Based on Ray Bradbury’s story The Meteor, this early 3-D classic was the first of many brilliant sci-fi films from director Jack Arnold, who went on to make Tarantula and The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957).
An alien spaceship lands in the Arizona desert, and its giant-eyed occupants adopt human identities while they repair their vessel. Amateur astronomer John Putnam (Richard Carlson) sees it happen, but no one believes him and he faces ridicule . . . until the townspeople start to disappear.
While top heavy on eerie atmosphere, Arnold’s film contains a neat plea for interracial tolerance and some stylish flourishes – including a fish-eye lens to simulate the aliens’ point-of-view.
The result is an entertaining B-movie that’s as good as 1950s science fiction gets.
Sheriff Matt Warren