Invaders from Mars (1953)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Once seen in childhood, Invaders from Mars is never forgotten. Cleverly directed (and designed) by William Cameron Menzies, the film is told from the point of view of its preteen protagonist David MacLean (Jimmy Hunt)--and as such, the perspective tends to be eerily larger than life at times. Awakened from his slumbers, David looks out his bedroom window and witnesses the landing of a Martian spaceship. In the days that follow, the boy notices a radical change in the behavior of his parents (Leif Erickson, Hillary Brooke)--and no wonder, since their minds have been taken over by the Martians. At first, no one believes David's story, least of all the police (who as it turns out have also been "possessed"); fortunately, astronomer Stuart Kelston (Arthur Franz) and city doctor Patricia Blake (Helena Carter) think that there's cause for alarm. Alerted by Kelston and Blake, the Army surrounds the pit wherein the Martian vessel has landed, and that's when the story really takes off! One of the Martian mutants is played by Lock Martin, previously seen as the towering robot Gort ("Klaatu Barada Nikto!") in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). The film currently exists in several versions, some of which have retained the intended original ending, while others have opted for the studio-dictated finale. Invaders from Mars was remade in 1986, with Jimmy Hunt emerging from show-business retirement to play the small role of a police chief. … More
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as Dr. Stuart Kelston /...
as Dr. Pat Blake
as Mr. George MacLean
as David Maclean
as Col. Fielding
as Mary MacLean
as Sgt. Rinaldi
as Capt. Roth
as Sgt. Finley
as Kathy Wilson
as Mr. Turner
as Dr. Wilson
as Martian Leader
as Sgt. Baker
as Chief Barrows
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Critic Reviews for Invaders from Mars
Audience Reviews for Invaders from Mars
The movie starts out rather well, but after the first act it stagnates into a low budget "War of the Worlds". By the end I was left with the feeling that this film could have been so much more than it was. The film does a pretty good job in pulling the viewer into the shoes of the film's child protagonist as he slowly witnesses people slowly falling to the martians control. Seeing the boy's caring parents turn into heartless puppets controlled by the martians is unnerving, and provides an interesting set-up. However, the moment the military gets involved in the plot, the movie dissolves into a typical 50's "martians vs. the Earth" affair and the boy becomes a secondary character until the very end. It is almost funny how the military keeps allowing the boy to hang around them while they try to defeat the aliens. Way too much stock footage is used that pans out the film's run time and the reveal of the martians is a total letdown. The martians look like grown-men wearing brown onesies (you can actually see the zippers on their backs) and the alien leader is a really fake-looking tentacled head. The spaceship set is cheesy to the point that it almost gives off a trippy surreal vibe. Despite a decent but drawn-out climax, the gets bogged down a whole level because of it's terrible ending. If the movie had stuck with the child's point of view and been consistent with it's psychological themes, then this movie could have been a nice little gem.
The quintessential science-fiction film of the 1950s. Ripe with cold-war innuendo, Invaders from Mars has, in a sense, become a parody of itself. It's as if someone merged John Carpenter's The Thing with an old episode of Leave it to Beaver.
Another great sci-fi movie from the fifties, a young kid must prove that aliens are taking over, sort of like the Blob meets Invasion of the body Snatchers, but with a kid. I really liked it.
Invaders from Mars Quotes
|Mary MacLean:||What has he been telling you? He's been reading those trashy science fiction magazines. He's completely out of control.|
|Sgt. Rinaldi:||He is Mankind, developed to its ultimate intelligence. These are his slaves, existing to do his will, just as you will. What are they doing up there?|
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