Daring reporter John Lawrence (Robert Clarke) narrates this gripping tale of an alien's attempt to take over a tiny village in Scotland. As the story opens, Lawrence is visiting his old friend, Professor Elliot, who's mad... more »e the startling discovery of a new planet that is approaching Earth at breakneck speed. Soon Elliot's lovely daughter, Enid, has spotted a mysterious craft in the middle of the moor. Lawrence and Elliot decide to investigate, inexplicably allowing the clearly evil Dr. Mears to assist. Lost the plot? Not to worry! The Man from Planet X cheerfully helps slower viewers by offering expository dialogue as frequently as humanly possible. "Look!" says Elliot, "It seems as if he's trying to turn that knob to the right, but doesn't have the strength or coordination," as the alien tries to turn the knob to the right, but doesn't have the strength or coordination. All seems lost as the alien begins using telepathy to control the local villagers. Luckily for the Earth, the alien's superior mind-control powers are not matched with superior common sense--he never bothers to give his slaves such crucial commands as "Don't tell the enemy my entire plan!" or "Let me know if any outsiders show up!" or "By the way, don't follow the commands of anybody but me!" A guaranteed hoot of an evening. --Ali Davis« less
"That's one of the taglines for this United Artists release. After watching this movie, my first impression was "Man, what a cornball movie." But after a little more thought, and realizing that this came out in 1951, I soften a bit. Yeah, it was corny, but it did have its' charms.Robert Clarke stars as John Lawrence, a newspaper reporter called to a Scottish moor by his friend, Professor Elliot, to cover what will be the story of his lifetime. A seemingly stray planet is headed in the general direction of Earth, and the moor is the location that it will pass closest to Earth. Prior to this event, they find a strange, alien object on the moors, followed by actual alien spaceship fashioned in classic 50's sci-fi fashion. Not only that, but the alien spacecraft is inhabited by a pretty funky looking humanoid creature. If you've ever seen the Honeymooners episode where Ralph dresses up as a spaceman, then you will have a pretty good idea of what this alien looks like.Anyway, they try to communicate with it, with the help of another scientist, Dr. Mears, played by William Schallert, the only actor I recognized as he's been on like a bazillion TV shows, probably most famous being The Patty Duke Show, and a whole mess of movies. Seems he has rather a dubious past, and his intentions are less than admirable when dealing with this advanced creature from another world.When Mears starts throttling the alien for his space secrets, the alien takes off, and things start to get a little hairy as the alien begins to set his plans into action. What is this alien's connection to planet X? What are his intentions on our planet? Wait until the end of the movie to find out, because while throughout most of the movie the plot slides along at the pacing somewhat akin to a snail, we see the pace quicken like a jackrabbit in the last ten minutes or so, including a huge, steaming pile of rather clunky exposition to fill the viewers in to what's going on...and a really unintentional question asked at the end by the female lead that made me wonder if she had even experienced the events in the movie because the question really contradicted everything that happened, at least in my opinion. My only real gripe with the movie is Robert Clarke. Quite a handsome man at the time, looking sort of like Errol Flynn, he just didn't seem to fit in well in this genre. He seemed a little too sophisticated, a little to debonair, with his pencil thin mustache, to play the part he was given. I envisioned sci-fi veteran Richard Carlson playing the part much better.This is a really good-looking print, but don't expect any extras other than a trailer. I do appreciate MGM releasing these Midnight Movies at a reasonable price, and I know they've started doing double bills for the same price, but not here, as this DVD was released prior to that worthwhile change. Are there better sci-fi movies of that time period out there? Sure, The Thing, and War of the Worlds to mention two, but this one ain't so bad, if you got 71 minutes to kill and an interest in classic science fiction movies."
