The Man from Planet X

The Man from Planet X

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer Cast: Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, Raymond Bond

DVD (Pan & Scan / Black & White / Dolby 5.1 / Mono)

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Edgar G. Ulmer's The Man From Planet X was, along with Howard Hawks' The Thing (From Another World), among the earliest postwar feature films to posit the notion of alien invaders landing on Earth. It has had an uneven reputation over the years -- critics at the time dismissed its low-budget production (utilizing sets from Victor Fleming's production of Joan of Arc, shrouded in fog) and its plot, but it was one of those movies that used to creep out baby boom audiences on television, and it's been reassessed since the 1960s as a very effective, atmospheric, and ambitious film. Ulmer, working within his usual budget constraints, makes this into a genuinely suspenseful sci-fi chiller, if not on the drum-skin taut level of The Thing (which included a great deal of humor in its script and direction) then certainly intensely engrossing. Robert Clarke gives an earnest performance as the steadfast reporter-hero, and Margaret Field (the mother of Sally Field) is pretty and sincere as the heroine, while William Schallert, who has played more benign roles in recent decades, is excellent as the villain. The video transfer is the best ever seen on this movie, falling just a step short of the very best extant digital video that this reviewer has encountered in movies of this vintage. One can make out skin textures in the medium close-ups and details on the clothes of the characters that were missed in old television showings -- and reflections in the window of the visitor's diving, bell-like space ship. A trailer that is pitched at a higher level of hysteria than the movie itself is included, and the film is broken down into 16 chapters, which is ample for a 71-minute feature. The menu pops up automatically on start-up.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/20/2001
UPC: 0027616858566
Original Release: 1951
Rating: NR
Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W, Full Frame]
Sound: [Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time: 1:11:00

Special Features

Original theatrical trailer; English: mono; French & Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Clarke John Lawrence
Margaret Field Enid Elliot
Raymond Bond Prof. Elliot
William Schallert Mears
Roy Engel Constable
Charles Davis Geordie
Gilbert Fallman Dr. Blane
Tom Daly Actor

Technical Credits
Edgar G. Ulmer Director
Andy Anderson Special Effects
Fred R. Feitshans Editor
Charles Koff Score Composer
Joel Moss Sound/Sound Designer
Jack Pollexfen Producer,Screenwriter
Jack R. Rabin Special Effects
William Randall Sound/Sound Designer
John L. Russell Cinematographer
Howard Weeks Special Effects
Aubrey Wisberg Producer,Screenwriter

Scene Index

Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Main title [1:26]
2. Star search [4:34]
3. Fog on the Moors [5:30]
4. An object from space [4:20]
5. Ghastly green ghoul [5:07]
6. Spellbound [5:03]
7. First contact [7:41]
8. All about geometry [2:59]
9. Dr. Mears other plans [4:22]
10. Vanishing villagers [6:55]
11. Bogeyman [5:43]
12. The old heliograph [2:03]
13. Scotland Yard responds [4:32]
14. A beam of fresh alien [5:58]
15. Save our species [2:59]
16. No one will ever know/End [1:17]

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