US film (1959). Allied Artists Pictures Corporation. Produced by Robert A Terry. Directed by Herbert S Greene. Written by Arthur C Pierce from his original story. Cast includes Bruce Bennett, John Carradine, Angela Greene, Paul Langton, Herbert Lytton, Walter Maslow, Scotty Morrow and Lyn Osborn. 72 minutes. Black and white.
A white, globe-shaped UFO appears in the mountains of northern California near a small resort lodge owned by war widow Kathy Grant (Greene). Levitating only a few feet off the ground, perhaps via Antigravity, the craft seems able to carry at most a single occupant. The area is quickly cordoned off by the US military led by Colonel Mathews (Langton), and numerous efforts are made in vain to gain access to its interior. While it is generally agreed that this is an Alien device, the motives of any alien visitors are hotly debated by Mathews and Dr Karl Sorenson (Bennett), the latter preferring a wait-and-see approach. After a strange being – the Cosmic Man (Carradine filmed in negative image) – briefly appears in the small town, a heavily clothed man turns up at Grant's lodge and requests a room, claiming to another Scientist. This stranger is soon engaged in discussions with Grant's precocious son Ken Grant (Morrow), who has been paralysed by sickness; Sorenson meets the stranger and realizes he is the alien, but is convinced that he has no hostile intentions. Realizing earth is too primitive for open First Contact, the Cosmic Man cures Grant's son, then attempts to depart, but is shot dead by over-eager soldiers when he tries to return to his craft. A Tractor Beam of energy draws his body into the UFO, and it goes on its way.
A minor film meant to tap into the UFO mania of the period, The Cosmic Man draws in many ways on the far superior Robert Wise film The Day the Earth Stood Still (1950). Its script by Pierce seems better intentioned in its portrayal of aliens than the majority of 1950s US sf films. [GFi]
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