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Scary Film Review of Invaders From Mars: A Prescient Boy, a Pretty Doctor, a Skilled Astronomer, and Thought-controlled Townspeople in The 1953 Original Version

Mars is the name of the ancient Roman god of war. The same-named planet often looks angrily, deeply, passionately red in color. A visit to the Blue Planet therefore tends not to bode well for Earthlings when it is a case of “Invaders from Mars”.

“Invaders from Mars” theatrical poster (1978 reissue)

*****

Martians dislike scientific advances by Earthlings in Invaders from Mars by writers John Tucker Battle and Richard Blake; producer Edward L. Alperson Jr.; and director William Cameron Menzies. John F. Seitz, Arthur Roberts, and Raoul Kraushaar handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases the CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles, California.

The film is based upon a dream by J.T. Battle’s wife. It lasts 78 minutes. It was released by 20th Century Fox Film Corporation on April 22, 1953 in the United States.

The movie begins with David MacLean (Jimmy Hunt) seeing a flying saucer descend into a sandpit during an early morning thunderstorm. David’s engineer father George (Leif Erickson) leaves to check the impact site. David’s mother Mary (Hillary Brooke) telephones the police when George is not back for breakfast. A cold, glassy-eyed, perspiring George returns with a hairline puncture.

David begins to spy on strangely behaving neighbors. He observes playmate Kathy Wilson (Janine Perreau) disappear into the sandpit. Kathy reappears to set afire her mother’s (Fay Baker) cellar.

David contacts Chief Barrows (Bert Freed). A.C. directs David to Sgt. Finley (Walter Sande), who telephones Dr. Pat Blake (Helena Carter). Pat mentions possible polio as the reason why she will not send David home.

David, Pat and Astronomer/Dr. Stuart Kelston (Arthur Franz) consider a Martian invasion of Earth. Martians fear rocket research by Kathy’s father, Dr. William Wilson (Robert Shayne), at a nearby government facility. They implant explosives which control the minds and provoke cerebral hemorrhages in humans – such as Kathy – who fall into the sandpit.   

The Pentagon approves Colonel Fielding’s (Morris Ankrum) defending government workers and townspeople with armed tanks and troops. Military policemen stop:

  • A.C. and General Mayberry (William Forrest) from destroying U.S. rockets;
  • George and Mary from killing William.

David and Pat fall into the sandpit’s tunnels. Two Martian-created Mutax (Lock Martin – Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still — and Max Palmer) force David and Pat onto their spaceship. David and Pat meet the Martian Mastermind (Luce Potter).

Captain Roth (Milburn Stone), Colonel Fielding and elite fighters break through the tunnels to the spaceship. They mine the ship with a six-minute-timed explosive before rescuing David and Pat. David uses the alien’s radioactive ray gun to get all humans above ground.

The movie ends with David awakening from a nightmare; being reassured of the irreality of bad dreams by his parents; and entering his bedroom to see the spaceship of his nightmare disappearing into the sandpit.

*****

Copyright:  Wednesday, October 31, 2012, by Derdriu.

*****

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ury5b-qtI1Y]

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2 Comments
  1. Posted November 2, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Derdriu, Your excellent review is entertaining and encourages me to see this classic film, which all started with a dream . . .
    Appreciatively, Stessily

  2. Posted November 2, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Stessily, It’s quite a thought-provoking film since David’s dream indeed may be prescient. On the other hand, maybe he’s dreaming again. Or maybe events won’t unroll exactly as projected since forewarned is forearmed.
    Respectfully, and with many thanks for visiting, Derdriu

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