Unearthly Stranger

Last updated

Unearthly Stranger
"Unearthly Stranger".jpg
Australian film poster
Directed by John Krish
Produced by Albert Fennell
Written byRex Carlton
Based onan idea by Jeffrey Stone
Starring John Neville
Music by Edward Williams
Cinematography Reg Wyer
Edited by Tom Priestley
Production
company
Distributed by Anglo-Amalgamated
Release date
1964
Running time
78 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Unearthly Stranger is a 1964 British science fiction film directed by John Krish and starring John Neville. It was released in the UK by Independent Artists (Production) Limited. [1]

Contents

The film was written by Rex Carlton based on an idea by Jeffrey Stone. [2] Its US release was in April 1964.

Plot

Dr. Mark Davidson (John Neville), the narrator, is in fear for his life. His predecessor died under mysterious circumstances just after making a major breakthrough. The cause of death ("an explosion inside his brain") is being withheld by Secret Service agent Major Clarke (Patrick Newell). The scientists are working on a project involving spaceflight by the power of mental concentration.

Dr. Mark Davidson has a new Swiss wife, Julie (played by Gabriella Licudi), in whom Maj. Clarke takes an interest. Julie has a number of unusual characteristics, such as sleeping with her eyes open, never blinking and having no pulse, which makes her husband suspect she is an alien. She also frightens children and can handle very hot objects with her bare hands. After frightening a whole schoolyard of children, though, it emerges she can cry, though the tears burn her cheeks. Maj. Clarke does a background check and finds she never existed before her life with the doctor. As a precaution, Dr. Mark Davidson is relieved of his lab duties. With nothing else to do he works on the problem his precessor had figured out. He is able to recover the lost formula. For security reasons, Maj. Clarke confiscates the notes but is struck dead in the same mysterious way.

Eventually, Julie confesses that she is an alien sent to kill her husband and that she must leave because she has failed, as she has fallen in love with him. Despite his pleas, she vanishes, leaving only an empty dress. He rushes into his office and makes the tape which narrates the film, warning that aliens want to prevent the breakthrough. He is then interrupted by his secretary, who announces she is also an alien and she is there to finish the assignment. A scuffle ensues and she is pushed out of a window but only an empty dress lands on the pavement. The scientists rush downstairs and are quietly surrounded by a crowd of grim-visaged women, all of whom seem to be aliens.

Cast

Critical reception

Unearthly Stranger was selected by the film historians Steve Chibnall and Brian McFarlane as one of the 15 most meritorious British B films made between World War II and 1970. "Although Unearthly Stranger appears to draw attention to the performance of femininity, it is male society that is the real object of scrutiny," they say, describing it as "a highly effective fable" and praising its "unsettling atmosphere of dislocation and tension which disturbs our taken-for-granted assumptions about the worlds of office and home". [3]

Related Research Articles

<i>Taken</i> (miniseries) American science-fiction television miniseries by Steven Spielberg

Taken, also known as Steven Spielberg Presents Taken, is an American science fiction miniseries which first aired on the Sci-Fi Channel from December 2 to 13, 2002. Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, it was written by Leslie Bohem, and directed by Breck Eisner, Félix Enríquez Alcalá, John Fawcett, Tobe Hooper, Jeremy Paul Kagan, Michael Katleman, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, Bryan Spicer, Jeff Woolnough, and Thomas J. Wright. The executive producers were Leslie Bohem and Steven Spielberg.

John Neville (actor) English actor

John Reginald Neville, CM, OBE was an English theatre and film actor who moved to Canada in 1972. He enjoyed a resurgence of international attention in the 1980s as a result of his starring role in Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988).

<i>The Tell-Tale Heart</i> (1960 film)

The Tell-Tale Heart is a 1960 British horror film directed by Ernest Morris produced by the Danzigers. The screenplay by Brian Clemens and Eldon Howard is a loose adaptation of the 1843 short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. The film was released in England in December 1960, and in the U.S. in February 1962 as The Hidden Room of 1,000 Horrors.

Time Gentlemen, Please! is a 1952 British comedy film directed by Lewis Gilbert and starring Eddie Byrne.

Gabriella Licudi

Gabriella Licudi is a Moroccan-born British former actress.

