Dr. Meacham is chosen along with others by the inhabitants of the planet Metaluna to do research that will help save their dying planet. However, an evil scheme is uncovered by the suspecting Dr. Meacham when he discovers the Metalunan's plan to take over Earth.
Dr. Meacham then escapes an exploding Metalunan built Earth lab along with Dr. Adams only to be kidnapped while flying away in a small plane. A flying saucer wisks both the scientists off to Metaluna where they are held accountable for blowing up the Metalunan Earth lab during their escape. They later escape there with the help of Exeter the friendly Metalunan. Metaluna then self destructs and the Doctors make it safely back to Earth, which is saved from Metalunan invasion.
Jeff Morrow ... Exeter
Faith Domergue ... Dr. Ruth Adams
Rex Reason ... Dr. Cal Meacham
Lance Fuller ... Brack
Russell Johnson ... Steve Carlson
Douglas Spencer ... The Monitor of Metaluna
Robert Nichols ... Joe Wilson
Karl Ludwig Lindt ... Dr. Adolph Engelborg (as Karl L. Lindt)
Pulp science fiction created an aura of awe and excitement that is rarely equaled in these current days of sci-fi movie "actioners". Gone are the opportunities to see alien species and their homelands depicted in "wonderous Technicolor". Instead, we are routinely preached to by screenwriters determined to warn us, ad nauseum, of man's follies and the impending disasters always depicted as a forgone result. Yes, now we get chiseled heroes, and heroines, too, who are usually engaged in single-handedly shooting up the screen with loud twentieth century-derived weapons. Where is the fun in these stereotypical, shoot-em-up extravaganzas?
"This Island Earth"("TIE") with (for its time, remember)jaw-dropping visuals, big, truly alien world realizations and theme of inter-solar system war, hasn't been matched since its debut almost fifty years ago! For a plot that catapults you half way around the universe with one beautifully realized set after another and an epic-sized stage on which to play out its themes, perhaps only "Forbidden Planet" ever matched up.
The sounds, the visuals and the story line of "TIE" weren't intended to chastise you as a stupid earthling, but instead, have long served to take the willing on an adventure ride that all too few space movies have chosen to create. Until Hollywood chooses to really explore the universe you ought to have your own copy of "This Island Earth", in order to frequently remind yourself of what we should all be seeing much more often: space movies that enthrall!
This was the Star Wars of the 1950's. What movie are these people watching when they say there is no story? This is great escapist fun, filled with flying saucers, aliens, monsters and explosions! Some movies are just meant to be viewed *surprise* as entertainment! Kick back, turn off your brain, relax and watch a fun movie and be entertained by the lumbering bug eyed monsters! Sure, Rex Reason (cool name) is a walking totem pole, and Faith sure does scream a lot, but that's what women did in the 50's when they were being carried away by a scary monster. The effects are pretty good for its time, and the whole picture is a great time capsule about where we were mid-century when space was unexplored, and the flying saucer craze was still going on.
I saw this film for the first time when I was about 10 years old and it has always stuck with me and when I saw it was on video I bought it immediately. I think that this is more than a B picture and what people have to remember is the fact that this film was made before all the great advances in special effects. Another thing that made it interesting was the fact that through the first half of the film you really didn't know if Exeter was human or alien. It wasn't until the second half of the film that we did see there was more to this mysterious group. This film is definitely an underrated classic of its era.
* After Dr. Meacham has arrived at the secret lab in Georgia and the scientists are having a dinner, a woman comments the music playing at the background by saying: "Mozartti on oikein kaunista." This is Finnish and means "The music of Mozart is very beautiful."
* The only woman from Metaluna seen in the film is played by Charlotte Lander, in her only screen appearance, at the control console for the decompression tubes on board the saucer.
* A print of this film was loaned to MGM where another science fiction spectacle, Forbidden Planet (1956), was being prepared.
* According to Faith Domergue, the pants of her costume were so skintight that she could not wear underwear. A female assistant had to help her put them on and take them off.
* After the dinner at the secret facility, what the German scientist says is: "Ladies and gentlemen, the meal was excellent, but after Mozart's marvelous music I need to be alone with myself for a while. Good evening."
* This movie is used as the backdrop for the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 movie.