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Candy
2005-Feb-28, 07:19 AM
Science fiction. Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne. (1953) Martian warships invade Earth and incinerate everything in sight with heat rays. From the H.G. Wells book.

Wow, I didn't know there was an original movie made. It's on AMC (amctv.com) right now - it started 15 minutes ago.

The meteorite skidded across a field, and the towns people are just standing around. Wouldn't there be some serious radiation killing them instantaneously?

Now, I'm at the part where the hatch opens. :o

One towns man just said, "I think it's men from Mars". Now, how in the world would they know where these ~aliens are from? 8-[

kucharek
2005-Feb-28, 07:30 AM
One towns man just said, "I think it's men from Mars". Now, how in the world would they know where these ~aliens are from? 8-[
In the Fifties, all strange stuff came from Mars...

Candy
2005-Feb-28, 07:50 AM
The alien ships have huge periscopes that are also used for laser zapping. When they do this, it causes surrounding objects to magnetize.

It looks like the ships have a protective force field around them. How can they still shoot through their field, yet, the Army canít penetrate through them?

Dang, these Martians are mean. They are annihilating everything in sight that moves.

I suppose I would have been scared in the naÔve fifties, too. :o

Candy
2005-Feb-28, 08:00 AM
These meteorites are just crashing down to Earth in the masses. The meteorites are really space ships (~in disguise). They clean up nice after landing.

Oh, there is a love story brewing between an astrophysicist and the library science teacher. :D

Candy
2005-Feb-28, 08:10 AM
A Martian just made physical contact with the librarian. I got the feeling the Martian was hurt and trying to make contact. The doctor threw an ax at him, and he ran off screaming.

Now, there is a lengthy narration to the total destruction of Earth with devastating photos.

Washington DC is the only area left (in the world) with strategic positioning for defense.

Something tells me, the contact between the librarian and the alien might be significant later in the movie. I could be wrong, though. 8-[

Candy
2005-Feb-28, 08:24 AM
ATOMIC BOMB just tried to blow up the ships! Those spectators are a goner in about 10 years or less, but the alien ships survived.

The Americans are back to the drawing board. What I suspected earlier with the injured Martian was true, they are now analyzing his blood.

WHAT A COOL FLICK! 8)

Candy
2005-Feb-28, 08:35 AM
Man, humans are not nice when faced with survival. :(

They are beating each other to gain control of transportation to safety. The weak are certainly not winning.

Candy
2005-Feb-28, 08:43 AM
The weak have gathered in a church. Ironically, the doctor and librarian have reunited after losing each other in the chaos.

Just when the church was going to be blasted, the Martian ship crashed. :o

Oh, the suspense.

Candy
2005-Feb-28, 08:46 AM
The Martians are dying in hoards! The doctor is suggesting it is from praying for a miracle.

Narrator steps in Ė the Martians have no immune to our germs. Godís wisdom saved us!

The End. :-?

tmosher
2005-Feb-28, 10:17 AM
It's a classic.

Wait till you see the other classic science fiction flicks of that era - such as Robin Crusoe on Mars. Adam West bites it in the beginning of that movie.

SkepticJ
2005-Feb-28, 04:46 PM
The Martians are dying in hoards! The doctor is suggesting it is from praying for a miracle.

Narrator steps in Ė the Martians have no immune to our germs. Godís wisdom saved us!

The End. :-?

I don't remember the doctor saying that and I own the movie. I don't like the god part either. Wells must have spun in his grave when they wrote that in. Wasn't he agnostic or even an atheist?

Nowhere Man
2005-Feb-28, 05:28 PM
In another moment I had scrambled up the earthen rampart and stood upon its crest, and the interior of the redoubt was below me. A mighty space it was, with gigantic machines here and there within it, huge mounds of material and strange shelter places. And scattered about it, some in their overturned war-machines, some in the now rigid handling-machines, and a dozen of them stark and silent and laid in a row, were the Martians--dead!--slain by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared; slain as the red weed was being slain; slain, after all man's devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.
My emphasis. Some of the narration in the movie is a direct lift from the book.

Fred

papageno
2005-Feb-28, 05:31 PM
In another moment I had scrambled up the earthen rampart and stood upon its crest, and the interior of the redoubt was below me. A mighty space it was, with gigantic machines here and there within it, huge mounds of material and strange shelter places. And scattered about it, some in their overturned war-machines, some in the now rigid handling-machines, and a dozen of them stark and silent and laid in a row, were the Martians--dead!--slain by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared; slain as the red weed was being slain; slain, after all man's devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.
My emphasis. Some of the narration in the movie is a direct lift from the book.

Fred

But it was the character narrating (in the book), right?

Russ
2005-Feb-28, 05:36 PM
I agree with tmosher, you really need to see movies that were contemporaries of this one. I must point out that, while a fun show, Robinson Crusoe on Mars was not really a contemporary of WoTW. It was based on a story written in the 1960's not in 1880's. It does share the communists as bad guys mentality, however.

