Saturday, 14 September 2013

20 Million Miles to Earth (5 Stars)

Yesterday I criticised the film "Young Nurses" for being dated. It seemed so old and has no relevance to today. The film I watched today, "20 Million Miles to Earth", is even older. It was made in 1957, so it's 56 years old now, and yet it doesn't seem old at all. I watched it, of course, for Ray Harryhausen's special effects, but the film has much more than that. It's thrilling and exciting from beginning to end. There's not one wasted minute. The action begins in the opening scenes, but that doesn't mean that there's no character development. We get to know the characters, such as the fishermen and the young boy Pepe, in the way they react to the dramatic events. There's a romance in the film, but it's slotted in without taking any time from the action and suspense. The film is a masterpiece, and I attribute it to the skills of the director Nathan Juran, best known for making science fiction and fantasy films in the 1950's and 1960's.

America has sent a manned mission to Venus. The ship returns and crashes into the sea off the coast of Sicily. Only one of the astronauts survives. The team has brought back a creature from Venus to be studied, but it escapes and goes on a rampage in southern Italy.

I'm very impressed with the colour version. As I stated in my review of "It came from beneath the sea" I prefer to watch the original version of films, but once more the coloured version is far superior. Technology certainly has come a long way.

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