Monday, April 7, 2014

Stranger From Venus!

Stranger From Venus, a 1954 sci-fi offering from Britain is just about as sedate as such movie can possibly get. The entire show seems to be set on the grounds of the Edgwarebury Hotel somewhere on the outskirts of London, and most of the action, such as it is, is composed of walking those admittedly lovely grounds of what at the time was a private club.

Susan and Venusian
Spoilers below.

Clearly inspired by The Day the Earth Stood Still, and co-starring Patricia Neal from that evocative and important movie, this flick has a nameless alien (Helmut Dantine) from Venus mysteriously appear just in time to save Susan North (Neal) after she has what appears to be a fatal car crash. He also heals the lame owner of the lodge the action is centered in. His only evident instrumentality a fancy looking electronic egg-like communicator the alien hides in his room at the inn, he sets about to convince the officials of the United Kingdom not only is he legit but that his comrades from Venus are coming, and further that the Earth is in a spot of trouble if they don't clean up their warlike act. The Venusian falls in love is North, but that doesn't help when the government tries to lay a trap for the spaceship scheduled to appear and pick him up. Clearer heads prevail and the Earth is spared barely, and soon the alien is gone in the blink of an eye. (Here is a fuller comparison of Stranger from Venus and The Day the Earth Stood Still.)

Saving Susan
It's hard to imagine just how calm this movie is. No one raises a voice, and the folks stranded in the lodge after the government quarrantines the place spend time playing cards and drinking and socializing. Exceedingly little happens, but there is a lot of conversation. And I'll give the movie its due, it looks professional and is handsomely made.

This isn't really a bad movie really, just one that is a tad dull and sadly doesn't have much to add to the mix.

This is the third of three reviews from the DVD set Watch the Skies from Image Entertainment.

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