Stranger from Venus (1954)

Article #541 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-7-2002
Posting date: 1-31-2003

A man from Venus visits a country inn and tries to organize a meeting with world leaders.

It is possible to make a low-budget but thought-provoking science fiction movie that emphasizes ideas over action, but it helps if you have an original concept to begin with, and you’re not just doing a low budget take on an already established movie. This is essentially a long way of saying that most of what this movie had to say was already said in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, which not only said it all in a more interesting way but had a lot that this movie doesn’t have (crisp dialogue, well-rounded characters, and decent pacing). Patricia Neal plays the same type of character as she played in TDTESS, but this movie gives her practically nothing to do but gaze into the Venusian’s eyes after her accident in the opening reel, and the rest of the characters are such a stolidly uninteresting and colorless bunch that the only performances that stand out at all are hers and Helmut Dantine’s as the Venusian. I’d seen this movie years ago, and it put me to sleep. I’m a more patient and thoughtful viewer now, but it didn’t help much; I managed to keep awake, but there was too little here to really make it worth my while. It just made me miss Gort.


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