Tripti Joshi (Editor)

This Island Earth

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Initial DVD release
April 8, 1998

United States


Horror, Sci-Fi



This Island Earth movie poster

Release date
June 1, 1955 (1955-06-01) (U.S.)

Raymond F. Jones (story), Franklin Coen (screenplay), Edward G. OCallaghan (screenplay)

Joseph M. Newman, Jack Arnold

Film series
Universal horror Film Series

(Exeter), (Dr. Ruth Adams), (Dr. Cal Meacham), (Brack), (Steve Carlson),
Douglas Spencer
(The Monitor of Metaluna)

Similar movies
Independence Day
Guardians of the Galaxy
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

This Island Earth is a 1955 American science fiction film from Universal International, produced by William Alland, directed by Joseph M. Newman and Jack Arnold, that stars Jeff Morrow, Faith Domergue and Rex Reason. It is based on the novel of the same name by Raymond F. Jones, which was originally published in the magazine Thrilling Wonder Stories as three related novelettes: "The Alien Machine" in the June 1949 issue, "The Shroud of Secrecy" in December 1949, and "The Greater Conflict" in February 1950. The film was released in 1955 on a double bill with Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy.


This Island Earth movie scenes

Upon initial release, the film was praised by critics, who cited the special effects, well-written script, and eye-popping Technicolor prints as being its major assets. In 1996, it was edited down and lampooned in the MST3K film Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.

This Island Earth movie scenes

This island earth sici f 1955 1080p horror mystery sci fi


This Island Earth t1gstaticcomimagesqtbnANd9GcT3vATJQj4ZURVfkK

Dr. Cal Meacham (Rex Reason), a noted scientist and jet pilot, is sent an unusual substitute for electronic condensers that he ordered (after nearly crashing a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star during a cross-country flight, prior to being saved by a mysterious green glow). Instead, he receives instructions and parts to build a complex communication device called an interocitor. Although neither Meacham nor his assistant Joe Wilson (Robert Nichols) have heard of such a device, they immediately begin construction. When they finish, a mysterious man named Exeter (Jeff Morrow) appears on the device's screen and tells Meacham he has passed the test. His ability to build the interocitor demonstrates that he is gifted enough to be part of Exeter's special research project.

This Island Earth This Island Earth Film TV Tropes

Intrigued, Meacham is picked up at the airport by an unmanned, computer-controlled Douglas DC-3 aircraft with no windows. Landing in a remote area of Georgia, he finds an international group of top-flight scientists already present, including an old flame, Dr. Ruth Adams (Faith Domergue). Cal is confused by Ruth's failure to recognize him and suspicious of Brack (Lance Fuller) and other odd-looking men leading the project.

This Island Earth This Island Earth

Cal and Ruth flee with a third scientist, Steve Carlson (Russell Johnson), but their car is attacked and Carlson is killed. When they take off in a Stinson 108 light aircraft, Cal and Ruth watch as the facility and all its inhabitants are incinerated. Then their aircraft is drawn up by a bright beam into a flying saucer. They learn that Exeter and his men are from the planet Metaluna, having come to Earth seeking uranium deposits as well as scientists to help defend their planet in a war against the Zagons. Exeter takes the Earthlings back to his world, sealing them in protective tubes to offset pressure differences between planets.

This Island Earth This Island Earth 1955 AntiFilm School

They land safely, but the Metalunans are under attack by Zagon starships guiding meteors as weapons against them. The planet is under bombardment and falling quickly to the enemy. Metaluna's leader, the Monitor (Douglas Spencer), reveals that the Metalunans intend to relocate to Earth, then insists that Meacham and Adams be subjected to a Thought Transference Chamber in order to subjugate their free will. Exeter believes this is immoral and misguided. Before the couple can be sent into the brain-reprogramming device, Exeter decides to help them escape.

This Island Earth THIS ISLAND EARTH 1955 This Island Earth 1955 Pinterest

Exeter is badly injured by a Mutant while he, Cal and Ruth flee from Metaluna in the saucer, with the planet's protective "ionization layer" becoming totally ineffective. Under the Zagon bombardment, Metaluna heats up and turns into a lifeless "radioactive sun." The Mutant has also boarded the saucer and attacks Ruth, but dies as a result of pressure differences on the journey back to Earth.

This Island Earth Gilligans Island Earth

As they enter Earth's atmosphere, Exeter sends Cal and Ruth on their way in their aircraft, declining an invitation to join them. Exeter is dying and the ship's energy is nearly depleted. The saucer flies out over the ocean and rapidly accelerates until it is enclosed in a fireball, crashes into the water and explodes.


