It's felt like five million years sometimes. I've yearned to have Five Million Years to Earth or as it's otherwise know Quatermass and the Pit in my personal collection for decades. I missed it somehow on VHS and it's been the devil to find since (at price which don't make feel like a dope). I've always been able to capture it on TCM and hold it on my DVR. But now it's just been released on Blu-Ray and is now one of the very few Blu-Rays in my collection. I cannot imagine anyone checking in here doesn't already know about this fantastic bit of science fiction with a horror aroma.
In a London dig for the impending subway system a strange object is found which is deemed to be a spaceship by Professor Quatermass, a rocketry man. Together with a few other learned folks and the military this object is uncovered and unfortunately unleashed. It's a spaceship all right and it landed on Earth (you guessed it) five million years before. Where it came from and what it means for the destiny of mankind is only just the rest of the movie.
I love the blend of science and sorcery which strikes at the very core of the tale and of the people who are trying to deal with its consequences. We have scientists confronting the lore of devils and ghosts and attempting to grapple with staggering implications. This is the one Quatermass tale in which both the TV serial version and the movie version have distinctive merits. In the former the tale unfolds gradually and with a greater sense of normalcy until the crisis hits. The movie focuses the viewer on the key elements with greater effect, making the theme all the more terrible. Both the versions have excellent leads as Professor Quatermass.
This one has been imitated, but rarely duplicated. It has never been surpassed as yarn with tension, wonder, fear, and hope for us all.