From Gordon J. Gianninoto
I was going through some disks I had recorded and came across one labeled 'three 1950s science fiction movies" made on New Years day, January 2007. I thought this one might be nice to watch, so put it in. Whoa! Movie number two on the disk I made recording off the Turner Classic Movie Channel, [TCM], was "The Man From Planet X", made, are you ready, 60 years ago!
A new and, horrors, incoming, planet is identified at a small college observatory near LA. It seems 'strange phenomena' and 'inexplicable objects in the sky' had made a college professor curious; [now that IS science fiction]. Furthermore, 'strange radar like but not radar emanations' had been sweeping the globe at the same time. 'Tidal Waves', 'atmospheric disturbances' had been traced back to the new planet which he quickly labeled 'PLANET X'. Not visible to the naked eye, it could only be tracked with telescopes. Calculations showed it would become visible only 3 weeks before its closest approach and at that closest moment, it would be the size of the full moon!
The college professor, Professor Elliot, played by Raymond Bond, and his attractive daughter, Enid Elliot, played by Margret Fields, mother of actress Sally Fields, rent a castle with a tower to observe the approach of Planet X, which will closely approach only ONE place [bad science] on earth, an island off Scotland. They travel their with their pupil, a nefarious Dr. Mears, played by William Schallert, and take up residence to study the events as they unroll. Soon a reporter from America who knew Enid in Los Angeles, John Lawrence, played by Robert Clarke, shows up and pursues Enid as a romantic interest. Thus you have a science fiction romance horror film.
The trailer for the movie says "Your Heart Will Pound" and "Your Pulse Will Throb" at the "Weirdest Visitor The Earth Has Ever Had," the "Man From Planet X", and that "It is closer than you think" and "it could and does happen before your very eyes" and it is "so fantastic, you have to see it with your very own eyes". Oh yes!
Written by Rod Crawford, a real American professor in the state of Washington, this movie is now in the public domain and can be downloaded for free. This movie was created and directed by Edgar G. Ulmer who was particularly famous for shooting cheap movies in less than a week. 'Joan of Arc' had just be shot and he used the set as the lonely estate on the moors of a made up Scottish Isle. Lacking in funds for anything beyond the set, he made up ALL of the backgrounds beyond the Joan of Arc set by using fog machines. In fact, this was the older type fog machine that dispersed micro droplets of oil to appear as fog, and most of the actors cough their way through the movie in the outdoor scenes. Ulmer shot the entire film in 6 days, in black and white, and put it up for sale. After a demonstration showing, a distributor purchased the film for national distribution. Lest you laugh, remember this: I do not think there has ever been even one single horror film that lost money. Coming in at under $50,000 dollars, the film lasts approximately 70 minutes.
Of course a stroll across the moors finds a probe from Planet X and it is stronger than steel and five times as light. The shady Dr. Mears instantly plots to obtain the secret and become king of the earth, but others lighten it up by wondering where he would mine such metals. Further exploration reveals a pointed sphere has landed from Planet X and contains a short alien humanoid with a long face amazingly similar to the statue faces of Easter Island, which actually are portraits of the giant humans, the Annunaki, from Nibiru, which is Planet X of today. He has to breathe a special atmosphere, which if true would make an invasion difficult, I guess, but is no hindrance to plot development.
Evidently the alien planet is dying and the aliens need to move fast. In real life, Planet X needs large quantities of powdered gold to keep the warmth of the planet by putting it in the atmosphere on its long trip through space. Banned forever now by other ETs, the Annunaki came to earth and created man as slaves to mine gold. Everything I say about that is based on http://zetatalk.com and on the writings of Zecharia Sitchin, recently deceased.
The alien follows Enid and John back to the castle, and the evil Dr. Mears successfully gets the alien alone and communicates using math symbols and equations [good science, very good science]. Mears, being selfish, and having obtained what he sought, turns down the breathing apparatus to control or kill the alien. His plan goes awry when John helps the alien breath again; but the alien uses a laser pen like device with a power cord [when did they invent AAA batteries?] to take John and Enid back to the ship. He captures some townspeople as well and sets them to digging fortifications around the rocket [?] ship [we neither see it arrive or leave but it looks like one], while awaiting the main invasion force. Then the ship sparks off lightning to Planet X as a signal. But all is for naught as Planet X, like a semi opaque disk on a stick, floats across the sky, growing larger, while Scotland Yard and the military use a rocket propelled grenade to blow up the alien and the ship. End of Story. John will meet Enid later in LA. Beginning of Romance. Dr. Mears is shot trying to save the alien and his source of inestimable technology. Selfish ones die in the end.
Here is the link to download the movie in a variety of formats: [you can also order it on NetFlix or wait til it shows up again on TCM]
Here is the Hollywood rundown of the movie:
Here are some trailers to watch online:
I attached some movie posters for this movie. You can purchase one [$13.99] at:
Now to the comparisons:
Movie Real Life
Threat Planet X Planet X
Announced To Public No No
Discovered & kept secret Yes Yes
Visible to eye in last weeks 3 weeks 7.3 weeks
Threat of invasion Yes No
At closest size full moon Yes Yes
Atmospheric oddities before Yes Yes
Tidal Waves at approach Yes Yes
Metal Mining in past/present Yes Yes
Size of PX natives Small Large
Long faces of natives Yes Yes
Breath earth air Not likely Yes
Advanced Technology Yes Yes
Earthworks as plan Yes Yes
Lightning between E & PX Yes Yes
Selfish vs Unselfish Issues Yes Yes
So, I hope you can now count this as a 'prophetic movie'.
Like it or not, this movie is unconsciously a foreshadowing of reality.
Results Rating 8/10 = See it if you can.
Your movie critic and reviewer,