Friday, June 21, 2013

Five Million Years To Earth (1967)

Starring James Donald, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley, Julian Glover, Duncan Lamont
Directed by Roy Ward Baker
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

When an underground excavation in London unearths a large metal object, authorities conclude it's an old German bomb, but rocket scientist Professor Quatermass believes it's an ancient spaceship.

The third adaptation produced by Hammer Films of Nigel Kneale's Quatermass television serials, this one was filmed a decade after the first and features more advanced special effects, although they still show their age.  The emphasis however is still on Kneale's ideas, including the possibility that ancient aliens became the basis for the concept of the devil in early civilizations.  The film's first half does a superb job of unveiling those ideas in a number of suspenseful sequences, but loses a bit of energy in its second half, perhaps due to the difficulty of condensing the lengthy serial story down to two hours.  Nonetheless, it's still an entertaining sci-fi adventure.

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