This Island Earth (1955)

This Island Earth (1955), directed by Joseph M. Newman.

A shortened version of this was lampooned in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996). I admit: I laughed until I cried. And I love the original! That's one way to enjoy old genre films: just ridicule them, a popular entertainment in campus venues everywhere.

Of course, that's not the best way.

After some initial cheesy dialogue with reporters and repartee back at the atomic lab, we have many interesting features in this film, which is only 86m long, and it's 53m until we get into space!

Handsome Rex Reason (The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)) looks like a pulp SF cover illustration; he really does have a deep heroic voice.

Faith Domergue (It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), Where Danger Lives (1950)) always has a cool persona. That space outfit flatters her nicely.

The cat was played by "Orangey"; he had a busy career including his own film, Rhubarb (1951), about a cat who owned a baseball team.

The plantary sequence was reshot by the uncredited Jack Arnold.

Available on DVD, a 4:3 open matte version of the original 1.85 aspect ratio. DVDBeaver has a nice comparision of this and two Blu-ray imports:


I have championed this film for years, realizing that it is the butt of Mystery Theater 3000 sarcasm-fests. Something about this production hits me right in my childhood-sci-fi fantasy-breadbasket. I have returned to it often and at least now have no need to worry about my way out-of-print Image release getting digital rot. If you like this genre of film -- then this is the best ever made -- in my opinion.

-- Gary Tooze

[Later: Shout Factory provided a Blu-ray edition with the correct aspect ratio. My thumbnails are from the older DVD in the 4:3 open matte version].