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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An early Sci-Fi Gem from the fifties...
The great thing about 1950's sci-fi movies is the way in which they took the psychological fallout from the Soviet-USA Cold War confrontation that dominated the decade (paranoia, McCarthyism and the "Red Scare", fear of the atomic bomb), and turned it into edgy science fiction that's unlike any present-day moviemaking. Some of these relatively low-budget films were awful,...
Published on April 3 2004 by Commander Adama

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3.0 out of 5 stars Hey, Goober - Could You Pass Me That Lug Wrench?
Ray Bradbury pens passable '50s sci-fi fare, but it's not what everyone cracks it up to be. The movie is more fun than actually good, but definitely worth a watch.
B-movie vet Richard Carlson has his not-quite-love-match with the always wonderful Barbara Rush interrupted by a flaming meteorite, near his gorgeous desert home. Faster than he can light a pipe and don a...
Published on May 27 2002 by Bruce Rux


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An early Sci-Fi Gem from the fifties..., April 3 2004
This review is from: It Came From Outer Space (Full Screen) (DVD)
The great thing about 1950's sci-fi movies is the way in which they took the psychological fallout from the Soviet-USA Cold War confrontation that dominated the decade (paranoia, McCarthyism and the "Red Scare", fear of the atomic bomb), and turned it into edgy science fiction that's unlike any present-day moviemaking. Some of these relatively low-budget films were awful, but others have stood the test of time to become classics of the genre. One of the best is 1953's "It Came From Outer Space", which features a great plot, solid acting, and is based on a story created by the great Ray Bradbury, one of the best sci-fi writers of his generation. Richard Carlson, who also starred in several other classic sci-fi films of the fifties, is 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 that he can do no wrong. John's relationship with Ellen has earned him the ire of the town's sherriff (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 which nearly engulfs him as well. Ellen believes his story, but others are doubtful and laugh at him, and even the local radio stations make fun of him. However, events soon begin to convince even the skeptical sherriff that something odd is afoot, especially when several townspeople begin to act in bizarre ways, such as speaking and behaving in a zombie-like manner and staring directly at the sun for long periods of time. As it turns out, the "townspeople" are actually aliens from the buried spaceship, and the real humans have been abducted by them - including Ellen! Although the sherriff and some other townsfolk wish to attack the aliens (out of fear and paranoia), Putnam suspects that the aliens are actually peaceful and only want to repair their spaceship and leave. I won't give away anymore of the plot, but the storyline of "It Came From Outer Space" actually is decades ahead of its time, and strongly resembles modern sci-fi (such as "Star Trek") in showing that even strange "aliens" are not always hostile and can be peaceful if given a chance. This attitude comes directly from the stories of Ray Bradbury (for example, "The Martian Chronicles"), where aliens aren't always the bad guys and humans aren't always the good guys. It's this moral complexity that makes "It Came From Outer Space" stand out from the other (and often more simplistic) sci-fi films of the decade. As an added bonus, the DVD set of this film will be a delight to all fifties sci-fi movie buffs. It has a short documentary entitled "The Universe According to Universal" showing how "It Came From Outer Space" and other fifties sci-fi movies were made, the theatrical trailer, and a commentary by film historian Tom Weaver. Overall, this DVD set is well worth the money, IMO. Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They Came From Outer Space is a bit more accurate, March 15 2003
This review is from: It Came From Outer Space (Full Screen) (DVD)
I love old movies. They are an entertaining glimpse into who we thought we were filtered through a fun house history mirror. It Came From Outer Space was a great movie when I was a kid. Like The Day The Earth Stood Still Bradbury's original film treatment focused on character and suspense at the expense of bug eyed monsters. The final film (changed from the original conception of Bradbury and director Jack Arnold) does have the BEMs but, luckily, Universal didn't evisorate the characters and thought provoking plot that drove the film.
Amateur astronomer John Putnam (the reliable and stoic Richard Carlson)witnesses what he believes to be a meteor striking the desolate desert surrounded his small town. It turns out to be -- surprise!--alien's with a major blow out that has incapacitated their space ship. These Xenomorphs begin to kidnap the locals and replacing them so that they can get the materials to repair their ship and keep a lid Carlson's wild story about their arrival.
Jack Arnold's subtle direction works wonders with the budget and the 3-D format. He manages to create a film that has aged exceedingly well. Bradbury's original concept is mostly intact as well. In fact, it sounds like screenwriter Harry Essex may have incorporated dialog from Bradbury's treatment largely intact during a number of important scenes.
