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20 Million Miles to Earth

Entry updated 7 December 2016. Tagged: Film.

Film (1957). Columbia. Produced by Charles H Schneer. Directed by Nathan Juran. Written by Bob Williams, Christopher Knopf, based on a story by Charlott Knight, Ray Harryhausen. Cast includes William Hopper, Frank Puglia, Joan Taylor and John Zaremba. 84 minutes. Black and white.

In this typical Monster Movie a Spaceship returns to Earth from Venus carrying a strange egg which hatches a humanoid/reptilian creature, an Ymir. The Ymir grows and grows until, bigger than an elephant, it escapes into Rome and is trapped and killed on top of the Colosseum. The model animation is pretty good, but the trouble with the Schneer/Harryhausen collaborations – designed solely to showcase Harryhausen's animation skills – is invariably a poor script, so that the special effects exist within an intellectual vacuum. No reason for this sulphur-eating Alien's arbitrary destructiveness is given. A routine novelization by Henry Slesar, 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), filled the only issue of the intended series Amazing Stories Science Fiction Novel. [JB/PN]


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