This Island Earth Amazoncom This Island Earth Jeff Morrow Faith Domergue Rex

Principal photography for This Island Earth took place from January 30 to March 22, 1954. Location work took place at Mt. Wilson, California. Most of the Metaluna sequence was directed by Jack Arnold; the front office was apparently dissatisfied with the footage Newman shot and had it redone by Arnold, who unlike Newman had several sci-fi films already under his belt.

Most of the sound effects, the ship, the interociter, etc. are simply recordings of radio teletype transmissions picked up on a short wave radio played at various speeds. In a magazine article, the special effects department admitted that the "mutant" costume originally had legs that matched the upper body but they had so much trouble making the legs look and work properly they were forced by studio deadline to simply have the mutant wear a pair of trousers. Posters of the movie show the mutant as it was supposed to appear.

Box office

This Island Earth was released in June 1955, and by the end of that year, had accrued US$1,700,000 in distributors' domestic (United States and Canada) rentals, making it the year's 74th biggest earner.

Critical response

The New York Times review opined, "The technical effects of This Island Earth, Universal's first science-fiction excursion in color, are so superlatively bizarre and beautiful that some serious shortcomings can be excused, if not overlooked." "Whit" in Variety wrote "Special effects of the most realistic type rival the story and characterizations in capturing the interest in this exciting science-fiction chiller, one of the most imaginative, fantastic and cleverly-conceived entries to date in the outer-space film field. "

Since its original release, the critical response to the film has continued to be mostly positive. Bill Warren has written that the film was "the best and most significant science fiction movie of 1955…[it] remains a decent, competent example of any era's science fiction output.." In Phil Hardy's The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction, the film was described as "a full-blooded space opera complete with interplanetary warfare and bug-eyed monsters ... the film's space operatics are given a dreamlike quality and a moral dimension that makes the dramatic situation far more interesting." Danny Peary felt the film was "colorful, imaginative, gadget-laden sci-fi." At the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a score of 71%, based upon 14 reviews. Greater Milwaukee Today described it as "An appalling film ..."

  • Castle Films marketed an 8-minute 8mm cutting from the film, for the home movie audience, beginning in 1961.
  • A brief homage to This Island Earth is seen in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), E.T. turns the television on during a showing of the film, at the scene when Cal and Ruth are being abducted by the aliens and Cal says "They're pulling us up!"
  • A segment of the television series Wonder Woman (Season 2 episode 10, 1977) uses space battle footage from this and the alien planet is also recycled footage.
  • The album "Happy Together" (1987) by the a cappella group "The Nylons" featured a track titled "This Island Earth".
  • The video game Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders (1988) contains key references to this movie, such as large-headed aliens disguised as humans, communications through interstellar teleconferencing, and an aircraft pulled into a flying saucer.
  • Shock rock metal band GWAR's fourth album, This Toilet Earth (1994) and its companion short form movie Skulhedface contain numerous references to this movie, including the title, an alien with an oversized brain posing as a human, and communication between aliens using an interstellar teleconference device.
  • New Jersey punk rock band The Misfits included a song tribute entitled This Island Earth on their album American Psycho (1997).
  • The alien Orbitron, the Man from Uranus, from the 1960s toy line "The Outer Space Men", also known as Colorform Aliens, is based on the Mutant.
  • In the Star Trek (TOS) episode "All Our Yesterdays", Kirk tells the Sarpeidon prosecutor that he comes from "an island ... called Earth" - an obvious reference to the film.
  • A huge fan of This Island Earth, Weird Al Yankovic has featured the Interocitor in both his film UHF (1989) and the music video for "Dare to be Stupid".
  • The Metaluna Mutant is one of the many alien monsters held captive at Area 52 in Looney Tunes: Back in Action. It was later one of the aliens released by Marvin the Martian so that it could stop the main characters from taking the "Queen of Diamonds" card.
  • Experimental pop artist Eric Millikin created a large mosaic portrait of the Metaluna Mutant out of Halloween candy and spiders as part of his "Totally Sweet" series in 2013.
  • This Island Earth is the film-within-the-film in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (or MST3K: The Movie). In order to maintain a 73-minute running time and to accommodate several "host segments", This Island Earth was edited down by about 20 minutes. Michael J. Nelson said that This Island Earth was chosen to mock because, he felt, "nothing really happens" and "it violates all the rules of classical drama". Kevin Murphy added that the film had many elements that the writing crew liked, such as "A hero who's a big-chinned white-guy scientist with a deep voice. A wormy sidekick guy. Huge-foreheaded aliens who nobody can quite figure out are aliens--there's just 'something different about them.' And a couple of rubber monsters who die on their own without the hero ever doing anything."
  • References

    This Island Earth Wikipedia
    This Island Earth IMDb This Island Earth

    Similar Topics