighting craze of the day. Curt Siodmak, author of many of Universal's classic monster films, hatched the original story of a full-scale invasion by alien craft, but the final script is credited to George Worthing Yates and Raymond T. Marcus. Harryhausen found himself animating not monsters, but futuristic spacecraft. Thus, the film is quite a departure from his usual fare, but nevertheless Harryhausen infuses the movie with his genius and personality. "E v. FS" is the ESSENTIAL alien invasion flick of the decade, far more entertaining than George Pal's stuffy "The War of the Worlds." Everything you want from 50s science-fiction flick is here, and with Harryhausen's visual effects, it all looks damn cool too!
The husband and wife science team of Hugh Marlowe and Joan Taylor (both fun performances) investigate a rash of saucer sighting. The aliens have come to Earth to seek aid, but when they land the trigger-happy military opens fire and the aliens retaliate with a ruthless war of destruction. But don't fear, our peppy scientist couple have come up with a wild invention that may stop the destructive alien visitors. It all concludes in a wild scene over Washington D.C., and not all the monuments end up in good shape.
Read more ›
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