You should rent "Forbidden Planet" "When Planets Collide" "The Day The Earth Stood Still" etc. These were all made during the height of the "Red Scare" and the McCarthy hearings and they reflect the fear and parinoia of the times. To wit, the "bad guys" in all of the movies represent the comunists.

Nowhere Man
2005-Feb-28, 05:37 PM
But it was the character narrating (in the book), right?
Right. A character doesn't have to share his author's beliefs. But my point was, the script writers didn't add the bit about God. Although HG probably had enough to grave-spin about from that film, and the remake of the Time Machine, and...

Fred

Parrothead
2005-Feb-28, 05:38 PM
The Martians are dying in hoards! The doctor is suggesting it is from praying for a miracle.

Narrator steps in Ė the Martians have no immune to our germs. Godís wisdom saved us!

The End. :-?

I don't remember the doctor saying that and I own the movie. I don't like the god part either. Wells must have spun in his grave when they wrote that in. Wasn't he agnostic or even an atheist?

From the book end of chapter 8 edit: (Dead London)


... At the thought I extended my hands towards the sky and began thanking God. In a year, thought I - in a year...

With overwhelming force came the thought of myself, of my wife, and the old life of hope and tender helpfulness that had ceased forever.

kucharek
2005-Feb-28, 05:39 PM
Don't forget "Invaders from Mars", also a 1953 flic.

Nowhere Man
2005-Feb-28, 05:57 PM
I agree with tmosher, you really need to see movies that were contemporaries of this one. I must point out that, while a fun show, Robinson Crusoe on Mars was not really a contemporary of WoTW. It was based on a story written in the 1960's not in 1880's. It does share the communists as bad guys mentality, however.
RC on Mars was 1964. They used the WotW martian ships for the attack ships. IMDB does credit Daniel Defoe (1660-1773) for the inspiration.


You should rent "Forbidden Planet" "When Planets Collide" "The Day The Earth Stood Still" etc. These were all made during the height of the "Red Scare" and the McCarthy hearings and they reflect the fear and parinoia of the times. To wit, the "bad guys" in all of the movies represent the comunists.
I'd recommend the monster-type and alien-invasion movies as commie-invasion allegories, rather than these three. There really are no bad guys as such in Forbidden Planet, and When Worlds Collide is more man against nature. TDtESS I can't really place -- It's not invasion allegory, but I can't come up with the sub-genre.

Fred

tmosher
2005-Feb-28, 06:06 PM
I agree with tmosher, you really need to see movies that were contemporaries of this one. I must point out that, while a fun show, Robinson Crusoe on Mars was not really a contemporary of WoTW. It was based on a story written in the 1960's not in 1880's. It does share the communists as bad guys mentality, however.
RC on Mars was 1964. They used the WotW martian ships for the attack ships. IMDB does credit Daniel Defoe (1660-1773) for the inspiration.


You should rent "Forbidden Planet" "When Planets Collide" "The Day The Earth Stood Still" etc. These were all made during the height of the "Red Scare" and the McCarthy hearings and they reflect the fear and parinoia of the times. To wit, the "bad guys" in all of the movies represent the comunists.
I'd recommend the monster-type and alien-invasion movies as commie-invasion allegories, rather than these three. There really are no bad guys as such in Forbidden Planet, and When Worlds Collide is more man against nature. TDtESS I can't really place -- It's not invasion allegory, but I can't come up with the sub-genre.

Fred

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049366/) (the 1956 version not the 1978 version with Donald Sutherland).

The original IBS fits the communism allegory.

Jim
2005-Feb-28, 06:37 PM
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049366/) (the 1956 version not the 1978 version with Donald Sutherland).

The original IBS fits the communism allegory.

"The Thing from Another World" (1951). Originally a 1938 short story, "Who Goes There?"

NorthGuy
2005-Feb-28, 06:56 PM
A Martian just made physical contact with the librarian. I got the feeling the Martian was hurt and trying to make contact. The doctor threw an ax at him, and he ran off screaming.

Now, there is a lengthy narration to the total destruction of Earth with devastating photos.

Washington DC is the only area left (in the world) with strategic positioning for defense.

Something tells me, the contact between the librarian and the alien might be significant later in the movie. I could be wrong, though. 8-[

Given the ultimate fate of the Martians it probably was significant (although I've seen the movie a few times, that never occurred to me until you mentioned it just now). Those Martians should have used rubber gloves. Still, the ending is pretty much a Deus ex Machina (http://newark.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Terms/deusexmachina.html).

Parrothead
2005-Feb-28, 07:04 PM
I agree with tmosher, you really need to see movies that were contemporaries of this one. I must point out that, while a fun show, Robinson Crusoe on Mars was not really a contemporary of WoTW. It was based on a story written in the 1960's not in 1880's. It does share the communists as bad guys mentality, however.
RC on Mars was 1964. They used the WotW martian ships for the attack ships. IMDB does credit Daniel Defoe (1660-1773) for the inspiration.


