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The Thing From Another World - 1951

Hawks' film is considered one of the greatest sci-fi classics of the fifties. The film was loosely based on the 1938 novella "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr. The screenplay was by Charles Lederer, with uncredited rewrites from Howard Hawks and Ben Hecht. The film took full advantage of the national feelings of the time to help enhance the horror elements of the story. We actually offer extensive highlights on The Thing From Another World in SFMZ's The Thing Films section.









Flight to Mars (1951)

A Cinecolor film, Flight to Mars was written for the screen by Arthur Strawn, produced by Walter Mirisch for Monogram Pictures and directed by Lesley Selander. The film features Cameron Mitchell, Arthur Franz, Virginia Huston, and John Litel as American spacemen, Marguerite Chapman appeared as Alita, the leader of the human-like Martian women, and Morris Ankrum as Ikron, the leader of the Martian council.

The film has some similarities to the Russian silent film Aelita. The story involves the arrival on Mars of an American scientific expedition team, who discover an underground-dwelling, dying civilization of Martians. They are anatomically human, and are suspicious of the earthmen's motives, with the majority of the governing body finally deciding to keep the earthmen prisoner. This film reuses almost all the cabin interior details from Rocketship X-M, except for some of the flight instruments.





Even the spaceflight noises are reused. Similarly, the concepts of spaceflight are those postulated in that earlier film. The main differences are this film postulates a planned flight to Mars, whereas the earlier film postulates an accidental flight to Mars, which accident occurs during a planned flight to the Moon.

Additionally, this film postulates a Martian species which is in many ways superior to Mankind, and poses a long-term, strategic threat. Whereas the earlier film postulates a Martian species which is pre-literate, and a throw-back, as a consequence of a global nuclear holocaust which occurred many millennia earlier, and poses only an immediate, tactical threat to the voyagers.

The space suits appear to have been adapted from those used in Destination Moon, even to the different suit colors. Although supposedly Super Cinecolor, the extant prints appear to be conventional Cinecolor (two color), and not Super Cinecolor (three color) as was used so successfully in Invaders from Mars. The Wade Williams DVD appears to be made from a 16mm print. 16mm prints of Super Cinecolor features were almost always conventional Cinecolor.









Lost Planet Airmen (1951)

This 1951 film is a feature re-issue of the 1949 12-chapter Republic serial "King of the Rocket Men" edited down to 65 minutes, which basically means that players such as Tom Steele, David Sharpe and Eddie Parker who had as many as four-to-five different roles in the 12-chapter serial only pop up here in two-three different roles but spaced closer together.

Both versions find the diabolical Dr. Vulcan (I. Stanford Jolley) causing the deaths of Professors Drake (Dale Van Sickle)and Millard (James Craven) of Science Associates, a privately-operated desert research project. The "accidents" attract the attention of Glenda Thomas (Mae Clarke), photographer for Miracle Science magazine.





She visits the project and is placated by publicity director Burt Winslow (House Peters, Jr.) and project member Jeff King (Tristram Coffin). Later, Jeff visits a cave where he has been hiding Professor Millard, who wasn't killed but wants it thought he was, so he and Jeff can work on a rocket-propelled flying suit they have invented, with controls limited to "on", "off", "up" and "down" that work very well, thank you.









The Man From Planet X (1951)

Starring Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, Raymond Bond, William Schallert, Roy Engel, Charles Davis, Gilbert Fallman. The Man From Planet X was directed by Edgar G. Ulmer who had directed the Bela Lugosi/Boris Karloff teamup picture The Black Cat in 1934.

The film went into production on 13 December 1950 at Hal Roach Studios in Culver City, California and wrapped principal photography six days later. To save money, the film was shot on sets for the 1948 Ingrid Bergman film Joan of Arc, using fog to change moods and locations.

Invaders from Mars, The War of the Worlds, and The Thing from Another World all began production around the same time this film was made. The alien can only communicate using modulated musical sounds, a concept used three decades later in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Both Pat Goldin and dwarf actor Billy Curtis are credited by different sources with playing the role of the alien. Robert Clarke' was paid $350/week for his work on this film.





STORY: A New York City newspaper reporter flies to a remote island off Scotland, on an invitation from a scientist who is a long-time friend, to cover the news of the approach to earth of a previously-unknown planet, which the scientist has called Planet X.

While awaiting the calculated date of it closest approach to Earth, they discover a torpedo-shaped craft in which an agent of Planet X, peacefully disposed, has landed to make preparations for further landings of X-people when the planet reaches its closest proximity to Earth.

The scientist's assistant crosses up the friendly visitor, who depends on a tank of X-atmosphere for survival. The Man from Planet X, using a mesmeric ray, captures the scientist, his daughter, the assistant and several townspeople.









Five (1951)

Five is a 1951 American independent horror science fiction film that was produced, written, and directed by Arch Oboler. The film stars William Phipps, Susan Douglas RubeŇ°, James Anderson, Charles Lampkin, and Earl Lee. Five was distributed by Columbia Pictures.





STORY: The film's storyline involves five survivors, one woman and four men, of an atomic bomb disaster. It appears to have wiped out the rest of the human race while leaving all infrastructure intact. The five come together at a remote, isolated hillside house, where they try to figure out how to survive and come to terms with the loss of their own personal worlds.









Lost Continent (1951)

Lost Continent is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction film drama from Lippert Pictures, produced by Jack Leewood, Robert L. Lippert, and Sigmund Neufeld, directed by Sam Newfield (Sigmund Neufeld's brother), that stars Cesar Romero, Hillary Brooke, Whit Bissell, Sid Melton, Hugh Beaumont and John Hoyt.

STORY: An expedition is sent to the South Pacific to search for a missing atomic-powered rocket in order to retrieve the vital scientific data recorded aboard. On an uncharted island they discover more than their rocket, now crashed atop a mysterious plateau, they find a lost jungle world populated by prehistoric dinosaurs.









Unknown World (1951)

Unknown World (a.k.a. Night Without Stars) is a 1951 independently made American black-and-white science fiction adventure film, directed by Terrell O. Morse, and starring Bruce Kellogg, Marilyn Nash, Jim Bannon, and Otto Waldis. Distributed by Lippert Pictures, it was produced by Irving A. Block and Jack Rabin.

The film concerns a scientific expedition seeking livable space deep beneath the Earth's surface in the event a nuclear war makes living above ground impossible.




50's SCI-FI - 1952 > > >




References and Excerpts: wikipedia.org, imdb.com




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1950

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