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Bubble, The

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1966; vt Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth 1976). Arch Oboler Productions/Midwestern MagicVuers. Produced by Marvin J Chomsky. Directed by Arch Oboler. Written by Oboler. Cast includes Michael Cole, Johnny Desmond and Deborah Walley. 112 minutes; cut to 94 minutes for 1976 re-release; later versions cut to 75 minutes. Colour.

Young married couple Mark (Cole) and Katherine (Walley), the latter heavily pregnant, take a trip in a private aeroplane piloted by their friend Tony Herric (Desmond). Threatened by a bad thunderstorm, they land safely at a small town of uncertain location. Katherine has gone into labour; the two men set out to find help. Everyone in the town seems to be in a near-catonic state, including those at the hospital. Nevertheless the child is born safely; it emerges that a glass-like Force Field surrounds the town. Tony discovers a cave containing strange machinery, and experiences what seems to be a near-fatal dream. He revives from this only to be literally plucked away by a giant hand from the sky, never to be seen again. Apparently the town is under the control of unseen Aliens. Mark and Katherine find the same cave, where Mark has the idea of tunnelling underneath the titular "bubble"; they succeed and escape with their child. Who or what was behind all this remains unexplained.

The Bubble reintroduced 3-D effects after some years during which the process had been out of fashion. It was the first to use the single camera/single strip technique, which Oboler called "Space-Vision 3-D", instead of two cameras and film strips. The original version of the film no longer exists; missing footage reportedly consisted mainly of pointless 3-D effects sequences. [GSt]


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