Nuclear physicist Cal Meacham begins experiencing strange phenomena. First his plane has a burnout and just before it crashes, it is surrounded by a green glow and lands safely. Next he receives the parts for a strange device called an interroceter. When he assembles the device, it puts him into contact with an individual named Exeter. Exeter, then invites Cal to join a group of scientists on a secret research project. He then boards a remote controlled plane which takes him to a secret location. When he lands he meets old flame, Ruth Adams. They then go to a house where a secret lab is located. After Meacham meets his hosts he begins his work but soon he decides to escape with Ruth and fellow scientist Steve Carlson. During the escape attempt, Carlson is killed as well as several other scientists that were at the house. Cal and Ruth eventually discover that Exeter is an alien from the planet Metaluna and the reason they were kidnapped is to help Exeter and his people find a new source of energy to aid in their war with the warlike people of the planet Zagon. When they arrive on Metaluna, they meet the leader who informs them that the planet is on the verge of collapse and the only viable alternative is to move to Earth.
Loved it at age 11; still find it great at 56.
When it came out, I thought this was the most fantastic movie I'd ever seen. It was easy to identify with the lead character and to share his fascination with the technology that the aliens used to capture his attention and recruit his talents. I particularly remember being entranced by the special effects; the use of vivid color was outstanding among sci-fi offerings of the time. 45 years later, it's still my favorite of the era. I enjoy watching the movie on video and recalling the thrill of seeing it on the big screen for the first time.
This is a great treat from a wonderful era of Sci-Fi.
This is a great treat from a wonderful era of Sci-Fi. Those who complain of the hardware aspects have no romance - an Earth scientist receives an unsolicited manual and roomful of parts to build a futuristic two-way TV, but the parts are a marvel and the pages of the manual aren't paper, but some manner of flexible metal. After constructing the "Interociter", our hero receives a broadcast from Exeter, a fellow scientist with a suspiciously prominent forehead, inviting him to join his research team of the world's greatest experts in their fields. What follows is a comic book come-to-life, and in vivid, 3-part Technicolor! This film is beautiful to look at, and apparently many of today's best Sci-Fi filmmakers did. Rex Reason is fine as our hero, Jeff Morrow is one of the most memorable aliens of the era, and Faith Domergue is a fine actress and is mysteriously one of the most unsung beauties ever. And as to the hardware, the special effects, etc - there is actually nothing to complain about at all...the spaceship, the planet Metaluna, aliens, etc, are not merely passable for the 50's, they are compelling by today's standards. If you have just a bit of imagination, this is one of the best Sci-Fi classics of it's time, and still makes many contemporary efforts pale in comparison.
A Brilliant and unique science fiction movie
A scientist is enlisted by aliens to join a group of scientists to help in defense of his planet and he and another scientist are taken to their home planet which under attack. It is a great classic with a fullblown plot, plenty of twists and turns and excellent acting. The aliens are definitely other worldly but not monstrous looking except for one mutant. The special effects are spectacular and abundant including the alien landscape, the meteors carrying explosives and many others. This movie is a definite must see if you haven't already.
A Nice Sci Fi Movie of the Fifties
"This Island Earth" is not the greatest science fiction movie of all time, but it deserves more respect than it is often granted. The boys at MST3K (whom I think are great) may have done this film a great disservice. In its day, it was thoughtful, imaginative, and the special effects were excellent. I disagree with those who say there is no plot. The cold war fears and xenophobia were once again at the center of this fifties effort. The alien as our "friend" was later used in many settings, including one of the best of the "Twilight Zone" episodes, "To Serve Man."
I was young when I first saw this in a movie theater, but even then I found the home planet, Metaluma, very striking and its fate frightening. I fear that often our smugness in criticizing older films, judging them by standards that they could not have hoped to approach because of the limitations of the technology, keeps us from acceptance of their good points and their contributions. I have an acquaintance who can't watch the Maltese Falcon because it is in black and white. What a loss. The sets are striking in this film. The aliens are a bit of a stretch, but I still like what they are. I saw this movie a couple times in a theatre (not the MST version). As people left they were captivated and involved. When we left, we had had fun (not from ridiculing but enjoying). Granted there are no computer morphs and no giant metal bugs sucking brains out, but it is still good stuff.
One of the best
All too many sci-fi films seem to rely on visual effects and cinematic technique to capture audience attention at the expense of a storyline with any substance. However, "This Island Earth," one of the best sci-fi flicks of the fifties (right up there with "War of the Worlds," "When Worlds Collide," "The Day The Earth Stood Still," and "Forbidden Planet") creates a very credible alternative reality as a context for a literate plot line. Although some of the special effects (particularly in the second half of the film) may leave something to be desired when compared to today's CGI effects, this is more than compensated for by the overall quality of the narrative.
Having grown up in the fifties, I also appreciate the feel for that era (particularly that decade's attitude towards science and scientists) this film has captured (of particular note is the "car chase" in the woody). It's a classic of its genre that deserves the wider audience.
A classic from the golden age of science fiction
THIS ISLAND, EARTH is a classic, well made and engaging film from the golden age of science fiction. It stands well above most of its mid 1950s peers in terms of production values, scripting and especially wonderful special effects photography. A lot of care and skill went into creating the latter, and the result is durable even in comparison to the computer generated effects of today. One must remember that the film is approaching 50 years of age, and cannot reasonably be judged by today's standards. Detractors are quick to mention plot holes and dated acting. Perhaps the characterizations are a bit old fashioned and the plot suffers from lack of logic in a few spots. So what? Most all films will reveal plot errors if scrutinized, and in any case, the genre is called science fiction because it is fiction, not fact. The main purpose of any film is to entertain its audience, and THIS ISLAND, EARTH accomplishes that admirably. The entertainment value is superior to most (if not all) of the gore and profanity laced product served up as science fiction in the present day. It is a film that is rewarding and well worth the viewers time.
A very good film!
Its great film! The casting was good and Rex Reason was an excellent choice! I don`t believe there is an actor like him today. Faith Domergue is very different actress but a very beautiful at that!The color is awesome and the Metaluna Mutant is a cool villain! A great Universal Studios Monsters film!
Yet another Gem from The Golden Age...
THIS ISLAND EARTH is satisfying on every level (at least, it always has been for ME, but what do I know, right?), making it yet another of those gems from The Golden Age of Science Fiction Films. The science is plausible enough for Science FICTION; the performances are without flaw; the Aliens are most definitely ALIEN; the Special Effects are indeed SPECIAL; and the Monster just happens to be one of the Greatest ever conceived (in my own, ever humble, opinion). I've been treating myself to marathons of Old Movies (Science Fiction and Horror, mostly) over the past month or so and I found myself being drawn irresistibly into this movie, something that rarely happens; I even picked up on the names of the stars from CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON ("Adams" and "Carlson") and I want a Metaluna Mutant model more than ever. THIS ISLAND EARTH takes me back to a Time that never was (for ME: the 1950s) and an alien planet long gone. Who could ask for more...?
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