Today: July 18, 2024

It Came From Outer Space

The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Thing From Another World, Forbidden Planet… the ‘50s were a golden era of sci-fi. And director Jack Arnold was responsible for more than his fair share of filmic classics including Creature From The Black Lagoon, Tarantula, The Incredible Shrinking Man and, of course, It Came From Outer Space. 

It Came From Outer Space has it all: bug-eyed monsters, trigger-happy towns’ folk, the ‘believer’ scientist, and his beautiful love-interest. But, what makes this film a real stand-out is the sparkling dialogue, superb effects, and unusual storyline, which turns the traditional ‘alien invasion’ trope on its head. Although credited to Harry Essex, the script was mostly the work of author Ray Bradbury. In fact, Bradbury offered two story outlines to the studio, one with malicious aliens, the other with benign aliens. The studio chose the benign aliens—making It Came From Outer Space one of the earliest sci-fis to feature an intelligent, non-humanoid, and non-malevolent alien life form. Spielberg later credited this film, and its plot, as the main inspiration for Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)

Amateur astronomer John Putnam (Richard Carlson) and his fiancée Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush) are stargazing in the desert when a spaceship bursts from the sky and crashes to the ground. Just before a landslide buries the ship, a mysterious creature emerges and disappears into the darkness. Of course, when Putnam tells his story to the sheriff (Charles Drake), he’s branded a crackpot; but before long, strange things begin to happen, and the tide of disbelief turns…  

With music from Henry Mancini and a Golden Globe for Barbara Rush…It Came From Outer Space is a science-fiction classic that is as thought-provoking and tantalising today as it was when it first landed on the silver screen. 

Feature Commentary with film historian Tom Weaver.
The Universe According to Universal: An Original Documentary on It Came From Outer Space.
Theatrical Trailers: 2D and 3D.
Photograph and Poster Gallery.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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