This Island Earth

(Metaluna 4 antwortet nicht | Les survivants de l'infini)

USA 1955 - 86 Minuten -

Regie: Joseph Newman, Jack Arnold (uncredited)

Produzent: William Alland
Produktion: Sabre Productions / Universal-International Pictures
Drehbuch: Franklin Coen, Edward G. O'Callagan (based on the novel The Alien Machine by Raymond F. Jones)
Kamera: Clifford Stine, A.S.C. (Technicolor, 1.37:1 Academy Ratio 35 mm)
Schnitt: Virgil Vogel
Musik: Herman Stein, Henry Mancini (uncredited), Hans Salter (uncredited)
Ton: Leslie I. Carey, Robert Pritchard (Mono)
Bauten: Alexander Golitzen, Richard H. Riedel
Set Decoration: Russell A. Gausman, Julia Heron
Kostüme: Rosemary Odell
Makeup: Bud Westmore, Millicent Patrick (Mutant design, uncredited)
Special Effects: Charles Baker (uncredited), Clifford Stine, Stanley Horsley
Budget: US $ 800,000
Working Title: War of the Planets

Darsteller: Jeff Morrow (Exeter), Faith Domergue (Ruth Adams), Rex Reason (Cal Meacham), Lance Fuller (Brack), Russell Johnson (Steve Carlson), Douglas Spencer (The Monitor of Metaluna), Robert Nichols (Joe Wilson), Karl Ludwig Lindt (Dr. Adolph), Eddie Parker (Mutant, uncredited), Regis Parton (Mutant, uncredited)

Premiere: 22 March 1955 (Preview) • 1 June 1955 (USA) • 25 Dezember 1956 (deutsch Erstaufführung)

Film Clip
Der Mutant und die Schöne! (.mov, 1.4 MB)

International Movie Database All-Movie Guide

For reasons that defy logic, the excellent This Island Earth was held up for ridicule as an allegedly bad movie in the film version of TV's Mystery Science Theater. If not the best science-fiction film of the 1950s, Earth is certainly one of the most intelligent and elaborate. The story begins when the image of Exeter (Jeff Morrow), a huge-domed scientific genius from the planet Metaluna, appears on an experimental 3D television screen. Exeter invites several noted scientists from around the world to work on a top-secret project at Exeter's earthly mansion. Among those accepting the invitation are Cal Meacham (Rex Reason) and his ex-fiancée Ruth Adams (Faith Domergue). Soon, Cal and Ruth learn Exeter's true motives; to use the Earth's atomic knowhow in building a defense shield to protect Metaluna against the enemy planet Zahgon. Eventually, Exeter boards his high-tech flying saucer and whisks Cal and Ruth off to his dying planet, where, among other perils, they are menaced by a hideous mutant. Based on a novel by Raymond F. Jones, This Island Earth is one of those rare 1950s speculative films that holds up as well today as it did when first released, despite the comparative quaintness of the special effects and high-tech paraphernalia. Incidentally, the climactic Metalunan scenes were directed by Universal's resident sci-fi specialist, Jack Arnold.

Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

A landmark science-fiction film, this is an intelligent interplanetary epic filled with beautifully crafted designs and marvelous special effects. A futuristic TV-telephone device is sent to Earth from the planet Metaluna. Scientist Reason puts together the device and soon finds himself being held hostage in a secluded mansion in Georgia by Morrow, a Mozart-loving agent from Metaluna. He tries to escape, helped by Domergue, but they are caught and placed in a state of suspended animation. Morrow takes them to Metaluna in his flying saucer in hopes that they will help him restore his war-ravaged homeland with a new source of atomic energy. Reason and Domergue face a host of outer-space dangers before returning home with Morrow's help. The story is run-of-the-mill science fiction, but the film is marvelous in its effects and artwork. This Island Earth set new standards with its wondrous shots of spaceships and intergalactic battles, and the makeup is a sight to behold. The famous mutant with the exposed cranium cost the producers $24,000 and showed every penny spent in the final effect. This feature undoubtedly benefitted from the unbilled codirection of 1950s science-fiction master Jack Arnold.


Image Entertainment / Universal

Länge: 85:59 min
  • 1.33:1/4:3 FullScreen
  • 6.79 mb/s
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • None
  • Closed Captioning: CC
  • None
DVD-VÖ: 8 April 1999
Snap Case
Chapters: 16
DVD Encoding: NTSC Region 0

The new DVD edition of This Island Earth is something of a suprise. The transfer is far better than expected. As one would expect from a film like this from 1955, the film element does contain some noticeable print damage and the Technicolor hues are long since faded from their original glory. On the other hand, what does remain of the color is relatively accurate and stable and does provide a pleasing enough palette. The image is razor sharp with an amazing amount of detail. This high degree of sharpness does seem to enhance the grain in a number of shots, but, overall, this is the best I have seen this film look and it is likely the best it will look short of a complete restoration (about as likely as Faith Domergue as a nuclear scientist). This Island Earth is not a widescreen film and the DVD transfer is, of course, full frame 1.33:1.

Image notes on the box the disc contains an "uncompressed PCM soundtrack" (the same digital audio as a music CD). Not a chance. The audio is single channel Dolby Digital mono. The audio quality is also surprisingly good. Barely any evidence of high frequency hiss or distortion. Very unusual for a film this old.

This Island Earth runs a quick 86 minutes and the disc contains 16 chapters. Disc features are standard Image fare, meaning direct chapter access and that's it. The colorful chapter menu is sorta fun, though.

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