It benefits from being create in the wake of The Day The Earth Stood Still and it also benefits from its unusual setting (the Desert). Sadly, I can't wholeheartedly recommend this DVD. Universal has done a great job of restoring this classic film. Unfortunately, they don't offer the option of viewing it in 3-D. That's a pity as Arnold made effective use of the gimmick using a number of subtle tricks (and a couple of dramatic ones as well) to artfully blend the 3-D format with the narrative of the film. Since It is presented on a dual layer disc, I'm surprised that Universal didn't figure out a way to present the film in it's element. Unfortunately, some of the film's most powerful sequences suffer from the flat presentation here. Given the extra effort that went into the restoration and the extras, it's a pity that Universal didn't go the extra mile and present this fine film in the format it worked best in.
The extras including the documentary (The Universe According to Universal)includes interviews with illustrator/collector Vincent Di Fate, film historians and collectors (such as Bob Burns). All discuss the circumstances around the making of the film as well as the impact it had when it was presented in its original format. Additionally, they bring up the little known fact that the creatures were never seen in the original cut that Jack Arnold prepared. Universal executives went back and took reshot a couple of sequences with shots of the aliens. While this doesn't work against the film, it would have been much more powerful with the aliens presence only suggested via Arnold's idea of showing the alien-human encounters from the alien's point of view.
The photograph and poster gallery is interesting but hardly essential and the production notes informative about the cast and Arnold. The documentary will probably show up in a number of variations on other Universal science fiction and horror thrillers coming to DVD. Perhaps This Island Earth (Universal's attempt to make a picture on the scale of MGM's Forbidden Planet)will eventually be re-released to DVD with the same care. A bit of trivia on This Island Earth--Jack Arnold isn't credited but he directed many of the scenes involving the aliens and their world.
Regardless of this reissues shortcomings, It is an impressive package for the most part. It's a pity that Universal missed their opportunity to reissue this minor classic the right way the first time on DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the first classic alien invasion Sci Fi films, Oct. 17 2002
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: It Came From Outer Space (Full Screen) (DVD)
One night astronomer John Putnam (Richard Carlson from "Creature From the Black Lagoon") is watching the night skies when he sees a flash in the desert night sky. Dragging the pretty Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush from "When Worlds Collide") with him, he goes off to investigate what he thinks is a meteor. But what he discovers at the bottom of the creater is not a giant meteor but a space ship composed of glowing hexagons. Of course, back in town nobody will believe him, not even Sheriff Matt Warren (Charles Drake) who also likes Ellen. But then people start wandering around town in zombie-like trances and our heroic astronomer starts to figure out that there is an alien invasion taking place in his little town, which means the little love triangle here need to be put on hold.
"It Came From Outer Space" was one of the first 3-D films (you can easily guess what parts were directed out at the audience) and provides a nice mix of cheesy horror effects with eerie sci fi music. The original story is by Ray Bradbury and has all the earmarks of a pulp magazine alien invasion story. Of course, this was a period when UFO sightings were starting to be covered in the press as well. The story has a strong resemblance to "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," but remember that this 1953 film came out three years earlier and if you are looking for elements of paranoia about the Commies the subtext is a lot stronger in this film. Also, the recent film "Evolution" clearly uses this Fifties Science Fiction classic for its basic framework. Director Jack Arnold was one of the kings of Fifties "B" films having done not only "It Came From Outer Space," but "Creature From the Black Lagoon," "Tarantula," and "The Incredible Shrinking Man," all of which are films you need to screen at some point as you learn all about the roots of contemporary science fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting effort in the 1950's Sci Fi genre, Oct. 2 2002
By 
Simon Davis (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
I always find the 1950's Sci Fi efforts a pleasure to watch and despite being the target of many modern day reviewers commenting on the early special effects and out dated dialogue/situations. I think that their freshness and innocence in a way is their most appealing quality compared to todays extravagant and special effects filled opus's which dont contain half as much interest in my belief.
"It Came From Outer Space" benefits from alot of expert assistance in all those areas that make a production memorable to watch. It has veteran director Jack Arnold, an expert in telling convincing and often intelligent sci fi stories during this period, expert location photography set in the arid desert regions that add tremendously to the eerie qualities of the story, and a haunting musical score that really adds a sense of possible menace to the proceedings. The film benefits greatly from also displaying a slight variation on the usual invading monsters from outer space theme. Here the visitors are not necessarily violent or evil, simply travellors who have had to stop on Earth to carry out much needed repairs and are not wanting to bother anyone before they get on their way.
