SassyFlix | The Man from Planet X

The Man from Planet X

  • NR
  • 1951-04-27
  • 01:10:00
6/ 10
42 votes

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. The reporter calls Scotland Yard. Sherrill Corwin, a distributor, gave this film a test-run at the San Francisco Paramount on March 9, 1951 (after screening it in Hollywood for the trade-paper reviewers on March 8) before buying the distribution rights from Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen's Mid-Century Pictures production company.


Cheesy But Scary-Fun Rainy Saturday B-Flick

In my mind, this film has two major distinctions. The first is veteran character actor William Schallert playing, possibly for the only time in his career, a weaseling villain. After all, to us Boomers he was Patty Duke's father in "The Patty Duke Show," or the humble, self-effacing-yet-professional Air Corps pilot that planned and led the interception of Japansese Admiral Yamamto in "The Gallant Hours." The second distinction is that this is the first movie that scared the crap out of me. I was 7 years old and after seeing this movie couldn't sleep with the lights off for a week. Even into adulthood, driving past the salt marshes of Eastern Long Island on a foggy night caused my imagination to go a bit bonkers.

While it certainly scared a bunch of kids, the cult appeal that other horror or B-movie flicks enjoyed doesn't carry over into adulthood. The dialogue appears to have been written by adolescent comic book authors. Enid, the heroine, upon getting a flat tire, actually says "Confound the luck!" And the egghead Professor Elliot seems to like the word "singularity," as he inserts it all over his speech at random and without any meaning. Plot devices used to connect to the next scene seem to have been made up on the set at the last minute. All the clothing, especially hero John's Air Force bomber jacket and his trenchcoat, appear to have been rented cheap provided they don't get wrinkled or dirty.

But, in the end, it needs to be enjoyed for what it is: A Cheesy Rainy Saturday Afternoon B-Flick. Get some of the frat brothers together, tap a mini-keg, and laugh at the dialogue, the cheap sets, the just-off-the-rack look of all the clothes, the plot devices, and the special effects.

An absolute classic Must see!!!!!!!!!

As far as I am concerned,this movie is the embodiment of 1950's Science Fiction.You will be mystified by "THE MAN"S" surreptitious approach to encountering his alien counterparts - "Earthlings"! There is that non-intentional, typical fifties humorous side to this movie.

Classic among Big-Headed Monsters

One of the five sci-fi's I remember every single detail of from my earliest days as a fan. For the genre, I think it's considerably above average. The moor is nicely atmospheric. There's one of every character in the book: the good guy, the bad guy, the local sheriff, the lovely damsel, her father the old professor, etc. The scene where we're looking for the first time through the window of the ship and the visitor peeks out from the other side is easily as good as the three-fingered-hand-on-the-shoulder in War of the Worlds. Nice "character" to the visitor, for whom, like Karloff's Frankenstein, we end up feeling some empathy .

A cult movie about alien contact

"The Man of Planet X" (1951 - 70 minutes), is a delicious cult of science fiction directed by Edgar G. Ulmer from the story of Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen, and with the main actors: Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, Raymond Bond and William Schallert. Professor Elliot (Raymond Bond) works in an observatory in the Scottish island of Burray and discovers a new planet in the Solar System, Planet "X". The route of the enigmatic celestial body will pass quite near the planet Earth. John Lawrence (Robert Clarke), an American journalist friend of Elliot, goes to the island to get information about the unusual fact and finds Dr. Mears there (William Schallert), an unscrupulous scientist and his disaffection. The professor Elliot's daughter, Eunid (Margaret Field), is the first one to see a stranger alien spaceship and its occupant, after having her car damaged in a road with much fog, at night. The mysterious space traveler makes contact with professor Elliot and his friends and will use a device to control their minds. Is the visitor friendly? What are his intentions? What is his relationship with Planet "X"?

Low budge & classic science fiction of 50'!!!

