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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

The Man From Planet X (1951)

Starring Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, Raymond Bond, William Schallert, Roy Engel
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

When a strange planet is discovered to be approaching the Earth, a reporter travels to a small British community where its path is being observed, and encounters an alien visitor.

This is a very eerie and memorable science fiction film, combining the mysterious setting of the foggy British moors with a tale of the first human contact with a creature from another world.  Edgar G. Ulmer, who has been praised by many film critics and historians for making the most out of low budgets, excels here in creating a rich and spooky atmosphere, abetted by fine photography by John L. Russell and foreboding music by Charles Koff.  Screenwriters Aubrey Wisberg & Jack Pollexfen wisely center their story around the film's unearthly visuals, and build suspense by keeping the alien visitor mute, making its intentions and purpose a mystery until near the picture's climax.  Ulmer gets the best out of his cast with nary a star among them, with the possible exception of Schallert who had a long and distinguished career, but didn't play many roles like the greedy scientist he portrays here.

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