You should rent "Forbidden Planet" "When Planets Collide" "The Day The Earth Stood Still" etc. These were all made during the height of the "Red Scare" and the McCarthy hearings and they reflect the fear and parinoia of the times. To wit, the "bad guys" in all of the movies represent the comunists.
I'd recommend the monster-type and alien-invasion movies as commie-invasion allegories, rather than these three. There really are no bad guys as such in Forbidden Planet, and When Worlds Collide is more man against nature. TDtESS I can't really place -- It's not invasion allegory, but I can't come up with the sub-genre.

Fred

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049366/) (the 1956 version not the 1978 version with Donald Sutherland).

The original IBS fits the communism allegory.

One could also go to some soviet era SF, as mentioned in another thread some time ago. Books such as WE by Eugene Zamiatin (thought of as the inspiration for Orwell's 1984) and Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov are satirical and scathing views of communism dressed up in SF, written in the 1920's.

Rue
2005-Feb-28, 07:16 PM
I'd recommend the monster-type and alien-invasion movies as commie-invasion allegories...

And The Blob (1958) which was about the expansion of the communist empire.

cyswxman
2005-Feb-28, 07:33 PM
The Blob song rocks!

Rue
2005-Feb-28, 07:46 PM
The Blob song rocks!

Yeah! Grooovy.

http://kingtet.com/theblob.htm

mutant
2005-Feb-28, 08:12 PM
First, it is a movie. Quit trying to disect it and sit back and enjoy it.
Second, this was one of the best sci-fi movies I have seen. I saw it in 1953 and at least 10 times since then. I always watch it when it is on tv.
I was 9 years old when I first saw it and I remember it scaring the death out of me. Great fun.

Paul Beardsley
2005-Feb-28, 09:56 PM
Candy, I'd just like to say I really enjoyed your breathless, non-ironic enthusiasm in your live commentary. Actually I enjoyed it more than the movie!

I'd love to see that sort of thing again - but it's got to be genuinely live, of a film seen for the first time, and it's got to be honest enthusiasm.

Candy
2005-Mar-01, 01:46 AM
Candy, I'd just like to say I really enjoyed your breathless, non-ironic enthusiasm in your live commentary. Actually I enjoyed it more than the movie!

I'd love to see that sort of thing again - but it's got to be genuinely live, of a film seen for the first time, and it's got to be honest enthusiasm.
You're in luck, because I haven't seen most of the movies mentioned. Heck, I don't even see movies at the movie threatre now. :(

I did leave some parts out. I was wondering why they didn't expand on the scientific part of analyzing the blood, but I guess it was because the truck (full of equipment) got hi-jacked when it was headed to the laboratory. There was a part where the Americans were analyzing the head of one of those periscopes that the doctor had axed off, just before the physical encounter with the Martian.

The periscope had one red eye, one green eye, and a blue mouth (I think). Coincidently, the Martianís true head resembled the periscope. I only saw the one Martian, so when he returned to his ship, he mustíve infected the other Martianís when they gathered in the mountainous area (just before the A-Bomb). This would mean the Martianís had to have left their ships for the germs to spread, which I never saw.

This was a truly cool movie. Iím not used to a narrator, so I was a little confused at first. I thought the narrator was the doctorís thoughts at the given time.

I am starting to think the narrator was the doctorís thoughts after all was said and done. I could be wrong, though. I never read the book. 8-[

Inferno
2005-Mar-01, 02:00 AM
It's pretty damn good movie. Some of the scenes with just the humans chit-chatting away with themselves gets a little dull, but it's compensating for the excitment level that happens whenever a martian ship appears. Great effects too. Hell, even today I prefer some of those effects to some cgi.

jrkeller
2005-Mar-01, 02:12 AM
Here's a few more.

Them!
20 Million Miles to Earth and other Ray Harryhausen movies
This Island Earth
It, The Terror From Beyond Space (Alien Ripped off this movie)

Here's a site (http://www.bmonster.com/index.shtml) dedicated to B Monster movies.

Sever
2005-Mar-01, 02:41 AM
I've only seen the first part. :cry:
(Where the tanks are engaging the first martians).

Lycus
2005-Mar-01, 03:18 AM
This Island Earth
I saw that once, but this jerk in the front row and his two robots wouldn't shut up for the whole movie.

weatherc
2005-Mar-01, 04:46 AM
I have to agree that I prefer the 1953 War of the Worlds to most of the CGI movies of today (and at 30 years old, I'm not exactly an old-timer). I still sit through it when I stumble upon it while channel surfing. Despite its flaws, it had something that most movies today are missing; for lack of a better word I guess I'll use the word "soul," but that doesn't really seem to fit. Maybe "heart" would work better.

I'm still waiting for people to become bored with special effects so that Hollywood can start spending cash on these things called "writing" and "story." The Lord of the Rings worked because they had great special effects and a great story.

Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now.

