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This Island Earth is a 1955 American science fiction film directed by Joseph M. Newman. It is based on the novel of the same name by Raymond F. Jones. The film stars Jeff Morrow as the alien Exeter, Faith Domergue as Dr. Ruth Adams, and Rex Reason as Dr. Cal Meacham. The film was one of the first major science fiction films to be made in Technicolor. In 1996, This Island Earth was also edited down and lampooned in the film Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.
When initially released, the film was praised by most critics, manyTemplate:Who citing the special effects, well-written script and eye-popping color (prints by Technicolor) as being its major assets.
Many criticsTemplate:Who cite the special effects as the strongest element in This Island Earth, which were ground breaking for their time and are considered by many film buffs to be comparable to modern special effects.
The film was one of the last films to use the three-strip Technicolor filming process. Even during production, the film's special effects were shot on the more conventional Eastman color process, which most studios had already adopted.
== Plot == The first half of the film closely follows the plot of the novel, then diverges to a much simpler version that leaves out the more "intellectual" aspects.
Dr. Cal Meacham, a noted scientist, receives an unusual substitute for electronic condensers that he ordered. He receives instruction and parts to build a complex communication device called an interocitor. Although neither Meacham nor his assistant Joe Wilson have heard of an interocitor, they immediately begin constructing it. When finished, a mysterious man named Exeter appears on the interocitor'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.
Intrigued, Meacham is picked up the next day 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. Cal is almost immediately suspicious of the odd-looking group of men leading the project.
Cal and Ruth try to flee with a third scientist, Steve Carlson, but their car is attacked and Carlson is killed. When they take off in a small plane, Cal and Ruth watch as the facility and all its inhabitants are incinerated, and their plane is drawn by a mysterious beam into a flying saucer. They learn that Exeter and his band 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 evil Zagons. Exeter informs the Earthlings that he is taking them back to his world.Exeter and the Metalunans are attacked by Zagon star ships,carrying meteors,to be used to destroy them and Metaluna.The Metalunan saucer easily avoids each attack,by dodging the oncoming planetoid bombs.
After a mind-bending journey, they arrive to find the planet under full bombardment and falling quickly to the enemy. Metalunan society is breaking down and there is little hope. Their leader, The Monitor, reveals that the Metalunans intend to relocate to Earth and insists that Meacham and Adams be subjected to a Thought Transference Chamber in order to subjugate their free will so they cannot object. Exeter believes this to be immoral and misguided since it constrains their ability to help the Metalunans. Exeter decides to help Cal and Ruth escape, thus revolting against his own kind, before they enter the brain-reprogramming facility.
Exeter is badly injured by a Mutant while the three escape from Metaluna prior to the final destruction of the planet,transforming it into a new star,to light other worlds. The Mutant also boards the craft, but dies as a result of pressure differences on the journey back to Earth.
As they enter Earth's atmosphere, Exeter sends Cal and Ruth on their way in their small plane, but he himself is dying and the ship is nearly depleted of energy. With no other options, Exeter uses the craft's remaining power to fly it out to sea and crash..
- Jeff Morrow as Exeter
- Faith Domergue as Ruth Adams
- Rex Reason as Cal Meacham
- Lance Fuller as Brack
- Russell Johnson as Steve Carlson
- Douglas Spencer as The Monitor
- Robert Nichols as Joe Wilson
- Karl L. Lindt as Dr. Adolph Engelborg
- Robert Williams* as Webb
- Coleman Francis* as Express delivery man
- Charlotte Lander* as Metaluna woman at decompression chamber
- Marc Hamilton* as Metaluna inhabitant
- Orangey* as Neutron, the cat
* Not credited on-screen.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The MovieEdit
Template:Mainarticle This Island Earth is the film-within-the-film in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (or MST3K: The Movie). As in the television series, the fictional crew of the spaceship Satellite of Love are forced to watch the film as part of an "experiment"; while watching the film, the crew can be seen in silhouette at the bottom of the screen, mocking the action. The film also includes "host segments" (skits with the crew and Mad Scientists), including two scenes with the characters using an Interocitor.
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, removing numerous scenes, some important (like a sequence of the Zagon fleet attacking Metaluna). Consequentially, this makes "MST3K: The Movie" shorter than the original "This Island Earth", or even the average, 90-minute "MST3K" episode.
- A brief homage to This Island Earth is seen in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). E.T. turns the TV 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!"
- In the film Explorers, "This Island Earth" is mentioned in a line of dialogue: "I just got this new tape of This Island Earth. It's got this great saucer landing...And it's got, no, it's got this big mutant, with this, like, two brains." A short clip from the end of the film when Exeter is taking Cal and Ruth back to Earth, is shown in reference to Wolfgang, Ben, and Darren returning to Earth.
- Shock rock metal band GWAR`s 4th album, 'This Toilet Earth' and its companion short form movie 'Skulhedface' contain numerous references to this movie, including, among other things, the title, an alien with an oversized brain posing as a human, and communication between aliens using an interstellar teleconference device.
- New Jersey punk band The Misfits included a song tribute entitled "This Island Earth" on their 1997 album American Psycho.
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- This Island Earth Sourcebook at The Thunder Child
- This Island Earth soundtrack release by Monstrous Movie Music review
de:Metaluna IV antwortet nicht et:This Island Earth fr:Les Survivants de l'infini it:Cittadino dello spazio nl:This Island Earth (film) ja:宇宙水爆戦 pt:This Island Earth fi:Tuntematon maailma Template:Universal Monsters