Phantom From Space (1953) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Phantom From Space (1953).rtf
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Phantom From Space (1953)
An alien being with the power of invisibility lands in Santa Monica. Killing two people who attacked him due to the menacing appearance of his spacesuit, the creature takes it off while being pursued by government authorities.
Ted Cooper ... Lt. Hazen
Tom Daly ... Charlie [Agent Charlie]
Steve Acton ... Mobile Center Dispatcher
Burt Wenland ... Agent Joe (Mobile 7)
Lela Nelson ... Betty Evans
Harry Landers ... Lt. Bowers
Burt Arnold ... Darrow
Sandy Sanders ... First Policeman
Harry Strang ... Neighbor
Jim Bannon ... Desk Sgt. Jim
Jack Daly ... Joe Wakeman
Michael Mark ... Refinery Watchman
Rudolph Anders ... Dr. Wyatt
James Seay ... Maj. Andrews
Noreen Nash ... Barbara Randall
Phantom from Space is a rare little treat for classic monster movie/sci-fi fans. The first half is incredibly dull with not a single monster sighting for about 25 minutes! Instead of thrills, the beginning offers a set-up of the boring police/news reporter/government agent business that seems to permeate many old moster flicks. BUT, once you get to the good stuff it really holds up well. It's always fascinating to watch the old invisibilty tricks harking back to Universal's Invisible Man. And check out that cool space suit! The ending tops all, thought, with a really cool effect that finally lets the viewer see the man behind the mask. Alpha Video has a release of this film on DVD with spectacular, color cover art, a quite nice print of the film, and a budget savvy price of around $5-$6 bucks! Definitely worth the price of admission for classic monster fans!
The idea of having the 'space invader' invisible for most of the time is so manifestly a cost-saving measure that you cannot help smiling at the audacity of the producers. However, the few invisibility effects that there are in the picture are not bad for its budget level. I can view this movie with some fondness, but I have to accept that it is probably very hard going for any but the most avid fans of Fifties' SF.
There is little that I can add to the other reviews on this site, but there is one issue I do want to raise.
I purchased it on a budget DVD in a mediocre print that makes it difficult to properly evaluate. However, there is one aspect of the DVD version for which I am unable to account. When dark objects move across a light background, there is very noticeable bleed-through so that they become transparent. Similarly, when characters are moving quickly, the image becomes very hazy and the movement somewhat jerky. In fact, the image breaks up and parts of the people simply disappear. I checked this by freezing the picture.
These problems are characteristic of early TV technology and the picture looks very much like low resolution CCTV footage, but I have never heard of them in connection with film, however poor the film stock. It set me wondering. Was this movie originally shot on video and transferred to film for the theatrical release? It seemed a plausible explanation, but from what I can determine, there were no viable video systems available that early and the ones that did exist were so expensive and cumbersome that no low-rent movie producer could have afforded to use them. In any case, there are no detectable scan lines.
I can only assume that this artifact is a consequence of some cheap DVD transcription system being used, but it is something I have never seen on any other DVD before or since.
Hadn't seen this film since I was a kid in the early 60s. It was one of those films that stuck in my mind, I remembered the weird spacesuit with an invisible alien inside and something about climbing a ladder. It was a treat to see it again after all these years.
I love old sci-fi B films. You probably have to appreciate the time they were made in to truly enjoy them. The FX were primitive by todays standards, but got the job done nicely. What I liked most about this film was that it didn't have the typical "monster" from space story. Instead the alien was a misunderstood sympathetic character stranded on earth and needing help. He tried to communicate with humans but failed. I like to think that the more technologically advanced a race is, the less violent they might become or need to be. Therefore I find a film like this much more believable than a typical 50s "monster from space" film like 'The Thing from Another World' (1951). Don't get me wrong 'The Thing FAW' is an excellent film, but the advanced alien in it acted like a killer maniac. Hard to believe he could have built a ship able to travel millions of light years. This alien in 'The Phantom from Space' was also stranded here, but wanted to find a way to communicate and survive in our atmosphere, not kill. I found that refreshingly different for a 50s sci-fi film. In some ways this film reminded me of 'The Man From Planet X' maybe it was the role an unusual looking spacesuit played in making the alien seem more menacing then he actually was and adding a weird unearthly atmosphere to the film.
