It Came from Outer Space
Facts and Figures
Run time: 81 mins
In Theaters: Monday 25th May 1953
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Production compaines: Universal International Pictures (UI)
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 5
IMDB: 6.6 / 10
It Came from Outer Space Review
Almost 50 years ago, this pioneering sci-fi film (Universal's first of many sci-fi flicks, based on Ray Bradbury's story) took a look at the genre that would become unpopular in later years -- instead of working as an anti-communist allegory where the aliens possess wholesome Americans and slowly converted our Great Nation to something awful, we got one of our first looks at aliens as the good guys, and we're the ones messing things up.
On the way, though, the dialogue and mannered acting are as dated as the special effects, so while It Came from Outer Space's theme is a refreshing change of pace from the doomsaying brethren of its era, its appearance is not. As well, it moves terribly slowly (despite an 80 minute running time) because the plot is overly simplistic with absolutely no surprises -- aliens arrive, aliens possess humans, humans investigate, secrets are finally revealed -- sort of. The ending is wholly unsatisfying. I give it points for history, but it's just not very interesting today.
The new DVD release gives a hurried, breathless feature commentary from film historian Tom Weaver as well as a documentary about the film.