It Came from Outer Space (1953)

It Came from Outer Spaceitcame
Directed by Jack Arnold
Written by Harry Essex from a story by Ray Bradbury
Universal International Pictures
First viewing/Amazon Instant


[first lines] John Putnam: [off-screen] This is Sand Rock, Arizona, of a late evening in early spring. It’s a nice town, knowing its past and sure of its future, as it makes ready for the night, and the predictable morning. The desert blankets the earth, cooling, resting for the fight with tomorrow’s sun. And in my house near the town, we’re also sure of the future. So very sure.

Fifties sci-fi seems to be preoccupied with the alien in human disguise.

Amateur astronomer John Putnam (Richard Carlson) is whispering sweet nothings to his sweetie Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush) when they see a large object fall from the sky with a tremendous crash.  They assume it is a meteor and go out to the site to investigate.  John goes down into the crater and sees what seems to be a vehicle and what he thinks may be life inside. Immediately there is a landslide which buries the evidence and from which John barely escapes with his life.  He alerts some telephone repairmen who scoff at his report.  He leaves to fetch help and when he returns the repairmen are acting mighty strange.


John spends the rest of the film at odds with the town’s sheriff whose primary concern is protecting Ellen from John’s weird ideas.  When the evidence becomes undeniable, the sheriff further complicates matters by rushing to the other extreme in cowboy mode.


This is quite an OK example of the early 50’s sci-fi genre.  I’m sorry they found it necessary to show the alien.  The previous reaction shots and glimpses were way creepier.  I’d love to see this in 3-D.  The 2-D trailer shows the possibilities.


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