5.0 out of 5 stars Earth vs. Ray Harryhausen...
Hughe Marlow stars as Dr. Marvin in this 50s sci-fi epic. Joan Taylor is his blushing bride and assistant in his work as a rocket scientist. Several sattelites have been lost in strange "accidents", causing concern, but not enough to postpone another launch. Marvin and wife encounter a flying saucer on their way to the space-lab, which they inadvertantly record on tape...
Published on Jan 21 2004 by Bindy Sue Fr°nkŘnschtein
3.0 out of 5 stars These UFOs are not our friends
Although not one of Harryhausen's best efforts, Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers is better than most films from the same time frame. The script has a number of nice imaginative touches (the alien's are so frail despite their technology that they whither away if their suits are removed; the way they communicate initially with Hugh Marlowe's character is interesting).
Published on Mar 15 2003 by Wayne Klein
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enfin trouver en couleurs et en franšais!,
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This review is from: Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (Color Special Edition) [Import] (DVD)C'est un très bon film que je recommande. Enfin disponible en franšais et colorisé en plus. Un classique à posséder dans sa collection DVD personnelle.
5.0 out of 5 stars Earth vs. Ray Harryhausen...,
5.0 out of 5 stars People of Earth ... Attention! People of Earth ... Attention,
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Best,
5.0 out of 5 stars Harryhausen versus the Sci Fi Cliches,
4.0 out of 5 stars Definately a cut above!,
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This review is from: Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (Color Special Edition) [Import] (DVD)I finally watched Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers. I opted to watch it in remastered B&W rather than the optional colourized version so I would see it as it was originally played in theatres.
I couldn't help comparing this with the more recent Independence Day. And in my final assessment is that while there are many similarities between the two films, and taking into account the differences in age and production resources, I think Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers is a smarter film than Independence Day.
I liked how the aliens, while still wanting to take over the planet, initially opted for a somewhat quiet takeover rather than just blasting away from orbit. There was also the rationale that they were the survivors of a destroyed solar system. I appreciated these small conceptual details. It also lent credibility to the idea that they themselves didn't want an all out conflict because they knew their resources were limited and that they had studied humanity enough to possibly suspect us capable of fighting back in some way or other.
I also quite liked how little over the top anything in the film was. It looked like the writers and everyone involved really tried to walk that fine line of not going campy or overdone. I got a sense of restraint from the film.
I loved the final solution of humanity being able to understand the principles of how alien tech seemed to be working and then devising a means to combat it. And for me it made a helluva lot more sense than the computer virus idea in Independence Day.
I can't help thinking that if this can seem like a fine enough film now as seen from the perspective of 2010 then this should have been seen as quite something when it was first released in 1956. There are a lot of little details in writing, visual f/x and even subtext that make the film a cut above the seeming usual fare of sci-fi films from that era.
If I have one quibble it was with the metallic suits they aliens wore. The idea behind them (solidified electricity???) was interesting yet the depiction was too stiff and awkward. Unlike much of the rest of the film it is really dated.
Still overall I quite liked it.
I'm going to watch it again yet the colourized version because from what I've seen it looks pretty good.
5.0 out of 5 stars les soucoupes volentes attaquent(earth vs. the flying saucers),
This review is from: Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (Color Special Edition) [Import] (DVD)revivez les debuts excitants des films de science-fiction avec ce desormais film cul (les soucoupes volantes attaquent).beneficiant des extraordinaires effets visuels de ce genie du cinema qu'etait ray harryhausen.ce film voit s'affronter les terriens et des humanoides aliens dans une violente bataille pour la survie de l'espece humaine.version blu-ray disc la qualite ultime de son et d'image fidele au master d'origine.version noir et blanc ou colorisée.
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential Alien Invasion flim of the 50s. Great effects!,
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.
Ironically, Harryhausen doesn't have very positive feelings about the film: "It remains for me the least favourite of all our pictures. There is a dividing line between science fiction and fantasy, although they can occasionally overlap.... Fantasy has a poetic appeal radiating romance and warmth, whereas science fiction, with all its preoccupations with machines, politics and scientific apparatus, has a tendency to reflect coldness and indifference."
