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It Conquered the World

Theatrical release poster.
Directed by Roger Corman
Produced by Roger Corman
Written by Lou Rusoff
Charles B. Griffith (uncredited)
Starring Peter Graves
Lee van Cleef
Beverly Garland
Sally Fraser
Music by Ronald Stein
Cinematography Fred E. West
Editing by Charles Gross
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date(s) July 15, 1956
Running time 71 min.
Country  United States
Language English

It Conquered the World is a 1956 science fiction film about an alien from Venus trying to take over the world with the help of a disillusioned human scientist. It was directed by Roger Corman, written by Lou Rusoff (with uncredited contributions by Charles B. Griffith), and starred Peter Graves, Lee van Cleef, Beverly Garland, and Sally Fraser.

Contents

Plot synopsis

Dr. Tom Anderson (Van Cleef), an embittered scientist, has picked up the voice of a Venusian alien in his radio transmitter. The alien wants to take over the world with its mind-control devices and thus make a new home for itself, but claims only to be bringing peace to the Earth through the elimination of emotions. Anderson agrees to help the creature in this ploy, even recommending that the creature assimilate his friend Dr. Nelson (Graves) and his wife (Fraser). The alien's first action is to suppress all electric power on Earth, including the ignition and starting systems of motor vehicles, leaving Dr. Nelson resorting to riding around on a bicycle.

After killing a flying bat-like creature which carries the mind-control device, Nelson returns home to see his wife is assimilated and, as she attempts to assimilate him with another bat creature, he kills her. By this point, the only people left that are not mind controlled are Nelson, Anderson, Anderson's wife, and a small group of soldiers camping in the woods. Dr. Nelson finally persuades the paranoid Anderson that he has been wrong about the alien's motives and that he has made a horrible mistake, allying himself with a creature bent on world domination. They hurriedly leave when they discover Tom's wife has picked up a rifle and gone to the alien's cave to try to kill it. The monster succeeds in taking the life of Mrs. Anderson before the two doctors make it to her rescue. Finally seeing his hubris and the loss of everything he holds dear, Dr. Anderson kills the monster, sustaining lethal wounds of his own in the confrontation.

Cast

  • Peter Graves .............. Dr. Paul Nelson
  • Lee Van Cleef ......... Dr. Tom Anderson
  • Beverly Garland ........... Claire Anderson
  • Sally Fraser .............. Joan Nelson
  • Russ Bender .............. General James Pattick
  • Taggart Casey ............. Sheriff N.J. Shallert
  • Karen Kadler .............. Dr. Ellen Peters
  • Dick Miller.............First Sergeant
  • Jonathan Haze ......... Corporal Manuel Ortiz
  • Paul Harbor .............. Dr. Floyd Mason
  • Charles B. Griffith ........Dr. Pete Shelton
  • Thomas E. Jackson ...........George Haskell

Reception

Commercial

It is not known how the movie fared at box office.

The film was released on VHS by RCA Columbia Home Video[1]. There has been no official DVD Release to date.

Critical

Despite its B-Movie status, and being mocked on Mystery Science Theater 3000, the film has had a reasonably warm reception from critics.

Allmovie gave the film 3/5 stars, calling it an "above-average quickie".[2] Rotten tomatoes gave the film 80%, regarding it "fresh", based on 5 Reviews[3], while the Rotten Tomatoes User Community gave the film 60%, also regarding it "fresh", based on 5 reviews.[4]

Chicago Reader gace the film a generally positive review, saying " Amazingly, this 1953 picture isn't half bad".[5] Time Out, however, gave the film a negative review, critising the film for its poor special effects.[6]

Trivia

  • The French two man electronic music group M83 samples dialogue from the film in their song "Facing That", from their self-titled 2001 debut album.
  • It Conquered the World was mocked on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000; subjects for jokes included the poor monster props, occasionally wooden acting, and the overblown closing monologue.
  • Surf rock band Man or Astroman? sampled dialogue from the film in their song "Transmissions From Venus."