Inferno
2005-Mar-01, 04:51 AM
I have to agree that I prefer the 1953 War of the Worlds to most of the CGI movies of today (and at 30 years old, I'm not exactly an old-timer). I still sit through it when I stumble upon it while channel surfing. Despite its flaws, it had something that most movies today are missing; for lack of a better word I guess I'll use the word "soul," but that doesn't really seem to fit. Maybe "heart" would work better.

I'm still waiting for people to become bored with special effects so that Hollywood can start spending cash on these things called "writing" and "story." The Lord of the Rings worked because they had great special effects and a great story.

Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now.

One things for sure. Those "making of the movie" TV specials aren't half as interesting as they use to be. Who wants to see people typing away at a computer? I already do that everyday!

Morrolan
2005-Mar-01, 05:16 AM
candy, you should try and find the album Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000025CO/qid=1109653980/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/103-2009034-8157402). with a voice over by the incomparable Richard Burton. it's really cool, if a bit dated, and recreates a bit of the atmosphere of the movie.



UUUULLLAAAAAHHH!!!!! :o

jrkeller
2005-Mar-01, 05:55 AM
This Island Earth
I saw that once, but this jerk in the front row and his two robots wouldn't shut up for the whole movie.

We must have seen this movie together and not even realized it. He was there when I saw this movie too.

Enzp
2005-Mar-01, 06:12 AM
I too saw War of the Worlds in a theater back in the 1950s. Scared me to death sitting there in the front row. I still find the green machines with the gooseneck blaster to be sinister in their simplicity.

Sylvia!! Sylvia!! The three local guys outlined in their own ashes near the beginning after the hatch slooooowly screws open. The war machines in their force bubbles after the A-bomb. (Now there is a term we no longer use) Lots of memorable images there for me.

Candy, watch the schedule, War of the Worlds has been on cable several times in the last couple weeks. I was watching it with you a couple hundred miles to the northeast. Robinson Crusoe on Mars was just on recently too.

DOn't miss The Thing - James Arness as the title character. Destination Moon is another goodie. Forbidden Planet is the ultimate classic Sci Fi. If it gave us nothing else, it gave us Robby the RObot.

Inferno
2005-Mar-01, 06:23 AM
candy, you should try and find the album Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000025CO/qid=1109653980/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/103-2009034-8157402). with a voice over by the incomparable Richard Burton. it's really cool, if a bit dated, and recreates a bit of the atmosphere of the movie.



UUUULLLAAAAAHHH!!!!! :o

Do you know they're considering making a movie based on the album? They've even released some test animation they did for the tripods. No word yet whether it will have the characters singing or just the music for the background.

Candy
2005-Mar-01, 06:28 AM
Forbidden Planet is the ultimate classic Sci Fi. If it gave us nothing else, it gave us Robby the RObot.
I started to watch this a while back and even started a thread, but with my schedule, I fell asleep like a big dummy shortly after it started. #-o

I'll try to keep my eyes open from now on [edit, no pun intended] - that or the occasional PM might help, too. :wink:

Jim
2005-Mar-01, 01:54 PM
I have to agree that I prefer the 1953 War of the Worlds to most of the CGI movies of today (and at 30 years old, I'm not exactly an old-timer). I still sit through it when I stumble upon it while channel surfing. Despite its flaws, it had something that most movies today are missing; for lack of a better word I guess I'll use the word "soul," but that doesn't really seem to fit. Maybe "heart" would work better.

That's not a bad analysis.

WotW was a movie that used its special effects to advance the plot and as part of the storyline.

Many modern movies come up with a storyline to showcase the sfx/cgi. Plot is optional.

Maksutov
2005-Mar-01, 02:24 PM
Forbidden Planet is the ultimate classic Sci Fi. If it gave us nothing else, it gave us Robby the RObot.
I started to watch this a while back and even started a thread, but with my schedule, I fell asleep like a big dummy shortly after it started. #-o

I'll try to keep my eyes open from now on [edit, no pun intended] - that or the occasional PM might help, too. :wink:
Not surprised you fell asleep. The eye-candy (Anne Francis) is for us guys.

But, if you like Shakespeare, try reading The Tempest, and then watching Forbidden Planet again. Among other things, Caliban will give you a new appreciation of Robby and the ID monster.

Grendl
2005-Mar-02, 05:30 AM
I saw "The War of the Worlds" some months ago on AMC and thought the special effects were pretty darn good for the time. The religious aspect of it came off as a bit schmaltzy, but overall it's very entertaining and I can see how it would have invaded kids' dreams for a few nights afterwards. The problem is AMC is the worst channel for movies--so many commercials and they cut movies too. I think I'd like to watch it on DVD. Amazon has it along with "The Day the Earth Stood Still" for only $22.48.
http://tinyurl.com/5ydn9

In fact people who bought WotW also bought:
Forbidden Planet DVD ~ Walter Pidgeon
The Time Machine DVD ~ Rod Taylor
When Worlds Collide DVD ~ Richard Derr
Them! DVD ~ James Whitmore

I don't know anything about "Them." I've also never seen "The Forbidden Planet." #-o

Nowhereman said something about not being able to place "The Day the Earth Stood Still" in a subgenre. It seemed to me as an anti-war, anti-nuclear message. Klaatu warned against aggression on Earth and if we brought that aggression into space they would destroy us. It's like these advanced civilizations have already realized there is no positive outcome to war (with nuclear weapons being the scare at the time), so we better get our act together.