I recorded this movie on TCM with bad image that they allowed us, now on very first time officially in Brazil bring us the fully restored this amazing B-movie, all movie was made in studio sets, the rocks are phony, the tower is a drawing, even the harbor and the village were painted, but all this are wonderful sets and weird but somehow gave a charm to the picture and quickly became a classic B Sci-fi, all ellements of this marvelous genre are presents here, Edgar G Ulmer was one best director to work on tight budge, fantastically photographed in black and white picture!!!

A Bigger Gem Than You May Expect

As a mysterious planet hurls itself toward earth, an enigmatic extraterrestrial scout arrives on a remote Scottish island with unknown intentions.

Edgar Ulmer is not a well-known director. Horror fans may know his "Black Cat", and science fiction fans may know him for this film. But, largely, I think he has been forgotten. And that is a shame because these two films alone make for a solid legacy.

Ulmer did set design for Max Reinhardt's theater, served his apprenticeship with F. W. Murnau, and worked with directors including Robert Siodmak, Billy Wilder, Fred Zinnemann and cinematographer Eugen Schüfftan. His work is forgotten but he was a crucial piece of the early German-American film.

Sure, "Planet X" is cheesy. Yes, the camera likes to sit behind trees, and it is odd how Dr. Mears is able to walk five feet behind others without being noticed. And sure, they barely spent a penny by re0using the sets of other films. And yes, yes, the Scottish constable is a silly ethnic stereotype. All these things are true. But that is the charm.

This film excels because it embraces its cheese and runs with it. Could planets really come that close to earth? Obviously not. And no film would attempt that stunt today. But this was an era when science did not need to be in science fiction to be good. The world was less cynical and more relaxed. Enjoy!

Cult for Fans of the Genre

The reporter John Lawrence (Robert Clarke) visits Dr. Robert Blane (Gilbert Fallman) and learns that his friend, Prof. Elliot (Raymond Bond) has discovered a new planet that is in route toward Earth and has moved to an observatory on the Burry Island to observe from a closer location. John heads to the Scottish island and is welcomed by Prof. Elliot's daughter Enid Elliot (Margaret Field), who is now a beautiful young woman. They go to the observatory to meet Prof. Elliot and John finds Dr. Mears (William Schallert), who is his disaffection. When Enid returns home after driving John to an inn in the town, she has a flat tire and finds a spacecraft landed on the island with a weird alien inside that follows her home. While Prof. Elliot and John want to investigate the reason why the alien landed on Earth, Dr. Mears has second thoughts. What are the true intentions of the extraterrestrial being?

"The Man from Planet X" is a campy and lame sci-fi in black and white, but also a cult for fans (like me) of sci-fi from the 50's. The story of a close encounter with an alien is from the same year of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" that is a classic. The open end, where the true intention of the extraterrestrial being is not disclosed, is excellent. My vote is six.

You Have to Love It

This is wonderful in its own way. An alien has landed in the moors of Scotland and an American reporter comes to visit at the behest of an astronomer who has noticed a planet heading for the Earth. In the mix is a genius scientist who has a few loose screws, played by William Schallert (remember him as Dobie Gillis's teacher and Patty Duke's father, among others). One night the daughter of the scientist is coming back from town when she encounters a space ship. Upon investigating, she sees a face in the window of the ship which terrifies her. The rest of the movie involves a series of efforts to connect with the alien (who is about as unconvincing as is humanly possible). He has no facial movements and a single expression, as if he is paralyzed. They befriend him but Schallert soon screws things up by cutting off the air supply to the poor guy. Schallert seems to think that somehow this creature will make him rich and famous, though we're never sure how that is going to happen. This guy is connected to the planet that is going to launch a full scale invasion. The reporter goes to the local authorities. People have been disappearing and there is a lot of tension. The constable, who looks like he won second place in a Rod Steiger look-alike contest helps out. He is by far the best actor and the most believable character in the movie. All activities from this point on are at best bewildering, but it doesn't matter. Made on a shoestring budget, it's very nice entertainment for those who don't wish to ask any questions.