Stranger from Venus

Tagged: Film

Film (1954; vt Immediate Disaster; vt The Venusian US). Princess Pictures/Vitapix Corporation (US)/Rich and Rich Ltd. Produced by Burt Balaban and Gene Martel. Directed by Balaban. Written by Hans Jacoby from a story by Desmond Leslie. Cast includes Helmut Dantine, Cyril Luckham and Patricia Neal. 75 minutes. Black and white.

Driving near a small English village, Susan North (Neal) is distracted by something descending to earth; she crashes and is seriously injured. What has descended is the Stranger (Dantine), who heals her with his touch, then proceeds to a pub where he reveals he is an Alien from Venus. This is met with fear and hostility until Susan informs the listeners, including her fiancé Arthur Walker (Luckham), that the visitor saved her life. The Stranger wishes to contact the leaders of Earth's nations with a warning about nuclear weapons; he closes off access to the village with an apparent Force Field. From the pub, he warns Earth's leaders that misuse of atomic power will not be tolerated by his people and that they should act quickly since the main Venusian Spaceship will arrive in four days.

Susan is increasingly attracted to the Stranger: Arthur becomes jealous and steals the alien's Communications device. It emerges that the armed forces plan to hijack the alien craft to obtain its Technology, which will cause the Venusians to destroy Earth in retaliation. At the climax Arthur has a change of heart and returns the communicator to the Stranger, who calls off any retaliation by his people. He has been exposed to Earth's atmosphere too long, however, and vaporizes offscreen at the conclusion.

Stranger from Venus is in effect an unacknowledged, slightly less paranoid remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951); this is underlined by the presence of Neal, female lead of the older film, as heroine here. Screenwriter Leslie had recently co-authored a UFO book with the infamous George Adamski and was interested in UFOs. The film seems to have been sold directly to television in both UK and US, though it may have played briefly at small venues in both countries. [GSt]

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