Movie Review: This Island Earth (1955)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1955 science fiction films starring Rex Reason and Jeff Morrow.

Synopsis: A group of scientists are recruited to work on a top secret project in Georgia and are led to believe it is something that will benefit mankind. However, they are actually working for a group of aliens looking for a new source of nuclear energy to help them in their war against another alien race.


My oldest daughter and I recorded this movie several months ago but didn't get around to finally watching it until last night, when my wife was at work and we had time for a father/daughter movie night. I had heard of this movie before but had never actually watched it and, as a result of that, wasn't really sure what to expect. 

The special effects in this movie were about what you would expect from a film that was made in the 1950s and the alien, Exeter (Morrow), and his friends looked a lot like Oompa Loompas. But, despite that, the film was deceptively good.

In particular, I found I liked the various twists and turns that filled this film. Not knowing much about the movie when we started watching it, I figured it would be the typical alien invasion film. Instead, I found it was difficult to decide whether or not I liked Exeter and the other aliens.

On one hand, they were only trying to protect their race against another, violent, alien race. However, their willingness to kill humans or, at minimum, rearrange their minds, kept them from being a good guy, especially when they revealed they planned on relocating to Earth as the planet's rulers. This also made it hard to trust Exeter, even when he seemed to be trying to help.

I think my biggest complaint about this film had to be the annoying sound effects which, at times, were nothing more than high-pitched screeching noises. I had to turn the sound down on more than one occasion as a result of this, in an effort to avoid getting a headache.

I also wish the movie wouldn't have waited until toward the very end to introduce the bug-like mutant aliens. Those were really cool/scary looking and had some real potential as a result. But, by the time they were introduced, the movie was already nearing its end and, other than one or two short intense scenes, they didn't play any serious role. I was kind of disappointed by that.

This Island Earth

Prepare to blast off from planet Earth in one of the most popular classic sci-fi films of all time! When atomic scientist Dr. Meacham (Rex Reason) is chosen to take part in a to...

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Final Opinion

Despite the weak special effects/sound effects, this movie turned out to be an entertaining science fiction movie. It's one I would recommend taking the time to see if you are looking for a classic film to watch.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 04/16/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 04/04/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The library system here does not have This Island Earth listed amongst its Blu-ray and DVD collections. So I don't expect to be watching this classic sci-fi in the immediate future.

It's unfortunate since the plot sounds interesting. How would This Island Earth -- with updated sound and special effects -- fare as a colorized reboot or remake with a sequel?

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