Complete list of titles included in Jacques Lourcelles' Dictionnaire Du Cinéma: Les Films (Èditions Robert Laffont, 1992) in the order…
20 Million Miles to Earth
When the first manned flight to Venus returns to Earth, the rocket crash-lands in the Mediterranean near a small Italian fishing village. The locals manage to save one of the astronauts Colonel Calder, the mission commander. A young boy also recovers what turns out to be a specimen of an alien creature. Growing at a fantastic rate, it manages to escape and eventually threatens the city of Rome.
Produced as an excuse for effects wizard Ray Harryhausen to take a Roman vacation, 20 Million Miles to Earth is a fairly standard b-movie elevated above many others thanks to a few interesting touches. The plot involves a team of astronauts who crash off the coast of Sicily on their return flight from Venus. They brought with them a lifeform from the planet in the hopes of studying its biology, however, the crash allows the creature to escape and it quickly grows to monstrous proportions.
The story is nothing special, setting the stage for your run-of-the-mill monster on the loose movie. The banal nature of the proceedings isn't…
Fascinating. Horrible, but fascinating.
You don't watch a film like this because of the director or the actors in it, you watch it because Ray Harryhausen did the special effects. Not to disrespect the director though, Nathan Juran, who had a legendary career directing genre films and television even though his movies and tv shows are better known then he is.
One of the reasons the film is so much fun even when you don't have a monster on the screen is because the film seems to be in on the joke that it's filled with bad actors. It skirts the perfect tone of never taking itself to seriously and being tongue-in-cheek at the right moments.
Ray Harryhausen never…
I had seen this classic science fiction movie before....but this time I watched the movie in color. In this one...an American space ship traveling back from the planet Venus....has to crash land in the ocean off the coast of Sicily. The ship has two survivors...the commander of the mission and a Venus bi-ped native.
Yes the movie is silly. Yes the special effects pale in comparison to today's. Yes the acting is sometimes groaningly bad.....but this movie still works all of these years later. This is pretty much another version of King Kong....and King Kong is a classic.
This was one of special effects mastermind, Ray Harryhausen, first movies. His creature is the highlight of the movie. Final thought: This is a movie that has influenced many movies since it was made 58 years ago....worth checking out.
Another minor work made enjoyable by Ray Harryhausen's animation. The alien (which looks a lot like the Kraken in the later Clash of the Titans) crash lands in Italy with the lone survivor of an exploratory mission to Venus. The location seems to have been chosen to allow the monster ample opportunity to rampage through Rome, specifically the final showdown at the Coliseum. The plot is serviceable and the acting plodding and workmanlike, but the real focus is on the monster. The attention to detail and the lovingness with which Harryhausen crafted his creations is obvious in each frame. It's a pleasure to see his work evolve in this and other films of the era (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms).
I felt pretty bad for the creature. Taken 20 Million Miles from it's home planet, involved in a crash landing, caged, attacked by a dog, poked with a stick, stabbed with a pitchfork, shot at, chased, netted, electrocuted, chained up, blasted by flame throwers and bazookas and then picked on by a meanie elephant! All he wanted was a nice sulfur snack and a nice day at the Colosseum!
Got on a Harryhausen kick after Mysterious Island. Knew the iconic Ymir but never saw the film. Character animation was great. Another great looking transfer. Watched the color version, even though it looks goofy.
Creature-feature da ricordare principalmente per due motivi: le creature di Harryhausen (nello specifico il gigante/lucertolone Ymir che se le suona pure con un elefante) e il setting italico, con la Sicilia e Roma e con tanto di carabinieri e militi che sparano al mostro su e giù per il Circo Massimo. Canovaccio simile a King Kong, finalone con duello sul Colosseo. Tutto il resto è ordinario.
The first ever manned rocket to Venus crash-lands in the ocean near Italy upon its return to Earth, accidentally releasing a Venusian "specimen" which then menaces the Italian countryside. The U.S. and Italian military chase it around for a while before there's a final showdown at the Coliseum in Rome.
Cheesy '50s sci-fi fun that owes much to the original "King Kong," the story and acting are no great shakes but the old school stop motion creature effects by the great Ray Harryhausen are still cool as hell.
Cheesy fun and surprisingly good special effects. Mr. Nutpie DVR'd this from TCM as a surprise for me. I love a good monster.
Extremely fun popcorn movie. Pretty much all I have to say.
All this trouble because an Italian child needed a 200 lira hat from Texas.
Like I'm sure most have, I only really watched "20 Million Miles to Earth" for Harryhausen's stop motion work. After all, it is the only reason the film got made in the first place.
So in that sense, yes, it's excellent. His stop motion work is top notch, and doesn't just include the Venusian creature Ymir, but also a person (being horribly attacked) and an Elephant. It stands out from a lot of other creature features in that the Ymir isn't really a bad guy. He doesn't run amok attacking and killing people just because he can, but is rather a scared alien taken from its home and then chased around the countryside. It can be quite sympathetic actually.
Notable for its Harryhausen effects. The rest is a pretty average affair.
Total Run Time of 90 minutes or less. Have I seen them all? Yes, but that doesn't mean I'll vouch…