When the first manned flight to Venus returns to Earth, the rocket crash-lands in the Mediterranean near a small Italian fishing village. The locals manage to save one of the astronauts Colonel Calder, the mission commander. A young boy also recovers what turns out to be a specimen of an alien creature. Growing at a fantastic rate, it manages to escape and eventually threatens the city of Rome forcing the military to take drastic action.
William Hopper ... Col. Robert Calder
Joan Taylor ... Marisa Leonardo
Frank Puglia ... Dr. Leonardo
John Zaremba ... Dr. Judson Uhl
Thomas Browne Henry ... Maj. Gen. A.D. McIntosh
Tito Vuolo ... Police Commissioner Charra
Jan Arvan ... Contino (government official)
Arthur Space ... Dr. Sharman
Bart Braverman ... Pepe (as Bart Bradley)
Ray Harryhausen always wanted to film a monster movie in Europe and he got his chance with 20 Million Miles to Earth.
A spacecraft returning from a trip to Venus crashes into the sea just off the coast of Italy. Local fishermen rescue two of the occupants who are still alive just before it sinks. One of them dies just after and the other is taken to a local hospital. Then, a small boy finds a canister containing a strange jelly substance and takes it to a visiting circus to see what it is. The owner of the circus takes charge of the jelly and a strange creature, the Ymir emerges from it. The following day, the Ymir has grown into a giant and it escapes and goes on the rampage, eventually ending up in Rome. The Military are called to try and capture it, but fail. While in Rome, the Ymir is put in the zoo as a tourist attraction, but it escapes from there, fights and kills an elephant and climbs the Colosseum, where he gets shot down and killed.
This is Harryhausen's personal favourite movie and he has a cameo appearance in the zoo sequence. As well as the Ymir, the elephant is also done in stop-motion.
The movie stars 50's sci fi regulars William Hopper (The Deadly Mantis) and Joan Taylor (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers).
This movie is one the better monster movies of the 50's and one of my favourites.
Fun little gem from the 50's about a spaceship that has returned from Venus, Bringing with it a small alien creature, and when it is exposed to earth's air and climate, it begins to grow, soon escaping and terrorizing a city.
Fun monster movie has some really good special effects by Ray Harryhausen and a swift pace. A must-see!!!!!!!!!
Not only is this a Ray Harryhausen classic, but a truly excellent movie that features some of the best stop-motion animation of the era.
Returning from a secret mission, the first astronauts to land on the planet Venus crash into the Atlantic just off the coast of Sicily...on board they carry a gelatinous cargo that turns out to be the egg of a Venutian life-form. It quickly hatches and terrorizes the local citizens and continues its rampage towards Rome.
Can it be stopped? You will just have to turn out the lights and plop 20 Million Miles to Earth in the ol' DVD (or VCR) player to find out! The incredible alien life-form, known as the Ymir, may not have a familiar name to many, but it does remain one of the most recognized movie monsters/aliens from the 50's; and is among Ray Harryhausens best creations to date.
* One of the reasons the film takes place in Italy is that Ray Harryhausen always wanted to vacation there but could never afford to go on his own.
* Ray Harryhausen's original design for the monster was a giant cyclops, similar to the one he later used in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958). He discarded the idea after making a clay model of it, and eventually settled on the reptilian Ymir.
* Cameo: [Ray Harryhausen] a man feeding peanuts to the elephant that later battles the Ymir. He did so because the actor scheduled to play the part didn't show up. He later appears in a crowd fleeing the zoo.
* Since he planned to use a real elephant for some of the footage in the zoo, Ray Harryhausen asked for one that was 15 feet tall, but the film was only able to procure an eight-foot-tall one for him. In order to make the elephant look much bigger, a 4'6" actor was cast to play the zookeeper.
* Though the creature is referred to the Ymir in reviews and websites, the name is never mentioned in the movie. Ray Harryhausen was concerned that audiences would mistake it for the Arabic title "Emir".
* The Ymir roars in the film are variations of elephant roars sped up and modulated in pitches at different rates.