Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers

An Entertaining Sci-Fi Romp

Main Cast: Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor, Donald Curtis, Morris Ankrum
Director: Fred F. Sears

Plot Summary: Alien spaceships threaten Earth and the military and science band to together to defeat them.

One of the numerous 1950s-era sci-fi classics, the title Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is a pretty accurate description of the movie. Sometimes it works: just see the most recent title Snakes on a Plane for another good example. In any case, a bunch of aliens with superior technology want to take over the world. It’s up to the military and a group of scientists to come up with a plan to stop them.

In this case the lead is a white-coated scientist, recently married to his assistant. He heads the Skyhook rocket program and has been sending up satellites to circle the globe and offer a means of information gathering. But as the serious voice-over announcer states, a rash of recent flying saucer sightings can be linked to the disappearance of his previous rockets. He learns of their destruction from a army general, father of his wife.

The flying saucer itself makes an appearance at the launch pad of Skyhook and goes on a spree of destruction. The scientist and his wife are rescued, but a previous fly-by of the saucer itself may hold clues as to the reason for the base dismantling.

We do get to meet the aliens, and we do get to see more destruction. And, of course, our hero does come up with something to fight the aliens with. What’s interesting to me is the tone and flavor of the film. Steeped in the culture of the 1950s, it tosses around the new concepts of rockets, astronomy, aliens, and nuclear weapons. The men, of course, are all in control while the token female co-lead stands around a lot.

I must admit, though, that the special effects, while appearing cheesy now, are actually pretty good. At least as good or better than most of the films that were released in that era. And while it doesn’t try for morality of any high concepts, it is an entertaining little romp through Earth vs…well, flying saucers.

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