<i>The Dark Eyes of London</i> (film)

The Dark Eyes of London is a 1939 British horror film produced by John Argyle and directed by Walter Summers, and starring Béla Lugosi, Hugh Williams and Greta Gynt. The film is an adaptation of the 1924 novel of the same name by Edgar Wallace. The film is about a scientist named Dr. Orloff who commits a series of murders for insurance money, while periodically disguising himself as the blind manager of a charity to further his scheme.

<i>The Last Safari</i>

The Last Safari is a 1967 British adventure film directed by Henry Hathaway. It stars Kaz Garas and Stewart Granger. It was based on the novel, Gilligan's Last Elephant by Gerald Hanley.

<i>The Golden Link</i>

The Golden Link is a 1954 British police drama film directed by Charles Saunders, starring André Morell, Patrick Holt, Thea Gregory and Jack Watling. It was produced by Guido Coen under his Kenilworth Film Productions, featuring a screenplay by Allan MacKinnon and soundtrack by Eric Spear. The story concerns the death of a young woman, having fallen to her demise inside an apartment building. A policeman neighbour, Superintendent Blake, conducts an unofficial investigation, which initially seems to implicate his own daughter in a murder plot.

<i>Calling Paul Temple</i>

Calling Paul Temple is a 1948 British crime film directed by Maclean Rogers and starring John Bentley, Dinah Sheridan and Margaretta Scott. It was the second in a series of four Paul Temple films distributed by Butcher's Film Service. The first was Send for Paul Temple (1946), with Anthony Hulme as Paul Temple. John Bentley then took over the role in Calling Paul Temple, continuing for two further films: Paul Temple's Triumph (1950) and Paul Temple Returns (1952). It was produced by Ernest G. Roy at the Nettlefold Film Studios in Walton On Thames.

<i>Impulse</i> (1954 film)

Impulse is a 1954 British film noir directed by Cy Endfield and starring Arthur Kennedy, Constance Smith and Joy Shelton.

<i>The Story of Shirley Yorke</i>

The Story of Shirley Yorke is a 1948 British drama film directed by Maclean Rogers and starring Derek Farr, Dinah Sheridan and Margaretta Scott. The film was based on the play The Case of Lady Camber by Horace Annesley Vachell. It was made at the Nettlefold Studios in Walton-on-Thames. Art direction was by Charles Gilbert.

Jane Griffiths (actress)

Jane Mary Griffiths was an English actress who appeared in film and television between 1950 and 1966.

<i>Night Was Our Friend</i> 1951 film

Night Was Our Friend is a 1951 British drama film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Elizabeth Sellars, Michael Gough and Ronald Howard. The title references a line from Virgil's epic poem The Aeneid.

<i>Over the Garden Wall</i> (1950 film) 1950 British comedy film directed by John E. Blakeley

Over the Garden Wall is a 1950 British comedy film directed by John E. Blakeley and starring Norman Evans, Jimmy James and Dan Young. The film was made at Mancunian Films at their Manchester film studios. Although made on a low-budget, the film often topped double bills at cinemas in the North of England because of the popularity of the performers.

Take a Powder is a 1953 British comedy film directed by Lionel Tomlinson and starring Julian Vedey, Max Bacon and Isabel George. A B film, it was made at Brighton Studios. The plot is set against the backdrop of the developing Cold War.

Mignon ODoherty Actor

Mignon O'Doherty was an Australian actress who worked in British theatre, film and television.

Room to Let is a 1950 British historical thriller film directed by Godfrey Grayson and starring Jimmy Hanley, Valentine Dyall and Constance Smith. It was adapted from the BBC radio play by Margery Allingham, broadcast in 1947.

Celia is a 1949 British comedy thriller film directed by Francis Searle and starring Hy Hazell, Bruce Lester and John Bailey. Made as a second feature by Hammer Films, it was based on a radio serial.

Independent Artists (company)

Independent Artists was a British production company of the 1950s and 1960s. It specialised in making second features.

<i>Night of the Prowler</i>

Night of the Prowler is a 1962 British crime thriller film directed by Francis Searle and starring Patrick Holt, Colette Wilde and John Horsley.

References

  1. John Hamilton, The British Independent Horror Film 1951-70, Hemlock Books, 2013, p 107-11.
  2. "Jeffrey Stone, 85, was model for Prince Charming". Big Cartoon Forum . 24 August 2012. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  3. Steve Chibnall & Brian McFarlane, The British 'B' Film, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2009, pp. 282–84.