Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH


20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (1957). Director: Nathan Juran.

A rocket ship returning from Venus carrying a specimen of a native life form crash lands off Sicily and a young boy (Bart Bradley/Braverman) who finds the little creature brings it to a local professor (Frank Puglia) . Soon the little animal is growing rapidly, until it escapes its cage and has to be recaptured. Now as big as King Kong and then some, it breaks out of a lab in Rome after an accident and terrorizes the city, taking a last stand at the Coliseum. Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion animation of the Ymir (the name by which the creature became known, although it is never referred to as such in the film itself) is lively and fluid and the FX make the film watchable and entertaining. William Hopper is stalwart and essentially wooden as the hero, but Joan Taylor is better as the professor's grand-daughter, who is studying to be a doctor. Thomas Browne Henry plays yet another military man, giving his usual crisp delivery.

Verdict: Great fun! ***.

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