“When an armed and threatening power lands uninvited in our capitol, we don’t meet it with tea and cookies.”
While returning from their honeymoon, a scientist (Hugh Marlowe) and his new wife (Joan Taylor) spot a flying saucer and soon learn that a fleet of aliens are intending to take over the Earth.
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “enjoyable, flashy science fiction” film features “some spectacular special effects by Ray Harryhausen”, particularly during the “film’s climax” in which “alien rays shatter some of D.C.’s best-known buildings”. There’s not much complexity to the plot (the primary goal is “to come up with a weapon that will stop” the aliens) or the characters (Taylor’s role as Marlowe’s adoring new wife feels especially dated), but as Richard Scheib notes, the script (written in part by Curt Siodmak):
… comes packed with all sorts of novel inventions and devices – forcefields, room-sized computers, a device that indexes all the information inside a human head, the aliens in their blank metal suits with helmets that are revealed to operate by amplifying the senses, rayguns and flashing Van Der Graaf accelerators, [and] even a muddled suggestion of relativity theory at one point.
Most enjoyable, though, are Harryhausen’s surprisingly “realistic” flying saucers — they’re the primary reason to check this one out.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Harryhausen’s impressive special effects
- Effective cinematography
Yes, as an iconic alien invasion flick from the 1950s.