Invaders from Mars (1953)

Article #76 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 5-31-2001
Posting date: 10-14-2001

A boy sees a flying saucer land in his back yard. Everyone who goes back there to investigate returns acting strangely, and they all have strange marks on the backs of their necks. The boy soon learns that this is all a plot of invaders from Mars.

This is one of the essential SF movies of the fifties, and one of the strangest ones. William Cameron Menzies gives the movie a very distinctive, dreamlike style totally unlike the rather mundane styles of most fifties SF. It all serves a purpose, though, as we discover when we hit the final plot twist, which I won’t give away here; all I’ll say is it is the type of ending which would usually net a Rubber Brick award from me, but is the only really logical ending for this movie. For all that, this remains one of those movies that I admire more than I really love, but I suspect the movie is best appreciated if you’re a kid when you first watch it and can benefit from the full impact; this movie is as paranoid for children as INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is for adults. Unfortunately, I was well into adulthood when I first saw it, and I can sense that I’m quite a distance from the time it would have had the greatest effect on me. Nonetheless, this is landmark movie.


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