This variation makes for an interesting premise and is well served in the story where dedicated star watcher John Putnam with his girlfriend Ellen Fields witnesses what seems like a gigantic meteor crashing in the desert near his home but on closer examination discover that a space craft has landed and been covered over by falling rocks. The story builds pace as John can't convince the townspeople that there are aliens among them even after one by one the locals are being replaced by duplicates to help on the repairs to the space ship.
Richard Carlson and Barbara Rush as the two leads here do a great job as the pair who know the truth and try desperately to warn everyone about the possible danger that has developed. Carlson, normally a fairly bland actor as a rule in my belief, here gives an excellent account of himself and his encounters with the alien duplicates are quite scary and handled with finesse.
The aliens of this story also are displayed in a much more original way than most of your 1950's monsters are. Here alot of the action involving them is seen through their eyes which gives the scenes of their encountering humans a strange surreal quality. The shots of the aliens seemingly floating over moving cars are very well staged and keep the tensions rising all the time.
While not the best of the 1950's alien films it still is an entertaining watch and benefits from above average performances by the leads and a marked lack of tentacled creatures etc, so common in this period of film making. You will enjoy "It Came From Outer Space" where for once humans are revealed as the villians who are quick to jump to conclusions and not prepared to understand others that are different to themselves. It's an interesting slant on an old story and handled here with alot of care.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected!, March 27 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was expecting a bargain-bin DVD and was pleasantly surprised. It was a re-mastered copy in a good-looking package. Highly recommended for the B-movie fan.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great 50s Sci-Fi Classic, Sept. 23 2005
By 
Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: It Came From Outer Space (Full Screen) (DVD)
It Came From Outer Space is another 50s Sci-Fi Classic that I highly recommend to all.
The story revolves around a professor and his fiance' in a small southwestern U.S.town.Seems the prof has moved to this town to get away from the rat race and along the way has fallen in love with a local girl.
One day a meteorite falls just outside of town and the prof and his beau go to investigate.Seems the "meteorite" has lodged itself in the bottom of a crater which he duly investigates.He finds there's more to this than meets the eye and discovers a space ship "of some kind" sitting there with possible occupants.
The prof being the straight shooter he is tells it like it is from the start only to be met by derision from the local newspaper,law enforcement and towns folk.Just as he starts second guessing himself about what he actually DID see,strange things start happening as the aliens start to explore(and more!)and he and his girlfriend are soon caught up in a fight to save not only the town but possibly the world.
Even though the plot sometimes gets a little see through the performances of its' principal stars carry the movie along in a most believable fashion.A great tool the director uses in this movie is to reveal the aliens to us(and to the characters) in increments.So when we do finally get a full and long glimspe at them we,like the prof,are quite taken aback,i.e.scared!
Technically this is a fine grain print of the movie.However this movie was originally shot in 3-D(that wonderful process that tried to lure the 50s audiences out of their home and away from their new TVs and back into the theaters) and I thought that Universal could have included a 3-D version also,c/w glasses.Considering the price of the disc,that's the very least they could have done.Thus the 4 star rating.
In conclusion grab this Sci-Fi gem for your collection now.A good movie with good performances and a fine print to boot.Couldn't ask for more.....except for some popcorn?
