Quatermass II (1955)
Article 5811 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Rudolph Cartier
Featuring John Robinson, Monica Grey, Hugh Griffith
What it is: Science fiction thriller
Professor Quatermass investigates a series of meteorite landings in a specific area, which leads to an investigation of a secret government installation and a conspiracy covering up… what?
I must confess that ENEMY FROM SPACE remains my least favorite of the movie adaptations based on the British Quatermass teleserials, but it took watching the original TV version here to articulate why. In ENEMY FROM SPACE, I don’t find Bernard Quatermass an interesting character, but rather just a standard issue scientist/hero of the era; the other two movies make him a more complex character. In the original teleseries, he is indeed an interesting character, but for the sake of keeping things to a reasonable length, the movie jettisoned most of the plot elements that brought out the character’s more complex nature, and instead focused on the events in the government compound. So perhaps it should be no surprise that I like the original teleseries a lot better than the movie version; not only is it more complex and with more interesting characters, it keeps the suspense fairly high throughout the whole story. The performances are fine, though I was surprised to see certain names on the cast list until I matched them up to their characters; both Hugh Griffith and Roger Delgado are actors who I recognize by their beards, and both are clean-shaven here.