Earth Vs the Flying Saucers (Widescreen) (1956)

Actors: Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor, Donald Curtis, Morris Ankrum, John Zaremba
Directors: Fred F. Sears
Format: AC-3, Black & White, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 2
Sony Pictures
DVD Release Date: January 15, 2008
Run Time: 83 minutes



Description: Dr. Russell Marvin heads up Operation Skyhook, which is tasked with sending rockets into the upper atmosphere to probe for future space flights. Unfortunately, all the rockets are somehow disappearing. While investigating this strange occurrence, Russell and his new assistant/wife Carol Marvin are abducted by a flying saucer, where the aliens demand to meet with certain people in order to negotiate. But it was a trick; the aliens only wanted to kill them. The invasion has begun and if Russell and Carol can't find a way to get past their defenses and stop these creatures, it may be the end of the human race. -

The colorization of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers isn't as essential as the one of 20 Million Miles To Earth, but both these 1950's flicks boasting stop motion special effects by the legendary Ray Harryhausen benefit from the process.

Today Earth vs. the Flying Saucers comes across as Mars Attacks! but without the satire. The human characters and story are deathly dull, but the saucers and alien creatures are retro fun for 'Fifties SF movie fans.

It is a truism that today's A-list movies are nothing but yesteryear's B-movies. Except they have bigger budgets. Nowhere is this better illustrated than by the climax of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers in which several Washington, D.C. landmarks are demolished by UFOs - something that anyone who has seen Independence Day will find familiar. That Harryhausen who so gleefully demolishes all these buildings didn't think of blowing up the White House itself comes as a surprise. Maybe there just weren't any money left in the budget . . .

THE DISCS: Some of the special features found on the other recent Harryhausen re-issues are repeated here. New however is a somewhat rambling inset about how the Writer's Guild has in recent years reinstated the correct names of writers on movie credits who wrote under nom de plumes to overcome the restrictions of blacklisting under the McCarthy era.

RECOMMENDATION: The colorization seems a bit off at times, but is still welcome. As one commentator has pointed out, these recently colorized Ray Harryhausen movies aren't Citizen Kane exactly and were usually filmed in B&W because of budgetary constraints and not out of artistic considerations. This point is borne out by the fact that Harryhausen has given his blessing to these new colorized DVD versions. (Purists can still select B&W though.)



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