Hmm, I might go on a buying spree. Any other recommendations would be welcome.

endeavour
2005-Mar-02, 06:49 AM
In fact people who bought WotW also bought:
Forbidden Planet DVD ~ Walter Pidgeon
The Time Machine DVD ~ Rod Taylor
When Worlds Collide DVD ~ Richard Derr
Them! DVD ~ James Whitmore

I saw these movies as a young child in the early 60s when my parents used to go to the drive-in for their Friday night sci-fi fests. And they thought us kids were asleeep in the back of the car! These movies, despite being dated and somewhat corny at times, still had "heart" as weatherc called it-and that's why they're still classics.

Forbidden Planet left an indelible impression on me when I was four years old and it's still one of my favourites: it's a film that stands up well with time. Anyone else seen the 'rock music' musical version Return to the Forbidden Planet? It's pretty weird, but it grows on you.

Time Machine was a little later (63/64 I think) but I recall being impressed by the 'passage of time' sequence, where the passing years were represented by the changing fashions on the store window mannequin.

I think the movie based on the Jeff wayne version of WotW got shelved:haven't heard anyhting about it for a while. But I could be wrong. I'd certainly love to see it made into a "period piece" with quality animation.

Has anyone else heard the original Orson Welles WotW radio play? It's quite a powerful production and listening to it one can easily imagine how people in 1938 could have been initially deceived (at least until the next ad break, when they should have realised it was a play!) Aspects of the play also influenced the 1950s film, even though the film owes a lot more HG than to Orson :)

BTW, apparently one of the reasons that HG chose to have the Martians defeated by germs, was that he had initially trained as a biologist before he turned to writing and was interested in this area.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is one of the few films in the relatively small Fifties genre of pacifist/anti-nuke films. There's a small thread of such pacifist SF films going right back to 1917 (the Danish space travel film Himmelskibet/ Heaven Ship). For another 50s example of a space film that includes some comment on the dangers of nuclear war, check out Rocketship XM.

Klaatu is also considered to be somthing of a Christ allegory (especially with his human alias Carpenter) and I have seen the film actually categorised somewhere as a religious film.

weatherc
2005-Mar-02, 01:55 PM
One things for sure. Those "making of the movie" TV specials aren't half as interesting as they use to be. Who wants to see people typing away at a computer? I already do that everyday!

That's true. Although LOTR used so many different ways to create the effects, it was fascinating to watch how Weta did it. Sure, they could have dropped the hobbits into Bree in post-production with the computer, but instead they built the "big rigs," which were large "people suits" that they used in some of the scenes that showed people walking around the hobbits. It's amazing stuff.

Jim
2005-Mar-02, 03:54 PM
I don't know anything about "Them."

Atomic bomb tests in the desert cause a colony of ants to mutate and grow to exceptional size. The Army destroys the mound, but some breeders escape and make a new nest in the sewers of LA.

It's based loosely on an HG Wells story, "Food of the Gods." Notable especially because of the cast... Marshall Dillon, Davy Crocket, President Truman and Santa Claus. (James Arness, Fess Parker, James Whitmore and Edmund Gwynn.)

Worth a watch.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Mar-02, 04:29 PM
It's based loosely on an HG Wells story, "Food of the Gods." Notable especially because of the cast... Marshall Dillon, Davy Crocket, President Truman and Santa Claus. (James Arness, Fess Parker, James Whitmore and Edmund Gwynn.)
IMDB says (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000559/) that Spock was in it too! uncredited as a Staff Sergeant Telex Operator

Metricyard
2005-Mar-02, 06:41 PM
I don't know anything about "Them."

Atomic bomb tests in the desert cause a colony of ants to mutate and grow to exceptional size. The Army destroys the mound, but some breeders escape and make a new nest in the sewers of LA.

It's based loosely on an HG Wells story, "Food of the Gods." Notable especially because of the cast... Marshall Dillon, Davy Crocket, President Truman and Santa Claus. (James Arness, Fess Parker, James Whitmore and Edmund Gwynn.)

Worth a watch.

"Them" is one of my favorites. I loved the 50's sci-fi flicks.

One thing I liked about the 50's sci-fi movies, you got a quick introduction to the characters, then right into the story.

And I can't believe how many people here have just gotten around to seeing War of the Worlds, Forbidden planet, etc. Or haven't seen them yet. Where have you been? These movies have been on television for almost 50 years.(That's a scary thought in itself.) Oh no, I'm old! :o

Doodler
2005-Mar-02, 08:38 PM
Them was a good watch, This Island Earth was too, even if that little shop vac with a chicken head wouldn't let up on the jokes about the love triangle between the lead chick and the two alien guys.

