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Invaders from Mars

Invaders from Mars (1953)

April. 22,1953
| Horror Thriller Science Fiction

In the early hours of the night, young David Maclean sees a flying saucer land and disappear into the sand dunes just beyond his house. Slowly, all of the adults, including his once loving parents, begin to act strangely.


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Simply Perfect


This is a small, humorous movie in some ways, but it has a huge heart. What a nice experience.

Anoushka Slater

While it doesn't offer any answers, it both thrills and makes you think.


A terrific literary drama and character piece that shows how the process of creating art can be seen differently by those doing it and those looking at it from the outside.


I'm glad that "Invaders from Mars" was found and restored. My DVD of this film has reasonable picture and sound quality. The film itself is a fairly standard one, very low budget but there are still some effective moments. There aren't many famous or familiar faces here which is probably just as well. The film works up a fair bit of steam toward its climax, plus a slight twist to the tale.

Jackson Booth-Millard

In recent years I have made an effort to find and watch classic films that evoke the time period in which they were made, this is a very good example of one such film, directed by William Cameron Menzies (Things to Come). Basically one night young David MacLean (Jimmy Hunt) is awakened by a thunderstorm, then a strange light appears, from his bedroom window he sees a large flying saucer descend and disappear into the sandpit area behind the house. His scientist father George (Leif Erickson) knows that his son is not the sort of child to make up things, so he investigates, when he returns the next morning David notices a strange red puncture on the back of his neck, and his father behaves cold and hostile. David soon realises that something is wrong, he notices certain townspeople with the same mark on the back of their neck and acting the same sort of way, then he witnesses his child neighbour Kathy Wilson (Janine Perreau) disappearing underground walking in the sandpit, she later returns with hardly any emotion at all. David flees to the police station for help, he is placed under the protection of health-department physician Dr. Pat Blake (Helena Carter), who slowly begins to believe his crazy story, and taking David to local astronomer Dr. Stuart Kelston (Arthur Franz), he confirms with the boy and Dr. Blake that there is likely to be an upcoming invasion from the planet Mars. Dr. Kelston convinces the U.S. Army to investigate immediately, and soon enough the Pentagon assembles troops and tanks, command by Colonel Fielding (Morris Ankrum). David and Dr. Blake near the sandpit are suddenly sucked underground, two tall slit-eyed green humanoids have captured them, but Colonel Fielding and some troops find the entrance to the flying saucer. Inside they confront the Martian mastermind: a giant green head with a humanoid face atop a small, green partial torso with several green arm-tentacles, encased in a transparent sphere, it is served by tall, green, silent mutants. The human victims taken have been implanted with mind-control devices, they are attempting to sabotage an atomic rocket, if they are captured the devices implode and cause a fatal cerebral haemorrhage. Dr. Blake and David are rescued, Colonel Fielding and the troops open fire at the pursuing mutants, the army plant a timed explosive charges aboard the saucer. Following a large explosion, David wakes to find himself in his bed, just like at the beginning, his parents are back to normal, he returns to bed assured that he had a nightmare, but then he goes to the window and sees the same flying saucer from his dream descending into the sandpit, it is unclear what happens next. Also starring Hillary Brooke as Mrs. Mary MacLean, Max Wagner as Sergeant Rinaldi, Milburn Stone as Captain Roth, Walter Sande as Police Desk Sergeant Finlay, John Eldredge as Mr. Turner, Robert Shayne as Dr. Bill Wilson, Luce Potter as Martian Intelligence and It's a Wonderful Life's Todd Karns as Jim the Gas Station Attendant. Over the years this film has gained a cult status, its distorted and abstract surrealistic are the big reasons, you can maybe laugh now at the ridiculous of it, especially the low-budget special effects and costumes for the alien creatures, but in a way, that is part of the appeal, and it certainly plays on the paranoia that went on at the time, it could have been less chatty and have more alien stuff, but overall it is a relatively entertaining classic science-fiction thriller. Good!


*Spoiler/plot- Invaders from Mars, 1953. An overactive 10 years old boy's imagination and dreams take over his waking hours with seeing a flying saucer landing in a vacant lot near his house. The town leaders and military experts need convincing and help in the end. *Special Stars- Arthur Franz, Helena Carter, Jimmy Hunt, Leif Erickson, Hillary Brooke, Morris Ankrum, Milburn Stone, Barbara Billingsley, Robert Shayne.*Theme- The Govt is your friend, not the Martians.*Trivia/location/goofs- Color. Richard (Dick Van Dyke Show) Deacon's first film. Look for zippers on the backs of the mutant's green velor costumes. *Emotion- One of the earliest 50's sci-fi thrillers with a scary ending, so be sure to see the whole film. This film gave plenty of impressionable kids nightmares and time hiding in their rooms. The remakes of this film are terrible.*Based On- The Cold War invasion and rocket exploration fears.


This one scared the hell out of me when I first saw it as a kid; I remember them showing it in the evening on BBC2 back in the 1980s. Looks like a lot of other reviewers were similarly traumatised. Watching it now, as an adult, it's easy to laugh at what is a shoddy, low budget production. Scenes are repeated, special effects are wobbly to say the least, the aliens are silly rather than menacing, and the paucity of the production is apparent in every respect.And yet...there's something oddly menacing about this film. It's partly the Cold War paranoia-inspired plot about nice, ordinary people being taken over by a sinister foreign menace. Interestingly, this is the earliest version I've seen on that theme, predating INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS by a couple of years. The paranoia is cloying and really raises the hackles, even as an adult, and even allowing for the cheesy over-acting of the child star.The more overt aspects of the story, which take place towards the climax, are also profound, and in this case the imaginative nature of the production outweighs the budgetary constraints. That alien leader, little more than a head in a goldfish bowl, is oddly disturbing and an image that's stayed with me for my whole life. It's easy to forgive the problems in a film like INVADERS FROM MARS when it contains such classic, timeless material and I do think this is one of those '50s-era B-movie alien invasion classics.