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Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

4.0 2
Director: Fred Sears

Cast: Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor, Donald Curtis


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Anyone who's seen the 1996 science-fiction lampoon Mars Attacks may have trouble watching Earth vs. the Flying Saucers with a straight face. Hugh Marlowe plays scientist Russell Marvin, who is on-hand when an alien spacecraft lands on earth. The saucermen at first insist that they've come in


Anyone who's seen the 1996 science-fiction lampoon Mars Attacks may have trouble watching Earth vs. the Flying Saucers with a straight face. Hugh Marlowe plays scientist Russell Marvin, who is on-hand when an alien spacecraft lands on earth. The saucermen at first insist that they've come in peace, but Marvin suspects otherwise. Sure enough, the visitors eventually declare their intention to take over the earth within the next 60 days, adding that the military's weapons are useless against them. The two-month window gives Marvin and his cohorts plenty of time to build-up superweapon, and thus stave off the seven-saucer invasion force. Special effects maestro Ray Harryhausen does a nice job laying waste to Washington DC in the film's memorable finale. The supporting cast of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers includes those two sci-fi flick stalwarts of the 1950s, Morris Ankrum and Thomas Browne Henry.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
While Earth vs. the Flying Saucers has been called the archetypal 1950s sci-fi movie (and with good reason), it's also a lot better than most of its competition. The story is not that different from dozens of similar movies of the era (evil aliens attack earth after lily-livered scientists refuse to believe that they're up to no good), but the leading actors (Hugh Marlowe and Joan Taylor) play the material with just the right balance of seriousness and gung-ho energy, and Fred F. Sears's direction maintains a snappy pace throughout. Ray Harryhausen's special effects alone make this movie worth a look; his flying saucers generate both dramatic tension and a "gee whiz" sense of wonder, and the climactic destruction of Washington D.C. beat Independence Day to the punch by 40 years and is also a lot more fun to watch. Earth vs. the Flying Saucers isn't much more than a B-budget science fiction story, but it's done with enough spunk, good humor, and solid craft to remind you how much fun a B-picture can be.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[B&W, Wide Screen, Colorized]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Disc One: ; Feature available in original B&W and Color (ChromaChoice to toggle between B&W and color); Audio commentary with Ray Harryhausen, visual effects artists Jeffrey Okun and Ken Ralston, and Arnold Kunert; ; Disc Two: ; Remembering Earth vs. The Flying Saucers; The Hollywood Blacklist and Bernard Gordon; Tim Burton sits down with Ray Harryhausen; Interview with Joan Taylor; A present-day look at stop-motion; David Schecter on film music's unsung hero; Digital sneak peek of Flying Saucers vs. The Earth comic book; Original screenplay credits; Video photo galleries; Original Ad artwork; The Colorization process

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hugh Marlowe Dr. Russell A. Marvin
Joan Taylor Carol Marvin
Donald Curtis Maj. Huglin
Morris Ankrum Gen. Hanley
John Zaremba Prof. Kanter
Tom Browne Henry Adm. Enright
Grandon Rhodes Gen. Edmunds
Larry Blake Motorcycle Officer
Harry Lauter Cutting
Charles Evans Dr. Alberts
Clark Howat Sgt. Nash
Frank Wilcox Alfred Cassidy
Alan Reynolds Maj. Kimberly
Paul H. Frees Actor

Technical Credits
Fred Sears Director
Mischa Bakaleinikoff Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Sidney Clifford Set Decoration/Design
Bernard Gordon Screenwriter
Ray Harryhausen Special Effects
Fred Jackman Cinematographer
Sam Katzman Executive Producer
Russ Kelley Special Effects
Danny B. Landres Editor
Raymond T. Marcus Screenwriter
Paul Palmentola Art Director
Charles H. Schneer Producer
Curt Siodmak Original Story
Josh Westmoreland Sound/Sound Designer
George Worthing Yates Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Earth vs. The Flying Saucers
1. UFO Sighting [2:46]
2. Operation Sky Hook [2:46]
3. Stop and Evaluate [3:25]
4. Shot Down [3:25]
5. Special BBQ [4:32]
6. Rocket Number 12 [4:32]
7. UFO Landing [1:29]
8. Destroy and Capture [1:29]
9. Interstellar Conveyance [2:53]
10. The Message [2:53]
11. Calling the UFO [2:37]
12. Car Chase [2:37]
13. Boarding the UFO [2:48]
14. Between the Ticks [2:48]
15. Avoid Fighting [3:47]
16. New Weapon [3:47]
17. Function in Reality [3:03]
18. It Works [3:03]
19. Fire It Up [2:48]
20. Humanoid [2:48]
21. Decoding Their Language [3:07]
22. Super Powers [3:07]
23. Sun Spots [1:59]
24. Going Away Present [1:59]
25. Breaking Through [2:40]
26. Shot Down [2:40]
27. Falling From the Sky [3:20]
28. Present Danger Ended [3:20]


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Earth vs. the Flying Saucers 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I may be alone in this but I consider Independence Day a remake of this movie, and an inferior remake at that. Not only did this film scare the willies out of me as a kid, but the weapons they use to defeat the aliens are plausible. Also you get to see ENIAC (the only computer in the world at that time) in action! Great fun!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Given the medium to low budget sci-fi stuff Hollywood was producing in 1956, this movie exceeds all expectations. I first viewed it in 1960 and it introduced me to the Universe. With a stronger plot, this overlooked classic may have been a blockbuster. The Stop Motion Ainmation is superb, and weapons like fazers and lazers that effectively disintegrate tanks and troops abound. Bullet proof space suits that enchance the sight and hearing of the invaders along with impenetrable force fields make it an enemy that's tough to beat. All of it quite believable, even in black and white. Viewed from a nostalgic perspective, it's very enjoyable.