Earth vs. the Flying Saucers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers Reviews

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October 18, 2016
The story was very uneven, & only passingly brought up compelling situations that would've been better delved into. It's pretty much your quintessential '50s sci-fi alien movie. Worth seeing. Popcorn flick.
May 12, 2016
Earth VS. The Flying Saucers (1956) ???
Earth is visited by UFO alien encounters, who want a peaceful landing - or else. Entertaining Sci-fi can't escape its B movie origins (its story is familiar) but provides good fun and convincing special effects. For the very best of these types of movies, see 1954's THEM!
May 7, 2016
A film that perfectly encapsulates the UFO Epidemic in the 1950's in the USA, it's also the butt of all jokes in the 1997 spoof Mars Attacks!.

The story focuses on one scientist who has a direct encounter with a UFO & predicts their plans to dominate the earth.

The film is undeniably cheesy but quite interesting since that nation at the time was engulfed by this hysteria. It's fun, dated & has some great dodgy visual effects & stock footage of supposedly real UFO Sightings.
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2016
Fantastic title for a film this, quintessential 50's sci-fi schlock with a typical tacky title that tells you everything you need to know, but it sounds so damn cool! The funny thing is this film really should be called 'Earth vs the USA' because there isn't really anyone else involved. How dare those pesky aliens even think about attacking the US of A! Stars n Stripes away lads!

So plot...UFO's attack the Earth, USA attacks back, USA wins, the end. What would we do without the USA? I ask ya. Much like 'It Came from Beneath the Sea' this film is made up of a lot of dialog involving what is happening and then how to deal with it, plus a small romance stuffed in the middle.

There are snippets of UFO/alien action dotted throughout but the main event doesn't kick off until the end typically. When we do see the aliens they are gloriously basic looking bordering on childish. For the day I'm sure they looked quite impressive but naturally these days they attract more giggles as they waddle around in their cardboard looking space suits. The small segment where the hero tries on a captured alien helmet is so daft and cheap looking its fantastic, he literately has a plastic bucket on his head.

The actual flying saucers are of course the highlight of the film. Even though they are incredibly basic in design they have influenced so many sci-fi films ever since (famously 'Mars Attacks' which is pretty much a homage) and probably people's minds in how alien craft should look. Animated by Harryhausen they don't look much of a challenge for the skilled craftsman but its the destruction of major buildings when the saucers crash that present the work and show his talents. How iconic is the downfall of the Washington Monument! that little sequence is still perfect to this day, and lets not forget about that classic flying saucer humming noise they make.

What I did find amusing was the fact these aliens were suppose to be attacking the entire planet. Yet once our plucky hero and his glamorous assistant worked out how to defeat them and went about doing so with many faceless expendable military men, that was it! They brought down all the saucers and that was it, no one thinks to check for the alien crews inside in case they are gonna attack. Plus no one mentions anything about the rest of the saucers attacking other countries, did all they manage to defeat the saucers the same as the heroic Americans?? there is no mention of sharing their alien beating discovery with other countries I don't think (unless I missed it).

I would also hope they use the new alien technology for their own gains, no mention of this but surely they would for the sequel.

So yes the whole film is pretty much exactly the same as all the previous films, it just substitutes monsters for aliens. We have the standard sensible hero, his attractive female sidekick, plenty of elderly/brainy scientists and military types all together with an 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' formulaic story. As that saying suggests it does work and it is good fun, the flying saucer sequences being the best of course. Not the best film, still not beating '20,000 Fathoms' but definitely better than 'It Came from Beneath the Sea'.
January 22, 2016
This is your typical 50-60's science-fiction movie. It has good actors and decent special effects.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
December 29, 2015
Taken for what it is, a product of atomic paranoia, this is a hooty flick.
November 26, 2015
Fun 'b' movie with the traditional (and noise) flying saucers theme done very well - and you get to see plenty of them. It was certainly worth the Producers investing well in the special effects.
November 21, 2015
so silly its quite good
November 19, 2015
WOW.......WOW......WOW......WOW......WOW......JUST SEEN THIS MOVIE 4 THE 1ST TIME N THINK THAT THIS IS SUCH A GREAT MOVIE 2 WATCH.......its got a good cast of actors/actresses throughout this movie.....I think that hugh Marlowe (.R.I.P.), joan taylor (.R.I.P.), Morris Ankrum (.R.I.P.), John Zaremba (.R.I.P.), play good roles/parts throughout this movie......I think that the director of this sci-fi/fantasy/classics movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.......WARNING THIS MOVIE CONTAINS STROBE LIGHTNING EFFECTS THROUGHOUT SOME SCENES THROUGHOUT THIS MOVIE......





Visual effects

Special effects expert Ray Harryhausen animated the film's flying saucers using stop-motion animation. Harryhausen also animated the falling masonry when saucers crash into various government buildings and monuments in order to make the action appear realistic. Some figure animation was used to show the aliens emerging from the saucers. A considerable amount of stock footage was also used, notably scenes during the invasion that showed batteries of U. S. 90 mm M3 guns and an early missile launch. Stock footage of the destruction of the warship HMS Barham during World War II was used for the U. S. Navy destroyer that is sunk by a flying saucer. Satellite launch depictions made use of stock film images from a Viking rocket launch and a failure of a German V-2 rocket.

