20 Million Miles to Earth
  • 20 Million Miles to Earth
  • 20 Million Miles to Earth

20 Million Miles to Earth

4.0 3
Director: Nathan Juran

Cast: Nathan Juran, William Hopper, Joan Taylor, Frank Puglia


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One of special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen's pre-Seventh Voyage of Sinbad efforts, 20 Million Miles to Earth borrows a few pages from King Kong. An American spaceship crashlands off the coast of Sicily. The rescue party discovers that the…  See more details below


One of special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen's pre-Seventh Voyage of Sinbad efforts, 20 Million Miles to Earth borrows a few pages from King Kong. An American spaceship crashlands off the coast of Sicily. The rescue party discovers that the astronauts have inadvertently brought back a curious gelatinous mass from the planet Venus. This lump of goo rapidly evolves into be a living reptilian creature, which scientists label an "Ymir." While being subjected to laboratory experimentation, the Ymir begins growing by leaps and bounds, and before long the gigantic monstrosity has escaped and is wreaking havoc in Rome. After battling a zoo elephant and taking a swim in the Tiber, the gargantuan creature holes up in the Colosseum, where the film's pyrotechnic finale occurs.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Fans of 1950s sci-fi monsters will relish 20 Million Miles to Earth, one of legendary special effects master Ray Harryhausen's earlier efforts. It's a typical genre effort in terms of the script, borrowing liberally from King Kong in its tale of a huge creature brought down for the safety of the human populace. Unlike Kong, however, Miles doesn't develop the characters or the story to create great empathy, preferring for n easier "by the numbers" approach. Like many other sci-fi films of the period, it's also saddled with a cast that doesn't make very much of an impression. William Hopper is the typical stolid hero and Joan Taylor his inevitable, forced-in love interest. Logic doesn't really enter into the actions of the characters, as they instead act in the manner that is most likely to guarantee that the monster escapes and/or wreaks havoc. But ultimately what really matters in Miles is Harryhausen, here doing spectacular work on a limited budget. There's more character development in the speechless creature than in all the human characters put together. From the moment he appears as a baby, rubbing his eyes because the light is too bright, this monster has personality and he captures our attention and our loyalty, even as he's causing destruction. The effects are not as skillful as today's CGI-derived effects, but they pack their own punch.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[B&W, Wide Screen, Colorized]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Feature available in original B&W and color (Chromachoice™ to toggle between B&W and color); Commentary with Ray Harryhausen, visual effects artists Dennis Muren and Phil Tippett, and Arnold Kunert; Digital sneak peek of 20 Million Miles More comic book; Remembering 20 Million Miles to Earth; Tim Burtin Sits Down With Ray Harryhausen; Interview with Joan Taylor; The Colorization Process; Original ad artwork; David Schecter on film music's unsung hero; Video photo galleries

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Hopper Calder
Joan Taylor Marisa
Frank Puglia Dr. Leonardo
John Zaremba Dr. Judson Uhl
Thomas Brown Henry Gen. A.D. McIntosh
Tito Vuolo Comisario of Police
Jan Arvan Signore Contino
Arthur Space Sharman
Bart Bradley Pepe
George Pelling Mr. Maples
George Khoury Verrico
Don Orlando Mondello
Rollin Moriyama Dr. Koruku
Ray Harryhausen Man Feeding Elephants
Dale Van Sickel Stuntman

Technical Credits
Nathan Juran Director
Mischa Bakaleinikoff Score Composer
Edwin H. Bryant Editor
Lambert Day Sound/Sound Designer
Ray Harryhausen Special Effects
Charlotte Knight Original Story
Christopher Knopf Screenwriter
Irving Lippman Cinematographer
Cary O'Dell Art Director
Robert Priestley Set Decoration/Design
Charles H. Schneer Producer
Bob Williams Screenwriter

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20 Million Miles to Earth 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The other review pretty much summed it up, Rocketship crashes into the ocean on way back from venus. Lands right near a bunch of fishermen. I will say that the sound of the rocket before it crashed sounded pretty real. The fisherman approach and pull two men out of the ship. It promptly sinks. One of the two survivors dies. Enter Pepe', One things for sure, this kid dont plan to make fish'n a livi'n. He winds up finding a vial of gelatin like substance. He then sells it to a a zoologist for enough money to get a Real cowboy hat. Apparently they were all the rage in that part of Italy. Off goes Pepe'. One thing leads to another and the ymir starts to grow. The zoologist puts him in a cage and drives off down the road. But, then the tarp comes off, just as he and the pretty young lady go to fix it, the young lady gets grabbed. But, in the mean time, pepe' has struck a deal with the US goverment to buy him a load of horses to go with his cowboy hat. They eventually find the Ymir and by this time, he is real big. He eventually gets cornered in rome and one shot takes him down, end of movie. Enjoy!-Patrick S. McCoy psmsmallengines@juno.com
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is great! Sure the flaws outnumber the reality..would NASA allow a lost crash site..could a creature exist or breathe in this atmosphere from the uninhabitable Venus, or why would we even want to go there..would people be so ignorant to pick up a highly contaminated parcel from outer space? It all seems like bunk, but that's what made the 50's sci-fi flicks such pure escapism fun. The special effects still hold up well today..yeah, the space ship crash is hokum, the miniature creature looks like a doll, but the larger creature's movements(simulated breathing,mannerisms,facial reactions) and it's interaction with the on-location scenes of Rome and Italy, not to mention the classic coming-at-you in the barn, and picking-up-a-man in the street scenes, are nearly flawless in movement. These scenes all courtesy of the talented Harryhausen, showed the greatness to come in this earlier effort. The characters leave you feeling a bit like: why'd he do that..what are you doing?? The brave spaceship commander, the befuddled scientist and his intelligent,resourceful daughter, the uncompromising Italian official, and the incorrigible brat Pepe, all add to the enjoyment of this film. It's well worth the rent and repeated viewings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago