This one sure sounds like a classic. It has cult B movie written all over it. I just got out of my international cinema course where we watched A Man Escaped from 1956. This film is from 1951. I found it funny that they both had the word “man” in the title. One film is considered a classic in French film. This film is considered…..well I don’t know what it’s consider. I doubt it’s a classic in American film. I’ll find out though. Once again this is a running commentary, so I’m going to comment on what I see as I watch. On with The Man from Planet X!
This is another United Artists film. I think that’s two days in a row. Lol at the cliche lightning and then the title screen. I must say that the 1950s had some really great title screens that just fly at the screen, No really big stars in this film. Robert Clarke was known for 50s B movies while Margaret Field is the mother of the Flying Nun, Edgar G. Ulmer is the director. His most famous work is The Black Cat starring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Ah, a beautiful beach. Hopefully no crab monsters are present. Some guy we can’t see is talking about things and writing stuff. He says he is one of the few men to talk with the man from Planet X.
We flashback to two men looking through a telescope. They spot Planet X which was discovered not too long ago. John Lawrence, the guy talking at the beginning says he is a good friend with Dr. Elliot. He is talking to a scientist who says weird things are happening in the sky or in space. Strange rays are coming from somewhere. Planet X is apparently rushing towards the Earth in the next three weeks. It might cause tidal waves or worse. Professor Elliot discovered the planet.
John goes to a town called Beary, Burry, Bury? No idea. He’s looking for Professor Elliot. He gets picked up by a woman who has her steering wheel on the wrong side. Oh, they are in another country. It makes sense then. The woman is Enid Elliot who I am guessing is the daughter of our doctor. I think that’s three movies in a row I’ve watched with a doctor who had a daughter and the guy is the love interest. They arrive and John meets with Dr. Elliot and Dr. Mears. John and Dr. Mears seem to hate each other. I bet Mears is also his competition for the girl. Enid and John have some tea, and John questions why Mears is there. Mears apparently just dropped in a few weeks ago. He was in trouble at some point and John thinks he should still be in jail. Maybe he’s not a love interest after all.
John and Dr. Elliot decide to take a look at Planet X through the telescope. It has tripled in size, so I’m guessing it is getting closer. John and Enid go out at night and we hear a howl. I don’t think Lon Chaney Jr. is in this film as the Wolf Man. It could use him. I do believe John is flirting with Enid. I guess he wants to make a Flying Nun with her. They fine some strange object which I can assume is alien in origin. It’s not the invisible invaders since the object would be invisible. They bring to Dr. Elliot. Elliot and Mears study it. Elliot believes that the object is alien. The metal on it is very powerful. Mears is getting excited at the prospect of controlling the world with it.
Enid and John go back outside. John says he’s going to stay at the Motel 6 for the night. He doesn’t really say that specifically. Enid wants Mears to leave since he upsets her. She likes John though. On her way back, the car breaks down. Enid then sees a something glowing in the distance. She heads towards it and it’s an alien ship. She’s got some balls though. She’s heading right for it. She even touches it. That thing could be deadly! Stupid woman! BAHAHAHA! Funny looking alien on the inside!!!!!! She’s running away from that ship now. Mears seems to see her running away. Enid is telling her father about the ship. She explains to him that she saw an alien. She called the poor thing, “grotesque.” That’s not very nice. That alien probably thinks she is ugly. Dr. Elliot is not sure if he believes her so he’s going to go outside and take a look. Mears is following.
They star to approach the ship. Mears is still sneaking behind. Dr. Elliot and Enid inspect the ship. It’s a nice coincidence that this ship landed so close to the good doctor’s place. The lights on the ship go out and then it creates a small beam of light that stops on Dr. Elliot before turning off. It does something to Dr. Elliot. He’s not talking. Enid should really believe that something is up. That beam of light did something to him. When they get back in, Elliot says he was paralyzed and under some sort of control. Mears seemed intrigued when he was told of this.
John comes back over the next day. He’s not sure what to think. The town they are in is the closest spot to the planet. I guess that explains why the alien landed there. John and Dr. Elliot talk about some things before going out at night to see the ship. Dr. Elliot tries to scratch the alien’s ship with diamond, but it fails. John still seems skeptical that the ship is from outer space even when he is standing right in front of the fucking thing. Alien time!!!!! He comes around the corner with a circular fish tank on his head. I guess he can’t bring the Earth air. The alien points a gun at them. He’s so damn creepy haha. Creepy and goofy looking at the same time. Something is going wrong with his tank. He’s fallen to the ground. Poor alien. Help him, John! John does help. The alien puts down his gun, so he seems to be friendly now. They are failing really hard at communicating with the alien. They are slowly backing away now. That’s not very nice. They run away too after awhile. The alien follows though from out of the fog! Pretty cool scene actually!
John, Dr. Elliot, and Dr. Mears are just watching the alien now. Mears seems to know how to communicate now. He wants to communicate with geometry! How boring! Dr. Elliot has the dumb idea of leaving Dr. Mears with the alien by himself. John doesn’t like it since he’s actually is somewhat intelligent. They leave Mears alone with him anyway. Mears flat out tells the alien he will have the world in his pocket. He then shows the alien some geometry! Woo! Next day it appears Dr. Elliot is a little sick. John wants to get him some medicine. He’s once again worried to leave Enid alone in that house with Mears. Some Constable comes up to John while he is fixing the tire on the car. The car broke down earlier before Enid first found the ship. Mears seems to have figured out the alien. He’s laughing at his success. Dr. Mears relishes having power. He’s attacking the poor alien! Come on, alien! Don’t let him beat you! Mears is too powerful. He’s even playing with the alien’s air. Why is he such an asshole? Enid calls for Mears since her dad wants to see him. The poor alien is on the ground probably unconscious or resting as Mears would say.
Mears says the alien can’t understand him. He’s lying his ass off to the doc. While the two talk, Enid goes to see the alien. She lets out a big scream! John is driving the car back. He’s in for a surprise! Mears is taking care of Dr. Elliot. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was trying to poison him. John looks for Enid, but she has disappeared. Mears and John are going to go out and look for her. Mears says he is going to get his gun. John questions Mears’ tactics with the alien, and he even wants to know if he abused the alien. If he only knew! He actually asks Mears this question. Mears denies everything. Mears is a true asshole! John is pretty much by himself on this one. The doctor is too sick to help and Mears is too unpredictable. Lots of voiceover from John at the moment. He namedrops the title even.
Two men appear to talk to the professor. They tell John that two of their villagers have disappeared. I believe one of the men is the constable from earlier. John says he can’t tell them what happened to the missing people since they wouldn’t believe him. John tells the constable that he must show him while the other guy stays with the doctor. John tries to show the constable, but the ship is gone. John had left Mears with the ship earlier. Big mistake! They go back and tell the villagers that people are missing. A big search will be made for everyone and everyone should bring their guns! The guy that was left with the professor said the professor left with Dr. Mears. He said he even spotted the alien! The guy then got the hell out of there! John tells of the alien and the constable is explaining the Planet X thing.
John and the constable try to make some phone calls, but the phone is dead. Phones are useless in these types of movies. For some reason we have guys chasing after John on his bike. I have no idea why. Maybe I missed something. I guess they were acting like slaves. The alien is building an army according to John. A boat is coming in. It disappears into the fog, but I think John and the constable tried to send it a message. Brainwashed villagers keep kidnapping people. John finds the ship again. People are digging around it for some reason. I guess they are preparing to guard it for attack. He tells the constable about this. An inspector arrives from Scotland Yard. It appears their message got through after all. They explain the situation to the inspector.
The inspector says they can bring an army in since his communications work. John says he has an idea, but if it doesn’t work then the inspector’s people will fire. The planet will be in Earth’ s gravitational field by midnight. John decides to write a note before heading out to the ship. I guess that makes him feel important. He gives the note to the inspector with all the details of the events. John goes to the ship. Many men are around it including Professor Elliot. He tries to communicate with him. He tells John what is going on, but he’s not moving. He walks away since John tells him. Dr. Mears shows up next. He seems to be in a trance too. I bet he’s faking. John asks him questions. Dr. Mears says the alien is sending a message to his planet and that the alien will launch an invasion. The aliens were able to make the planet move by changing the gravitation. Dr. Mears says a ray is putting them under the alien’s control. John talks the other people into leaving. The alien watches. Lightning seems to strike the ship as the alien comes out. John grabs the alien’s gun and tries to grab the breathing switch. Get it, John! Something seems wrong. The alien is down. Did John beat him? He gets Edin off the ship and tries to get Mears to move. The Professor goes back to the village. The constable sees him, but he’s still in a trance.
Oh shit, I think the alien is still alive! He’s fixing his breathing tube. He really needed a safer helmet. Mears, Edin, and John run back. The soldiers are shooting at the ship and alien now. Mears is going back to stop them. They shoot Mears and blow up the alien ship! Two ships in two days! Planet X hurls at Earth and……it…..it goes around? Yay! Happy ending! It seems like they are going to keep the alien thing a secret. Edin wanders if the alien was really a nice guy and Dr. Mears fucked him up. That’s a good question. Who knows!
That was entertaining enough. The acting was well done. Special effects were well done for 1951. I enjoyed the look of the alien. The plot was simple and fun. I had a good time with this film. I wish Dr. Mears was actually controlling the creature with geometry. That’s my biggest complaint. Instead the alien went bad because Dr. Mears tried to kill it. I highly recommend this film if you are looking for some classic 1950s science fiction.
Oh, was it better than the French classic, A Man Escaped? I might lose credibility for this, but I say yes lol.
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