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LiamCasey

"This Island Earth" (1955)

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As other members of this message board previously noted, last night on METv's Svengoolie was 1955's This Island Earth:

 


 

Last night was the first time that I had seen this movie although I was long familiar with the image of Jeff Morrow as Exeter and the image of the Metaluna mutant (Yes, I read Famous Monsters of Filmland back in the day.). And I found it to be both interesting and visually impressive (even though it was not aired in its proper format last night).

 

What was surprising is that it had a downer ending since the hero of the movie was not only unable to save his people but, in the end, was unable to save himself. What was also surprising is that I am referring to Exeter as the hero of this movie. It was odd at the beginning to see that Jeff Morrow was billed above Rex Reason since the latter fit the build of the stereotypical 1950's scientist hero. But, in the long run, it was Exeter who saved Dr. Cal Meacham and Dr. Ruth Adams rather than the expected Cal saving Ruth.

 

It is hard to believe that Rex Reason's given name was Rex Reason. His parents must have had a premonition when he was born because that name just screams "Hollywood". And, it is just me, or does anyone else feel that Mr. Reason and Stewart Granger look and sound similar enough to be related? I'll need to catch a future broadcast of Scaramouche (1952) or Salome (1953) to see if either of those movies has both of those actors in the same scene so that I can do a comparison.

 

The Metaluna mutants were a letdown. Although they looked good, they really didn't do much or add anything to the story. I guess one can't have a 1950's science fiction movie without at least one bug-eyed monster scaring at least one very attractive woman.

 

Speaking of very attractive women, I found it funny that Svengoolie indicated that Faith Domergue was not wearing underwear because her costume was too tight. Was he worried that we weren't going to pay sufficient attention to her?!?

 

On the other hand, I was glad that Svengoolie indicated that Olan Soule portrayed the reporter at the beginning of the movie. Since I use my satellite radio primarily for sports and old-time radio programs, the voice was very recognizable to me from the latter but I couldn't bring the name to mind. Mr. Soule was always a nice addition to many radio and television shows, plus many movies.

 

And, finally, it was no surprise to see William Alland credited as the producer of this movie. Mr. Alland had a hand in a number of the better remembered 1950's science fiction movies (It Came From Outer Space (1953), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), et al.)

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I wanted to mention that this is a long LONG movie.  We're out with a jet's test pilot, then back in the lab.  We order parts, we assemble this gadget, which doesn't quite look like a 4K monitor - more like 3K, right?  Then, the lab is destroyed by death rays and we embark on a foggy plane ride.

 

That's the first half of the movie.

 

Then, we're at some location - I think it's Gilligan's Ranch, right?  And this beauty claims not to remember our leading man - sheesh - what's HER problem?  "He's not Brad Pitt"?  That ol' thing again?!!  Sheesh... (nor is he Denning or Marlow, but who's counting?)  The Professor has trouble out-driving death rays and we're back inside Rancho Gillgano, only to be confronted with a bunch of Exeter's rejects from the lobster pots. 

 

That's the second half of the film.

 

Finally, in the last half, we're taken into space - ABDUCTED! - and put into a tower of goo or something.  (Is this the origin of that clear hand-sanitizer?)  We get to meet some robotic clawhanded guys who get pretty darned fresh with our Beauty, too.  Sheesh.  But with all the comets and the world ending, we managed to escape.

 

This is one of the longest movies in history - I don't think Moses accomplished HALF as much! 

 

All in 87 minutes.

 

There's a lesson in there.

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I found it interesting while do some research on this for my old blog that the author of the short story was actually quite pleased with the film. However, the mutant was not in the story and was tossed in at the urging of the studio.post-30068-0-91253300-1454554844_thumb.jpg

 

Austin2

post-30068-0-91253300-1454554844_thumb.jpg

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This is a great fun sci-fi adventure movie with great Technicolor photography and still impressive fx and that mutant creature

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