Forbidden Planet is one of those rare gems that can still stand up to movies made in the modern era.

Maksutov
2005-Mar-02, 10:10 PM
[edit]Time Machine was a little later (63/64 I think) but I recall being impressed by the 'passage of time' sequence, where the passing years were represented by the changing fashions on the store window mannequin.
1960. I just rerecorded it off TCM. Might have been a restored version. (Quick aside: thank you TCM et al for all the restoration work you've been doing. Your restored version of Lawrence of Arabia is spectacular and obviously a work of love and respect.)

The Time Machine is a blast (sometimes literally) all the way through.

One bit of Bad Astronomy, which I need to post in the "Goofs" section at IMDB occurs near the beginning.

As the time traveler is going into the future, we are shown the view out a window from his perspective. This view alternates between day and night.

First the Sun is shown moving from left to right, with its maximum altitude in the middle of the window. Since the setting is England, this indicates the view is due south.

Unfortunately when the movie transitions to night, the same view out the window shows the Moon following a path similar to the Sun's, indicating a south view, but also shows stars revolving around the north celestial pole, indicating the view is due north. It's the same window throughout, so it can't have a view of both the south and north.

Either the stars should have followed the same long arcing track as the Sun/Moon (south view) or there should have been no Sun visible in the daytime and no Moon in the nighttime (north view). It can't be both.


Has anyone else heard the original Orson Welles WotW radio play? It's quite a powerful production and listening to it one can easily imagine how people in 1938 could have been initially deceived (at least until the next ad break, when they should have realised it was a play!) Aspects of the play also influenced the 1950s film, even though the film owes a lot more HG than to Orson :)
I have that on a two LP set, which I need to digitize some day. It's still very effective. After my son heard it for the first time, for a while he would suddenly start speaking with a plaintive voice, saying, "Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there anyone on the air?..." The radio script can be found here. (http://members.aol.com/jeff1070/script.html)

In addition I have the book The Panic Broadcast by Howard Koch (who wrote the radio broadcast script, and went on to write the script to the movie Casablanca), which provides a fascinating account of the genesis of the production, the broadcast, and the remarkable response by the public.


The Day the Earth Stood Still is one of the few films in the relatively small Fifties genre of pacifist/anti-nuke films. There's a small thread of such pacifist SF films going right back to 1917 (the Danish space travel film Himmelskibet/ Heaven Ship). For another 50s example of a space film that includes some comment on the dangers of nuclear war, check out Rocketship XM.

Klaatu is also considered to be somthing of a Christ allegory (especially with his human alias Carpenter) and I have seen the film actually categorised somewhere as a religious film.
Edmund H. North, the screenwriter, later admitted that he "loaded" the script with all sorts of xian references, not just "Carpenter", but also Klaatu's death and resurrection, the idea of a "heavenly visitor" killed by the people he was trying to "save", etc. Here's a link that details a lot of what North did. (http://www.unomaha.edu/jrf/cyborg.htm)

Grendl
2005-Mar-03, 03:50 AM
Metricyard: And I can't believe how many people here have just gotten around to seeing War of the Worlds, Forbidden planet, etc. Or haven't seen them yet. Where have you been? These movies have been on television for almost 50 years.(That's a scary thought in itself.) Oh no, I'm old!
You're not old. I probably did see them on TV when I was young--I used to see all "The Planet of the Apes" movies re-run on Sunday afternnoon TV when I was in 3rd and 4th grade (early 70's), but I don't remember all the details of those either. As a teenager I was into different genres of films and didn't make a point of watching old sci-fi movies (I did see horror movies at the drive-in, though) and did see all those bad B movies Elvira hosted. I think it's fun rediscovering the older sci-fi films as an adult and putting them in the social context of their times.

I do remember VERY well the 1975 TV movie about "The War of the Worlds" radio broadcast.
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0073454/ I was nine when I saw it and was fascinated that people thought the radio broadcast was real. I secretly wanted something like that to happen again and I always looked at water towers differently after that, lol.

This is a more descriptive page on that show: http://www.war-ofthe-worlds.co.uk/night.htm

I'm going to go shopping this weekend and have my own little sci-fi film festival. If I had money to burn I wish I could revive a drive-in theater--I loved them. At least in CT there were several that existed nearby into the late '80's (one showed porno movies though). At the others I saw movies like ,"Dawn of the Dead" and "The Evil Dead." I think sci-fi movies would be great to see at drive-ins, though in places like Houston it would be ghastly hot to sit in cars in the summer.

Hutch
2005-Mar-03, 09:55 PM
Just a note, two of the movies under discussion come from Short Sci-Fi stories, which, IMHO, were better than the films.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is based on a short story called "Farewell to the Master" (cannot remember the author) with a VERY interesting ending much different than the film.

The Thing is based (very loosely) on John W. Campbell's story "Who Goes There?", which is considered one fo the classics of what is known as the Golden Age of Science Fiction.

If you can find them, they are worth the read either before of after seeing the movies.

