20 Million Miles to Earth [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
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Special-effects legend Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion talents and "Dynamation" (rear-projection) process are the highlights of the '50s-era creature feature 20 Million Miles to Earth. An American spaceship returns to Earth after a mission to Venus and crashes into the sea near Sicily. A sole survivor (William Hopper) is rescued, along with a specimen that quickly grows into a reptilian biped called the Ymir. The being eventually grows to 20 feet high and escapes its confines, whereupon it rampages through Rome before a showdown with the military. Despite lacking much of a personality, the Ymir is a marvelous showcase for Harryhausen's skills. Unfortunately, the rest of the film does not match his level of excellence; direction by Nathan Juran is perfunctory (his later collaborations with Harryhausen, including The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, are more lively), and performances and scripting are flat. Still, Harryhausen fans should enjoy this opportunity to see this phase of his career before he created his most enduring works. --Paul Gaita --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
As you have guessed this movie is packed with Ray Harryhausen's stop motion. See more of Ray's work in "Clash of the Titans" notice how that there titan from the sea looks like the Ymir.
See William Hopper tackle something a bit bigger in "The Deadly Mantis" (1957)
Harryhausen had originally developed a story about the frost giant Ymir from Norse mythology. He then changed the creature to a cyclops-satyr mix from another planet who rampages on modern Earth, but still kept the name Ymir. (The Cyclops-satyr would later show up in "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.") When the film finally went before the cameras, the Ymir had become a humanoid-reptilian beast from Venus. Brought to Earth in a crashed rocket, the Ymir emerges as only a few inches high, but starts growing rapidly in the Earth's atmosphere. Originally peaceful, the Ymir is provoked into violence by frightened humans. The movie climaxes in Rome when the captive Ymir bursts loose and starts smashing famous monuments in the Eternal City.
The parallels to King Kong are obvious, and Harryhausen intended the Ymir to also be a sympathetic, misunderstood creature. He succeeded grandly: "20 Millions Miles to Earth" is Harryhausen's best early film. The direction from Nathan Juran and the human actors are perfunctory and clichéd, but the effects are still stunning today, and the Ymir is a superb actor. Designed along human lines, but with dinosaur features, the Ymir elicits strong emotions and exudes tremendous personality. The scene of it hatching from its 'pod' (made of gelatin) and exploring the strange world around it for the first time is one of the high points of Harryhausen's career, and a sequence of which he rightly feels great pride.Read more ›
Harryhausen was a genius, working pretty much on his own. In today's CGI special effects, it's hard to think of only one person being able to create such marvelous fx.
Most recent customer reviews
Good item,Bon item.Very well packed,Tres bien emballé.Sended fast,Livré vitementPublished 11 months ago by callypige42
Do you like tack "B" Sci fi? If so ... this is for you. It's fun! A Venusian blob of glue becomes a type of Godzilla that grows and grows and grows. Read morePublished on June 9 2007 by Marcia
My review is aimed primarily at viewers who have not seen this film and who are serious Harryhausen fans ( I mean viewers who realize that Harryhausen is a genuine artist and not... Read morePublished on May 29 2004 by Darkladder
Really only one word can describe this film: awesome! Everything about this movie is awesome! And this is no ordinary monster movie from the 50s. Read morePublished on March 28 2004 by Kent
After the success of "It Came from Beneath the Sea" and "Earth vs the Flying Saucers", Charles Schneer (producer) and Ray Harryhausen (effects) kept the ball... Read morePublished on Dec 23 2003 by John Gentile
This is a good genre film and cult movie. Don't expect something as fancy or artistic as Murnau's Nosferatu. This a B movie. However, it has some attractive of its own. Read morePublished on Oct. 24 2003 by Gisbert
There's really not much to this one. Earth sends a spacecraft to Venus, it comes back with an alien life form that starts out at six inches high then grows into a 20-foot beast... Read morePublished on July 21 2003 by Ariel Escasa
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