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5.0 out of 5 stars It Came, It Saw, It Left..., Jan. 23 2004
This review is from: It Came From Outer Space (Full Screen) (DVD)
Richard Carlson (Creature From The Black Lagoon) stars as an intense astronomer who witnessess a "meteor" crash in the desert near his home. Along with Barbara Rush, he investigates the crater left by the impact. In it he finds a hexagonal doorway, that belongs to a now buried spacecraft. In the craft is a being, best described as a giant, hairy, big-toe with an eyeball where the toenail should be. Carlson's character gets out as an avalanche almost crushes him with it's paper-mache boulders! No one believes him (duh) and he is soon regarded as a nut. Two telephone co. linemen (one played by Gilligan's proffessor Russell Johnson) are possessed by the alien presence, and become monotone-speaking zombies. It turns out that rather than an invasion, the extraterrestrials are simply lost. They're just trying to fix their ship before we locate it and destroy them! Can Richard Carlson save them from the angry mob, including a hot-headed sheriff? ICFOS is a classic 50s paranoia gem. Extra points for Barbara Rush in her ... evening-wear! And, check out that blonde in the sheriff's office (whose boyfriend comes up missing). I'd watch her in anything...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well-made, but dated..., Jan. 4 2003
By 
Arthur F. McVarish (Houston, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Richard Carlson (Creature from the Black Lagoon; GOG) plays role of The Everyman who sees what he's not supposed to, and tries to convince his Everymen Brothers of Un-imagined alien danger confronting them. Hints of(original)INVASION of the BODY SNATCHERS;INVASION FROM MARS and Twilight Zone contribute to an eerie mood of menacing threat that sustains viewer interest in this early sci-fi "almost" classic. Ray Bradbury's pre-ET plot frankly is a bit thin. How effective its mood (because despite original 3-D fx touted, there's not much action and no WAR OF THE WORLDS combat to "3-D" anyhow...)really depends on mood and expectations of viewers. This is an interesting, very low-key piece of what probably functions better on literary paper than on bxw celluloid. I'm a great admirer of Ray Bradbury but insist that little of his work (SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, perhaps) has translated well to film. It is Bradbury's irony--and minimalist style employed in ICFOS subtending it--that prevents the film from devolving into a corny BOGEYMEN from SPACE trip.
IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE is a good, well-made movie...for its time. Now it's dated. How much a viewer enjoys it, very much depends on "slack" he grants coming "back from the future" with a viewpoint more in common(sophisticated)with The ALIENS than our frightened 50's brothers and sisters (3 & 1/2 stars)...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Universal continues DVD digital transfers of scifi classics!, Aug. 28 2002
By 
forrie (Nashua, NH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: It Came From Outer Space (Full Screen) (DVD)
Universal Studios the black & white "Horror / Scifi" experts continue to provide us there classic films on DVD!!! These great early Scifi cult classics introduce us to the mind set of Hollywood and the world of the 1950's.
This latest digital transfer DVD series is fantastic with the best quality picture & sound. The Scifi of the 1950's was more philosophical and less graphical in the violence.
In Summary: An amateur astronomer (Richard Carlson) & his fiancee (Barbara Rush) witness a meteorite impact in the the desert near his cottage. They investigate the crash site and he discovers an alien spaceship at the base of the newly made crater. How will man react to this UFO event? It turns out that this spacecraft landed here on earth to make repairs. (ET storyline of the 50's). Man over reacts and the aliens perform cameleon like forms to seek repair parts. This early scifi was a very good concept and the first alien look was a typical Hollywood extravaganza. NOTE: "It Came From Outer Space" was originally released in 3 - Dimensional format & it added immensely to the horror & suspense!! To bad Universal didn't give us the full original effect which made such a lasting impact on the 1950's America.
Many Extras to include: an original documentary On It Came From Outer Space, excellent feature commentary by film historian Tom Weaver, photo & poster gallery, trailer, production notes and cast biographies.
This movie is a delight and it brings those memories back of the Saturday Scifi / Horror matinees. Fun stuff. Enjoy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE ALIEN SAND BOX, Aug. 25 2002
This review is from: It Came From Outer Space (Full Screen) (DVD)
Even with its carefully crafted arrival on DVD for the first time, I still consider IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE a lost work... as to the reason, in a moment, but as to the why you should pick this up... simple, it's fun. IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE is a classy sci-fi picture that, at its worst, can be a little stiff, while at its best can be thought provoking and creepy. Drawn from a treatment by Ray Bradbury, and put together by a solid before the camera and behind the camera cast, IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE is not to be missed. Tom Weaver again provides commentary, and like his others - CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, THE WOLF MAN, FIEND WITHOUT A FACE - he takes us on a comprehensive trip from the back lots, to the stages, to the seats right in the theater, never missing a beat and always talking with you like he's sitting right next to you - enjoying the high points and never afraid to point out its lows. As per normal with these Universal releases, a documentary is included that spans the ALIEN YEARS with Universal, a well stocked photo gallery and more... more... more. But what's missing for me is the 3D, and that's why IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE is still for me a lost classic. While it's not only the jolts that I miss with the 3D I'm sure IT CAME provided, but its quiet moments as well... the simple turning of a telescope, a roaring fire in a fireplace, how the glitter trails left by the aliens must have floated there before you eyes. Despite being presented in 2D, IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE is a must for any collector of sci-fi. For the casual viewer, IT is a lot of fun.
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It Came From Outer Space (Full Screen)
It Came From Outer Space (Full Screen) by Jack Arnold (DVD - 2003)
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