History of Sci-Fi Cinema 14: “It Came From Outer Space”

itcame1It Came From Outer Space (1953)
Written by Harry Essex, from a story by Ray Bradbury
Directed by Jack Arnold
Produced by William Alland
Universal
Starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Russell Johnson

An amateur astronomer and his dishy girlfriend are stargazing one night when what appears to be a meteor lands in the desert. But of course, that’s no meteor! It’s actually an alien spacecraft. But the only person to see it up close is the amateur astronomer and he has no proof to back up his claim. Not until townspeople start going missing, that is. It’s your typical 1950s Commie Scare paranoia piece . . . except that it actually isn’t. It’s a straightforward bodysnatcher yarn . . . except, no it’s really not. What it is is a thoroughly entertaining story with solid acting (Barbara Rush won a Golden Globe for her work in this film), good characterization, and a pretty spiffy alien that you never see too clearly on screen.

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