FILM SCHOOL - 101
Thomas E. O'Sullivan | Knoxville, Maryland United States | 03/01/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THE MAN FROM PLANET X is not without it's charms. More intelligent than you might imagine, better scripted than you could beleive it to be, and far more fun than it should be - it is a solid film that is first out of the gate with ideas (invsion from outer space) and themes (old scientist father, hot daughter, Mother dead - just what happened to all these Mothers? I swear these movies existed in another universe where the women went off to fight WWII leaving the men behind) that would find their way into the larger, bigger, and far better remembered British Horror film industry - but there is something else about THE MAN FROM PLANET X that is also worth the price of admission alone - and that's lessons in how to make a film fast, cheap and easy. Count the shots. Count the cast... count the sets... there is very little here that wasn't borrowed or reused from other films (even the box states that the ENITRE film was shot on a standing set left behind from Ingrid Bergman's JOAN OF ARC). It's a lesson in filmaking - take what little you've got, add a lot of fog and a solid script and you've got yourself a movie. Overall - a classy little feature with a highly effective alien and atmosphere - a solid addition to your DVD library."
Timothy P. Scanlon | Hyattsville, MDUSA | 06/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, that "title" got your attention, didn't it?
I remember seeing part of this when I was about 11. I always wanted it. So I've looked for it on those sci-fi collection sets, you know, every paper mache horror short of Godzilla, abominable snowmen, every attempt to scare the pre-adolescent, most of which had special effects budgets of around $5. But I could never find it. Then, while in Florida last Christmas, at a video store, some told me it was "out of print." (I think that's the phrase I heard. Was I dreaming? Or nightmaring???)
Well, I finally got it, and, sure enough, the Scottish accents are worse than I remember them. But the fine special effect live up to my expectations!
Oh, one of the actors, William Schallert, was in an old "Star Trek" episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles." That makes it worth is, doesn't it?
The story line was pretty standard 1950s sci fi: the guy's invading us and wants to take over us innocent earthlings. But it had a little of a "moral":If we'd treated this creature nicely, who knows what wonderful things we may have learned from such an advanced species!
I won't want to give away too much of the "plot." Just enjoy it, and don't anticipate staying awake too late fearing an invasion from a plastic-faced alien who can't even smile!"
Classic '50s scifi
Samuel B. King | Concord, NH | 11/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like another reviewer, I too was scared to the living daylights by this film. Born in 1951, I remember seeing it on a snow covered afternoon (probably during the same time I was exposed to Howard Hawks' "The Thing"). For months afterward, I had visions of looking behind my bed for the "Man from Planet X" (why he would visit me is beyond comprehension). However, to the movie itself: filmed in black and white, it is a strange film, more a mystery than a techno scifi thriller. It is a Brit film, which may explain the unique feel of the film. The alien's spacesuit is traditional for the early '50s (bubble helmet, backpack, etc. The use of "music" as an inter-planetary language is unique (Speilberg was perhaps influenced by this film in this respect re: close encounters). The spaceship also resembled the ship in "E.T.", so there might be some comparison here. If fact, both this film and E.T. center on the "misunderstanding" between two interplanetary cultures. Interesting. This film is great for its atmosphere of early '50s scifi and should not be missed. Although this might be pushing the point, the eventual discovery that the alien, although an unknown creature, was not a threat, had true resonance during the cold war. Highly recommended if you prefer atmosphere over special effects."
1950's entertaining S-F
Michael J. Keyes | Portland, OR USA | 05/24/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
""The Man From Planet X" is a low-budget black and white 1950 science-fiction movie, one of the earliest of the genre that included "The Thing," "Them," etc. I believe this VHS edition was released in 2000 and it is a good quality transfer, full screen with no closed captioning. As for the quality of the movie itself, do you really have to ask? I first saw it when I was eleven and I thought it was very scary and atmospheric, with all that fog blowing across the Scottish moors late at night, and the grotesque alien peering out of the porthole of his tiny spacecraft. The production designer did a nice job with an obviously minimal budget, and the lighting, settings, and costumes do contribute to the suspenseful atmosphere. The movie has all the usual 1950's S-F cliches, including the strange object approaching the Earth, the wise old scientist and his beautiful daughter who falls in love with the courageous investigating reporter and who screams piercingly and predictably at the sight of the hideous visitor from space, and so forth. If you're in the mood, and if movies like this could draw you to the theater during your childhood, you'll enjoy it. And it's fun to be eleven again."