Some of the scenes seemed a bit inexplainable, like the nude alien climbing at the end before falling to his death. Why was he doing that? Seemed like a sort of 'King Kong Empire State Building' ending to an otherwise novel film idea. I half expected him to pound his chest and grab at imagined biplanes attacking him. A few things that also gave me a chuckle were the characters and some of the dialog. Oh and everyone seemed to be lighting up a cigarette ! - LOL One guy, looked like Clark Kent, another seemed to be doing a Rod Serling imitation. I expected to see his name at the end as "Irving Serling", Rods older brother or something ;^). Don't get me wrong, all this just added to my enjoyment of the film.
'The Phantom from Space' was a refreshingly different early 50s sci-fi film worth seeing IMO. If you have an open mind I recommend it.
This was typical sci-fi 50's fare to me, based on many movies we have watched. There are usually lots of night scenes and outdoor scenes where the creature is involved. Probably easier for special effects. And making it invisible helped with that aspect, too.
I would have liked to understand more about the Phantom, like how it ended up there. Naturally, the people didn't understand it and feared it, etc. - the usual paranoia in these types of films. Maybe I missed something, but I didn't think it was intentionally going around killing people the way the characters assumed. I can't recall the details of those deaths right now. And it conveyed that usual self-centeredness of Earthlings. The being died, huh?...oh well, whatever...let's call it a day and get back to our daily business. Oh, by the way, I rate it a 6 out of 10. The way they mentioned that his clothing had no weave and was impervious to acid, etc., was imaginative, I thought. I wasn't sure why the woman screamed when she saw his hand appear - maybe she was thinking that he looked so human-like, which she somehow found horrifying. At least she was relatively composed, especially when it joined her in the lab again,considering the penchant for depicting women as hysterical was so common.
We were laughing at how often everyone lit cigarettes...that one guy (the detective?) seemed to have a permanent one in his hand. And what about Clark Kent there? I couldn't help but think that about the guy with the glasses and hat. That one scientist, the German? one, was an arrogant SOB, by the way. It was fun all in all, even though it left out some background on the creature that I would have liked. I also hoped he would have been able to communicate.
When it comes to 1950's sci-fi, there's good bad, and bad bad; "Phanton From Space" isn't bad, if you know what I mean. There's an interesting back story about the alien's arrival, your typical lab scenes played out with scientific endeavor, and an invisible alien that comes to play on the viewer's sympathy once it's learned that all he's trying to do is survive in Earth's atmosphere.
I got a kick out of some of the governmental jargon thrown around. There's Washington, D.C.'s 'Central Bureau', the 1950's version of an early warning system (hey, it's got a yellow and red alert!), and the mysterious apparatus known as the Communications Commission. The best though were vehicles Mobile #1 and #7, rigged up with those goofy roof top antennas; how did they make it through tunnel overpasses?
There were some clever bits thrown in to keep you guessing about the alien, Dr. Wyatt (Rudolph Anders) refers to him as 'superhuman'. Some fuss was made over the creature's spacesuit, it couldn't be cut and was resistant to flame and acid. Pretty comical though when the Major (James Seay) tried to rip it apart with his bare hands, how scientific was that? Fortunately, the Randall's dog was on hand to keep everyone on track, what do you expect from a canine named Venus?
Also imaginative was the ultra violet light gimmick used to expose the alien's footprint and human like hand. His full disclosure at the end of the story is amazingly similar to descriptions of alien beings today, compliments of writers like Whitley Strieber. How curious is that?
The cast by and large is a group of relative unknowns, though I did get a kick out of seeing Michael Mark as the oil refinery watchman. He would graduate to a top billed role as the beekeeper/inventor in 1960's "The Wasp Woman".
One final thought - the various folks trying to sort out the alien mystery often refer to him as the 'X-Man', pre-dating by a decade the beginning of one of Marvel Comics' most popular titles. I'd be interested to find out if this was the first time the term was ever used - Anyone?