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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Steve's Church-less Movie Of The Week ...

This week's absolutely free church-less movie of the week is a certified classic. It's a quickly filmed fifties sci-fi schlockfest which, somehow, stands the test of time and is seen not as a crappy throwaway film but as a true American classic.

Personally, I think it's crap. But fun crap.

Enjoy ...

Liberally yoinked from the almighty wikipedia monster ...

"Invaders from Mars is a 1953 American science fiction film directed by William Cameron Menzies that was developed from a scenario by Richard Blake and based on a story treatment by John Tucker Battle, who was inspired by a dream recounted by his wife. The film was produced independently by Edward L. Alperson Jr. and starred Jimmy Hunt, Helena Carter, and Arthur Franz. Invaders was then distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.

An Eastmancolor negative was used for principal photography, with vivid SuperCinecolor prints struck for the film's initial theatrical release to provide an oddly striking and vivid look to the film's images; standard Eastmancolor prints were used thereafter on later releases. While some film sources have claimed that Invaders was designed for the early 3-D process (it was already in production before the breakthrough 3-D film, Bwana Devil, was released), it was not filmed in or released in 3-D.

The film is notable for telling its story from the point of view of an older child in an adult world heading into crisis. Despite being a quickly shot, low-budget 1950s feature, Invaders uses occasional camera angles set lower or higher than usual to enhance the dramatic and visual impact of key scenes. Some of Menzies' set designs (notably those in the police station, the observatory, and the interiors of the Martian flying saucer) also consist of elongated structures with stark, unadorned walls, sometimes much taller than necessary, adding touches of dreamlike surrealism. The production also makes use of a unique, outre music score consisting of an ethereal, rhythmically wavering tonal composition sung in unison by a choir.

A new ending and additional scenes were added in response to various objections raised by the film's British distributor. Portions of Invaders were re-edited, and the original U. S. 'was-it-all-just-a-nightmare?' ending was dropped in favor of a more straightforward conclusion. New scenes were filmed several months after the U. S. release, including one showing the destruction of the Martian flying saucer in the sky when the Army's charges finally explode. The British release also included a re-shot and greatly expanded planetarium scene: Framed pictures can be seen hanging on the planetarium set's walls that were not there in the U. S. release; they appear to vanish and then reappear at times as the expanded and restructured scene plays out.

While the adult actors had not changed significantly for these British reshoots, child actor Jimmy Hunt has significantly grown in height and looks older and has shorter hair in these new scenes. Hunt also wears a sweater vest in them (the vest materializes about 3 minutes into the scene, at which time Dr. Kelston's necktie also appears to be retied) while he and Dr. Kelston discuss various flying saucer accounts: the Lubbock Lights and the Mantell UFO Incident."

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