The voice of the aliens was produced from a recording made by Paul Frees (uncredited) reading their lines and then hand-jiggling the speed control of an analog reel-to-reel tape recorder, so that it continually wavered from a slow bass voice to one that is high and fast.

During a question-and-answer period at a tribute to Ray Harryhausen and a screening of Jason and the Argonauts held in Sydney, Australia, Harryhausen said he sought advice from noted 1950s UFO "contactee" George Adamski on the depiction of the flying saucers used in the film. He also noted that Adamski appeared to have grown increasingly paranoid by that time. The film's iconic flying saucer design (a static central cabin with an outer rotating ring with slotted vanes) matches descriptions given to Maj. Donald Keyhoe of flying disc sightings in his best-selling flying saucer book




Earth vs. the Flying Saucers was well received by audiences and critics alike, with Variety noting that the special effects were the real stars of the film. "This exploitation programmer does a satisfactory job of entertaining in the science-fiction class. The technical effects created by Ray Harryhausen come off excellently in the Charles H. Schneer production, adding the required out-of-this-world visual touch to the screenplay, taken from a screen story by Curt Siodmak, suggested by Major Donald E. Keyhoe's Flying Saucers from Outer Space."

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers has reached an iconic status in that many films in the "flying saucer" subgenre that followed, imitated and incorporated many of the elements established by Ray Harryhausen. In an article for The New York Times film reviewer Hal Erickson noted that, "Anyone who's seen the 1996 science-fiction lampoon Mars Attacks may have trouble watching Earth vs. the Flying Saucers with a straight face." The later campy film could be seen as an homage to the era, especially to the contributions made by Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.


man I think that this is such an enjoyable sci-fi movie 2 watch, its got such a great cast throughout this movie......I think that this is such a highly entertaining movie 2 watch, it is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie........
½ July 18, 2015
Ray Harryhausen sci-fi classic about earth being invaded by flying saucers. This alien invasion story is not as smart as "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and not as bombastic as modern invasion films like "Independence Day," but it does have a quaint charm of 1950s paranoid science fiction films, which Tim Burton nicely captured in "Mars Attacks!" Burton's film actually paid homage to this film in his sci-fi love letter to 50s alien invasion films. Although this film isn't as intellectual and lacks the smart social commentary of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" it's better than most of it's youth targeted contemporaries and is a campy good time.
July 11, 2015
Pretty awesome as far as early science fiction goes. The story is not unique in any way, but the film brought an aesthetic that many sci-fi productions still copy today.
June 13, 2015
"Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers" nem sempre é o filme mais interessante ou lúcido, na distinção que pretende fazer entre o valor da ciência e o poder de fogo norte-americano, mas tudo isso é secundário perante o interminável festival de efeitos especiais pela mão do grande mestre Ray Harryhausen. Verdade seja dita: o simpático sci-fi de 1956 mostra alguns dos mais convincentes discos voadores vistos nesta época, embora todo o subtexto de paranóia não esteja muito à altura disso.
½ January 20, 2015
Good piece of alien invasion cinema. I consider this to be Ray Harryhausen's best film. This is one of the classic 1950's alien invasion B movies, raining on the fear of artificial intelligent aliens.The Black and white version is more recommended then the color version.
May 10, 2014
Watching this film when it was released would be like watching one of the great visual fx blockbusters of today... watching it now, after the fact, would be akin to seeing where all those amazing scenes of flying saucers, etc. used over and over in so many other movies and television shows actually came from, and getting a fun movie to boot!
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers feels almost like an episode of Doctor Who (older Who) with some Cybermen like things invading the planet. Of course we didn't have The Doctor but rather some very intelligent scientists who developed some crazy post WWII gadgets the army could use to combat the aliens.
This IS CLASSIC SCIFI in all it's gloriousness. Of course, FX from Ray Harryhausen are what truly makes this film fun. If you haven't seen this film yet and love scifi, you owe it to yourself to track it down and watch it.
May 5, 2014
A nostalgic look at the baby-days of modern sci-fi movies.
April 25, 2014
A classic for sure. Though much of the movie makes you want to scream at the humans for being so dumb and trigger happy,
½ October 19, 2013
As much as Ray Harryhausen's effects make this entertaining, the sound design is pretty good too. You really get what you get with these movies and I enjoy them a lot.
½ September 6, 2013
Notable for Ray Harryhausen's exceptional special effects (the destruction of Washington monuments is outstanding) more so than plot and story, with all-American lead Hugh Marlowe and an inconsistant Joan Taylor heading the battle against extra-terrestrial invaders.
½ July 15, 2013
Stellar special effects work for it's era brings this otherwise B-movie to cult status. Also, how often do you get to watch a UFO blow half of Washigton DC to bits?
May 8, 2013
82%

See DC burn!

RIP Ray Harryhausen
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