Inferno
2005-Mar-03, 10:21 PM
The Thing is based (very loosely) on John W. Campbell's story "Who Goes There?", which is considered one fo the classics of what is known as the Golden Age of Science Fiction.

I've read Who Goes There, it's very good considering it was written in the 30s, but I felt some of the major turning points in the story, the major scenes weren't that well written. I had to read over the same paragraphs a number of times to get a clear picture in my head of what was going on.

Metricyard
2005-Mar-03, 11:32 PM
Metricyard: And I can't believe how many people here have just gotten around to seeing War of the Worlds, Forbidden planet, etc. Or haven't seen them yet. Where have you been? These movies have been on television for almost 50 years.(That's a scary thought in itself.) Oh no, I'm old!
You're not old. I probably did see them on TV when I was young--I used to see all "The Planet of the Apes" movies re-run on Sunday afternnoon TV when I was in 3rd and 4th grade (early 70's), but I don't remember all the details of those either. snip...

In the early 70's I was in high school.
Now I know I'm old. :cry:

Goes and looks for bottle of Geritol to drown my sorrows.

Russ
2005-Mar-03, 11:57 PM
I agree with tmosher, you really need to see movies that were contemporaries of this one. I must point out that, while a fun show, Robinson Crusoe on Mars was not really a contemporary of WoTW. It was based on a story written in the 1960's not in 1880's. It does share the communists as bad guys mentality, however.
RC on Mars was 1964. They used the WotW martian ships for the attack ships. IMDB does credit Daniel Defoe (1660-1773) for the inspiration.

Yes! I always thought that was a neat re-application of the little models. I also liked the usage and depiction in RCOM better.



You should rent "Forbidden Planet" "When Planets Collide" "The Day The Earth Stood Still" etc. These were all made during the height of the "Red Scare" and the McCarthy hearings and they reflect the fear and parinoia of the times. To wit, the "bad guys" in all of the movies represent the comunists.
I'd recommend the monster-type and alien-invasion movies as commie-invasion allegories, rather than these three. There really are no bad guys as such in Forbidden Planet,

OH, I disagree! Dr. Morbius had created the workers paradise and it came back to bite him. Definately the anti commie outlook of the time. Further, there was Leslie Nielson's last line about "After all, we are not God." A direct reference to the dieffication of the communist leaders.


and When Worlds Collide is more man against nature. TDtESS I can't really place -- It's not invasion allegory, but I can't come up with the sub-genre.

Fred

Again I disagree based on the mentality of the time. It was the "invassion" by the big, overpowering, unbeatable foe. I can remember my parents discussing this very topic after we had seen it. Thankfully, they did it in a humorous tone. I was really afraid of the Ruskies at the time. :oops: 8-[ :lol:

Parrothead
2005-Mar-04, 12:46 AM
I do remember VERY well the 1975 TV movie about "The War of the Worlds" radio broadcast.
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0073454/ I was nine when I saw it and was fascinated that people thought the radio broadcast was real. I secretly wanted something like that to happen again and I always looked at water towers differently after that, lol.


I saw that that movie again last year, don't think I had seen it since it aired in the mid-70's. The only things that came to mind, before watching, were the water tower and the family in the tunnel.

Chip
2005-Mar-04, 05:49 AM
I too saw War of the Worlds in a theater back in the 1950s. Scared me to death sitting there in the front row. I still find the green machines with the gooseneck blaster to be sinister in their simplicity...Lots of memorable images there for me...

My dad worked on the movie. He was in the continuity department at the time. The sound of the pulsating Martian death ray building up energy was one of the first uses of a garage door spring. Also to shoot the dying Martian sequence at the end of the picture, with it's arm resting on the open hatch - they got the skinniest arm they could find, belonging to a receptionist. She wore the material over her thin arm, and they worked the slowing pulse rate with little rubber hoses.

My dad used to say that the coolest concept George Pal had was to not really show the Martians except in one startling scene. Better to leave them a shadows in your imagination, and to model their spy "camera" after their own three lens eyes.

I also love the flying wing scenes, and those scenes are real!

JonnyWishbone
2005-Mar-04, 07:40 AM
Harry Bates wrote "Farewell to the Master."

Them is very nice, and looms pretty large in the rearview mirror of Aliens. Jack Arnold also directed some nice 50s sf -- Tarantula, The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Space Children -- which are worth a look.

The film War of the Worlds definitely uses bacteria as a Deus ex Machina. It's funny how Wells' mechanistic, rational view of how the universe operates -- the Martians do to England what England did to Africa, but are undone because they're subject to biology like anything else -- mutates into 'God saved us!' in the movie. I think Wells' novel may be the precedent for all that Fortean 'people are cattle' stuff, though if somone can cite an earlier novel or story, I'd be interested. In the novel, the Martian dominant race (ie. the octopus-like things that become toad-like things in the movie) live on the extracted blood of a hominid Martian race and appear to be looking for a new food source. But then Earth's bacteria mount a counter-offensive.

