Not of This Earth (February 10, 1957)
Released on February 10, 1957: An alien from another planet uses a matter transporter to reach Earth and steal human blood to transfuse into the people of his world.
Produced by Roger Corman
Directed by Roger Corman
Written by Charles B. Griffith, and Mark Hanna
The Actors: Paul Birch (Paul Johnson), Beverly Garland (Nadine storey), Morgan Jones (Harry Sherbourne), William Roerick (Dr. F.W. Rochelle), Jonathan Haze (Jeremy Perrin), Dick Miller (Joe Piper), Anna Lee Carroll (Davanna Woman), Pat Flynn (Simmons), Barbara Bohrer (waitress), Roy Engel (Sergeant Walton), Tamar Cooper (Joanne)), Harold Fong (Speciman), Gail Ganley (girl), Ralph Reed (boy), John Clark (man), Tom Graeff (car park attendant), Charles B. Griffith (man at newsstand), Hank Mann (bum)
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Not of this Earth is a classic Roger Corman production with a great Science Fiction thriller plot that probably frightened many young people in 1957, and may frighten some of us even today. It opens with some text, ending with: Sit Back, Relax and Believe . . . So that YOU may cross the brink of time and space . . . into that land you sometimes visit in your dreams!
A strange man wearing dark glasses is terrorizing the neighborhood. In the opening scene, we see a man sitting in a chair talking to the picture of a man in a closet that opens to reveal a man that is on another planet. They talk by telepathy for a minute, letting us know that people on a distant planet are in desparate need for blood, and the man fades away and the closet door closes. It seems that this closet is a transporter, and someone from another planet transports down to Earth to talk with the stranger. Next, a young girl and boy are necking in his car, talking 1950's slang, and when he drives away, and she starts walking home, a man approaches her, and after she says, 'Hello', he removes his dark glasses, and she screams and falls to the ground. Then we see the man open a suitcase with tubes and stuff in it and we see her blood surging through the tubes. It turns out that when he takes his dark glasses off, he can stare at a person and push their eyes into the back of their head, killing them. He then drains all of their blood so he can have it to survive.
The stranger is from another planet, and on his planet all of the people are dying, because their blood is 'evaporating.' This man is here to discover whether human blood would keep them alive. The stranger puts a strange hypnotic trance on a doctor he meets, and convinces the doctor to provide him with a couple of pints of blood every day. Then he hires the doctor's nurse, 1950's B-movie blonde bombshell Beverly Garland, to be his private nurse and infuse his daily blood. He also hired a young fellow to be his driver and aide in the house that he has aquired. In one of his telepathic conversations with his boss on the other planet, he is given 6 directives:
1. Study humans and their blood, to find out if it is suitable for infusion into the aliens.
2. Increase the amount of blood that he is sending back to the alien planet.
3. Find a live human specimen to put into the transporter closet and send it back to the alien planet.
4. Infuse human blood into yourself to see if it will save you or kill you.
5. If the human blood saves your life, arrange for the conquest of earth and the subjection and pasturing of humans to provide blood supplies to the aliens.
6. If human blood does not keep him alive, and is not suitable for the aliens, obliterate the planet earth.
This is one of the best 1950's science fiction tales, blending just the right amount of science with good fiction. You'll want to watch it more than once. One nice touch in the movie that I'm sure no one watching it knew is the identity of the man who plays the bum that is inticed to bring his buddies to dinner at the stranger's home. His real name is Hank Mann, and he was 70 years old when he played this part. Not so unusual, except that he was a famous silent screen actor in the 1920's in many of the Charlie Chaplin comedy reels. I have some of them already here, and many more to come. If you want to see a few, just click on his name to go to the list of movies he is in that have been uploaded so far: Hank Mann
Can humans discover and conquor this stranger from another planet? Will human blood save the alien? Will the strangers from another planet drain all of the blood from humans before Nadine (Beverly Garland) and the others discover that he is from another planet? Will the stranger kill Nadine in the transportation closet before she can escape? Will the movie end with a clear victory over the stranger, or will there be an ominous peek at a possible 'next stranger' for a sequel, or just to scare the be-jeebers out of us, so that we suspect everyone wearing dark glasses when we leave the theater? And most importantly: Have you popped enough corn so that you don't run out during the final suspenseful minutes?