ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Saturday Matinée ~ "This Island Earth"

Updated on September 3, 2017

Please see a spoiler alert and the design and intent of these "The Saturday Matinée" film recommendations at ~ "The Saturday Matinee ~ a preview".

There have always been 'space' movies. As early as 1902 the French filmmaker Georges Méliès was astounding audiences with his "A Trip to The Moon", nearly 40 years before Buck Rogers would hit the big screen. But it was in the 1950s, the atomic age, that most (particularly baby-boomers) think of as the golden era of Hollywood outer space SciFi films. And when most think of the great space movies of the 50s they inevitably think of 1956's "Forbidden Planet" . . . then perhaps "The War of the Worlds" from 1953. Both are very good films with much to recommend them, but for me, neither are as good as the earth-bound "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" ('56) or "The Day the Earth Stood Still" ('51).

With his collected Earth scientists, Exeter returns to Metaluna hoping to save his dying planet

As Science fiction, outer space movies go, "Forbidden Planet" and "The War of the Worlds"are great - but "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still" are film masterpieces whether considered within the SciFi genre or simply as Hollywood films.

But, if we are talking specifically about SciFi outer space movies (and we are because it's my hub, and I am) then my vote eagerly goes to "This Island Earth" as the best space movie of the 1950's golden era. With a cool space ship, a compelling alien, an interesting plot, and an easy to root for hero and a beautiful and appropriately adventurous yet fearful heroine, 1955's "This Island Earth" is my favorite 50's outer space movie.

Arriving at what appears to be the doomed planet Metaluna, how will our heroes manage to ever return safely to earth?

Scientist Carl Meacham begins to have never ordered electronic parts arrive at his laboratory, and then a massive catalog and instruction manual. Not only did he not order this electronic equipment, but they (are course) beyond the capacity of any known Earth science. As he flips through the instruction manual ("Why, this isn't paper - it's some kind of flexible metal") he determines that he is going to construct what the mysterious catalog calls, an interocitor.

Once construction is complete and the interocitor is turned on, Exeter appears in the large triangular screen . . . a very pleasant, business suited fellow whose hair is just a little too whit and whose forehead is just a little too large. Eventually we discover that Dr. Meacham is just one of a number of scientists that have been enlisted by Exeter to aid his home planet, which he fears is doomed. The distant planet Metaluna is losing a war with a neighboring planet and they either need the particular research Earth scientists have had some success with, or they need an appropriate planet to escape to - which will it be?!

"This Island Earth" is, more than any other movie I can think of, a comic book come to life. The posters announced '3 years in the making' and this was not merely a promotional blurb - the film was shot in 3-part Technicolor, a very uncommon and costly process. The result is a very crisp and vibrant movie that appears, almost like vivid pages of a living comic book. And the story and characters were very much like the best DC SciFi comic books of the 1960s as well. Now, that analogy may appeal to some and not to others, but the movie is great fun for kids and grown-ups alike . . . a wonderful, I think the best, example of 1950s Hollywood space movies - a classic.

This is the second in my series of "The Saturday Matinée" movie recommendations. . . please check-out these other entries in the series.

"The Saturday Matinée ~ preview" (an introduction to this movie review series)

1. The Saturday Matinée ~ "Mysterious Island"

2. The Saturday Matinée ~ "Horror Of Dracula"

3. The Saturday Matinée ~ "This Island Earth"

please also visit my other series "Regular, Normal Christianity"

Please do share any comments or questions below ~

One of the 'boy's back to school movie sleepovers with grampa' with just some of the grandsons . . . the younger ones will join us as they are able and interested to sit still and give their attention to the movie


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)