The novel's also really neat for some of Wells' working-out of warfare. The Martians go after communications and transportation, and the scenes in which the tripods walk around releasing some sort of poison gas or fog are really chilling. Well, that and the Deacon, if I remember the name right, who dreams of colloboration. And the apparently accidental invasion of Martian vegetation, which clogs the rivers of England before succumbing to Earthly bacteria as well.

Man, I wish they'd make that a movie, as much as I enjoy the George Pal one!

Cheers, Jon

Candy
2005-Mar-04, 12:34 PM
I too saw War of the Worlds in a theater back in the 1950s. Scared me to death sitting there in the front row. I still find the green machines with the gooseneck blaster to be sinister in their simplicity...Lots of memorable images there for me...

My dad worked on the movie. He was in the continuity department at the time. The sound of the pulsating Martian death ray building up energy was one of the first uses of a garage door spring. Also to shoot the dying Martian sequence at the end of the picture, with it's arm resting on the open hatch - they got the skinniest arm they could find, belonging to a receptionist. She wore the material over her thin arm, and they worked the slowing pulse rate with little rubber hoses.

My dad used to say that the coolest concept George Pal had was to not really show the Martians except in one startling scene. Better to leave them a shadows in your imagination, and to model their spy "camera" after their own three lens eyes.

I also love the flying wing scenes, and those scenes are real!
That's awesome, Chip! 8)

Krel
2005-Mar-04, 02:46 PM
I agree with tmosher, you really need to see movies that were contemporaries of this one. I must point out that, while a fun show, Robinson Crusoe on Mars was not really a contemporary of WoTW. It was based on a story written in the 1960's not in 1880's. It does share the communists as bad guys mentality, however.
RC on Mars was 1964. They used the WotW martian ships for the attack ships. IMDB does credit Daniel Defoe (1660-1773) for the inspiration.

Yes! I always thought that was a neat re-application of the little models. I also liked the usage and depiction in RCOM better.
quote]

I have a magazine that has the first part of a two-part article on the making of RCOM. According to the article the Satellite Ships were made for the movie. They made three ships in different sizes out of wood with plastic beam emmiters.

As both WOTW, and RCOM were directed by Byron Haskin the use of the design could have been his idea, cost cutting by Paramount, a joke by the staff, or an honest homage.

I just wish that it was out on dvd.

David.

Russ
2005-Mar-04, 10:15 PM
snip
I just wish that it was out on dvd.

David.

Me too! I did a search and all I could find was one site where a guy claimed he was making a DVD, I gather a pirate copy.

Maybe Paramount would go for it if we went to their site and started asking for it on a weekly basis. :D

Grendl
2005-Mar-05, 05:18 PM
Russ: You should rent "Forbidden Planet" "When Planets Collide" "The Day The Earth Stood Still" etc. These were all made during the height of the "Red Scare" and the McCarthy hearings and they reflect the fear and parinoia of the times. To wit, the "bad guys" in all of the movies represent the comunists.

Nowhereman: I'd recommend the monster-type and alien-invasion movies as commie-invasion allegories, rather than these three. There really are no bad guys as such in Forbidden Planet,

Russ:OH, I disagree! Dr. Morbius had created the workers paradise and it came back to bite him. Definately the anti commie outlook of the time. Further, there was Leslie Nielson's last line about "After all, we are not God." A direct reference to the dieffication of the communist leaders.
I watched Forbidden Planet for the first time last night and I don't see an allegory to the "Red Scare" at all. It's more of a mad-scientist gone awry story...that simply, knowledge and power can come back to bite you. I don't get your "workers paradise" comment. ??

The movie was pretty amusing and I could definitely see the future influences it had on shows like Lost in Space and what spaceship crews looked like. I loved the trippy electronic music as the credits rolled. Some of the acting was hokey, especially the romantic scenes with Altaira, which I can see why the guys liked that eye-candy--could her outfits have gotten any shorter? She sure grasped the idea of kissing pretty quickly!

The sets were pretty cool for the time and I kept getting the feeling, "I have seen this before." The ID monster looked familiar too. The story line was interesting and sophisticated enough to hold up well over time (yes, I realize the loose interpretation of The Tempest in space). Some things were downright silly, though, like the cook and his getting Robby to produce 60 gallons of liquor. Funny to see Oscar from The Six Million Dollar Man. Overall, I'm glad I watched it, though I'm disappointed that the DVD doesn't have any special features. I don't get that. On the cover it says that it's, "the granddaddy of tomorrow, a pioneerig work...," so you'd think WB would have done more with it. The Day the Earth Stood Still DVD has audio commentary and a documentary. Why did they short-change FP?

Also, this may be a dumb question: where did the idea of spacecraft as saucers come from?

tmosher
2005-Mar-05, 05:50 PM
This might help as to why it's a flying saucer...

Indeed They Have Invaded. Look Around. (http://www.philpatton.com/FLYSAUC.HTM)

I tend to agree, the first report of a "flying saucer" was in 1947 and it goes on from there.