References

External links


It Conquered the World
File:It Conquered the
Theatrical release poster.
Directed by Roger Corman
Produced by Roger Corman
Written by Lou Rusoff
Charles B. Griffith (uncredited)
Starring Peter Graves
Lee Van Cleef
Beverly Garland
Sally Fraser
Music by Ronald Stein
Cinematography Fred E. West
Editing by Charles Gross
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date(s) July 15, 1956
Running time 71 min.
Country  United States
Language English

It Conquered the World is a 1956 science fiction film about an alien from Venus trying to take over the world with the help of a disillusioned human scientist. It was directed by Roger Corman, written by Lou Rusoff (with uncredited contributions by Charles B. Griffith), and starred Peter Graves, Lee Van Cleef, Beverly Garland, and Sally Fraser.

Contents

Plot synopsis

Dr. Tom Anderson (Van Cleef), an embittered scientist, has picked up the voice of a Venusian alien in his radio transmitter. The alien wants to take over the world with its mind-control devices and thus make a new home for itself, but claims only to be bringing peace to the Earth through the elimination of emotions. Anderson agrees to help the creature in this ploy, even recommending that the creature assimilate his friend Dr. Nelson (Graves) and his wife (Fraser). The alien's first action is to suppress all electric power on Earth, including the ignition and starting systems of motor vehicles, leaving Dr. Nelson resorting to riding around on a bicycle.

After killing a flying bat-like creature which carries the mind-control device, Nelson returns home to see his wife is assimilated and, as she attempts to assimilate him with another bat creature, he kills her. By this point, the only people left that are not mind controlled are Nelson, Anderson, Anderson's wife, and a small group of soldiers camping in the woods. Dr. Nelson finally persuades the paranoid Anderson that he has been wrong about the alien's motives and that he has made a horrible mistake, allying himself with a creature bent on world domination. They hurriedly leave when they discover Tom's wife has picked up a rifle and gone to the alien's cave to try to kill it. The monster succeeds in taking the life of Mrs. Anderson before the two doctors make it to her rescue. Finally seeing his hubris and the loss of everything he holds dear, Dr. Anderson kills the monster, sustaining lethal wounds of his own in the confrontation.

Cast

  • Peter Graves .............. Dr. Paul Nelson
  • Lee Van Cleef ......... Dr. Tom Anderson
  • Beverly Garland ........... Claire Anderson
  • Sally Fraser .............. Joan Nelson
  • Russ Bender .............. General James Pattick
  • Taggart Casey ............. Sheriff N.J. Shallert
  • Karen Kadler .............. Dr. Ellen Peters
  • Dick Miller.............First Sergeant
  • Jonathan Haze ......... Corporal Manuel Ortiz
  • Paul Harbor .............. Dr. Floyd Mason
  • Charles B. Griffith ........Dr. Pete Shelton
  • Thomas E. Jackson ...........George Haskell

Home video releases

The film was released on VHS by RCA Columbia Home Video[1] It has not yet been released on DVD, and actually said to be very difficult because of Susan Hart (the rights holder).

Legacy

Frank Zappa's 1974 live album Roxy & Elsewhere refers to the film in the introduction for the song "Cheepnis". In 1991, it was mocked on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000; subjects for jokes included the poor monster props, occasionally wooden acting, and the overblown closing monologue.

Allmovie gave the film three out of five, calling it an "above-average quickie".[2] Rotten tomatoes gave the film 80%, regarding it "fresh", based on 5 Reviews[3], while the Rotten Tomatoes User Community gave the film 60%, also regarding it "fresh", based on 5 reviews.[4]

Chicago Reader gave the film a generally positive review, saying " Amazingly, this 1953 picture isn't half bad".[5] Time Out, however, gave the film a negative review, criticising the film for its poor special effects.[6]

The film was featured on the movie-mocking TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000. The final speech delivered by Peter Graves was replayed twice during the final host segment of the episode, and a third time over the credits.

References

External links








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