Well, Ray is certainly entitled to his own opinions about his work and his preferece for fantasy, but I think "E v. FS" works amazingly. There's a general giddiness about it, and a sense of invention, that speaks directly to modern viewers tired of the overblown and grim action and science fiction films of today. Harryhausen's flying saucers astonish, moving with jittery speed and very animated motions. The aliens themselves wield awesome technology, like death rays, brain probing beams, and vibrating shields that protect their ships (stunning effects, all of them). The budget limitations resulted in alien suits that are bit simplistic, but they still work. And the finale in Washington is a humdinger. Harryhausen's models and the intricate portrayal of the destruction still look astonishing. He even manages to make creative use of stock footage, instead of merely relying on it for a cheap shortcut as so many other 50s science fiction pictures did.
This excellent DVD presents the film in its original 1.85:1 format (I'll bet you didn't know it was a widescreen film) enhanced for widescreen TVs. Also included is "The Harryhausen Chronicles," a feature-length documentary on Harryhausen's work; it appears on all of Columbia's Harryhausen DVDs, so you might have seen it before. New for this DVD is an interview between Harryhausen and director Joe Dante ("Gremlins"). It's short, but you learn some great secrets about the film straight from its creator's mouth, and you also and get to see the original saucer models. Dante also shares his personal memories about seeing the film as a child.
This is a must for any Harryhausen fan or anybody who loves the 1950s Golden Age of alien invaders.
4.0 out of 5 stars Ornery aliens...when will they learn?,
This film stars Hugh Marlowe as Dr. Russell Marvin, head of the military operation called Skyhook, a project involving launching a series of satellites into orbit around the Earth, paving the way for manned expeditions into space. I remember Marlowe best as Tom Stevens from the 1951 quintessential sci-fi film, The Day the Earth Stood Still. Joan Taylor, who is very easy on the eyes, I might add, plays his secretary and recently wedded wife, Carol Marvin, and was in another Harryhausen classic, 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957).
The plot involves flying saucers coming to Earth with nefarious purposes...sounds like the film Independence Day (1996)? It should, as the makers of that film lifted the plot from here, and threw in tons of special effects to dazzle audiences (which they succeeded, even with this viewer). Anyway, there is miscommunication, things happen, words are said, and the aliens start blowing stuff up...blowing stuff up real good. Bad aliens...but they didn't want it to be this way. They were hoping for a friendly takeover, but us Earthlings don't take kindly to technologically advanced beings from outer space in their fancy-schmanzy flying/spinning discs throwing their weight around our neighborhood.
One thing that really surprised me about this movie is that it was really well scripted. The whole story was intelligently written, and almost believable. The writers, dealing with the fantastic elements of the story, didn't seem to over reach their grasp, and seemed to allow for enough detail to keep the viewer from saying "Yeah, right..." in disbelief. Also, there were no real over the top performances, drawing the viewer out of the story. I have to admit, though, the appearance of the numerous saucers didn't seem to illicit the reaction I would have expected, one of terror and fear of this great unknown...
The effects by Harryhausen in this movie, considered by some not to be among his best, worked most effectively for me. The saucers, the destruction of various Washington institutions and monuments, really looked wonderful. They displayed a charm you just don't see anymore with computer-generated graphics nowadays. The aliens might have seemed a bit hokey, in their metal, robot-like suits, and the production values may have been lacking at times, but the well-crafted story, tight dialogue, and superior acting compensate nicely for this, allowing for most viewers to enjoy this science fiction classic.
There are numerous special features, including an hour-long documentary, "The Harryhausen Chronicles", detailing Ray Harryhausen's career in films, from his earliest days working out of his parents' garage to his latest achievements. There is also a featurette called "This is Dynamation", which basically shows what 'Dynamation' is, and how it was used in various movies. Also, there are some trailers and a neat little photo gallery. The picture is in wide screen format, and looks beautiful. I am unsure if any restoration was done for this release, but Columbia should get credit for releasing such a fine print on DVD. Oh yeah...if anyone ever asks to show you their 'Knowledge Index Accumulator', take a pass...alien no goodniks...
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining 50's scifi, with plenty of extras,
By A Customer
Like "Independence Day" the movie is a race against time -- the scientists and military must find a way to defeat the aliens before they succeed in their plan to conquer the Earth-- but "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers" is a better movie than "Independence Day". It's leaner, meaner and better-written. And Ray Harryhausen's special effects still look great today.
And what a great, great job Columbia did with this disc. The film has been digitally cleaned up and presented in widescreen, and there are some great extras -- Joe Dante interviews Ray Harryhausen about the film, and there is a short promotional film about Harryhausen's Dynamation process. A commentary track would have been welcome, but for a B-movie from the 50's, this is above and beyond. Thanks to everyone at Columbia who made it possible.
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Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (Color Special Edition) [Import] by Fred F. Sears (DVD - 2008)
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