Target Earth (1954)

Target Earthtarget_earth_poster_04
Directed by Sherman A. Rose
Written by William Raynor, James H. Nicholson, and Wyott Ordung from a story by Paul W. Fairman
1954/USA
Abtcon Pictures/Herman Cohen Productions
First viewing/YouTube

Nora King: You don’t need a reason to die, Frank. Just one to live.

This has a very promising start.  Then the actors start to talk and we are introduced to the alien.

A woman, Nora, is laying in her bed, a bottle of sleeping pills at her side.  She wakes up from her unsuccessful suicide attempt and tries to find a neighbor.  None are in and when she goes out into the town the streets are eerily empty.  She starts to be pursued by a stranger, Frank, and runs.

The two gradually establish that neither has a reason to fear the other and that they are apparently the only two people in town.  They speculate that the city was evacuated during the night.  They begin to search for a radio or any news of what has happened.  Before very long, the shadow of a gigantic robot begins to tell the story.  They manage to escape its clutches.

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One of their expeditions takes them into a hotel bar where they discover Vicki (Virginia Grey) and Jim, a couple who are partaking of all the free champagne available on the premises.  The four join forces.  Eventually, an escaped convict shows up to make the party complete.  Romance and danger ensue.

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The first ten minutes or so of this movie are dialogue-free and reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode.  If the story had continued on that track this could have been something really interesting.  Unfortunately, the alien turns out to be a comically flimsy robot that looks as if it might be made out of cardboard and would blow over in a stiff breeze.  Then we start to concentrate on the group dynamics of the survivors with the predictable romances and melodrama.

Trailer

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