Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

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This article is about the 1958 film. For the remake, see Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman (1993 film).
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
Poster art. A giant woman clad in a white bikini straddles an elevated, 4-lane highway. She has an angry expression, and she's holding one smoking car in her left hand as if it were a toy. She is reaching down to grab another. There are several car crashes on the highway, and people are fleeing from her as if they were small insects.
Directed by Nathan H. Juran
Produced by Bernard Woolner
Written by Mark Hanna
Starring Allison Hayes
William Hudson
Yvette Vickers
Music by Ronald Stein
Cinematography Jacques R. Marquette
Edited by Edward Mann
Distributed by Allied Artists Pictures Corporation
Release dates
  • May 19, 1958 (1958-05-19)
Running time 65 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $89,000[1]
Box office $480,000 (USA}

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a 1958 American low-budget science fiction feature film produced by Bernard Woolner for Allied Artists Pictures. It was directed by Nathan H. Juran (credited as Nathan Hertz) from a screenplay by Mark Hanna, and starred Allison Hayes, William Hudson and Yvette Vickers. The original music score was composed by Ronald Stein. The film was a take on other movies that had also featured size-changing humans, namely The Amazing Colossal Man and The Incredible Shrinking Man, but substituting a woman as the protagonist instead of a man. The story concerns the plight of a wealthy heiress whose close encounter with an enormous alien being causes her to grow into a giantess. [2]

Plot[edit]

A television announcer reports sightings of a red fireball around the world. Facetiously, he calculates its path will lead it to California. Nancy Archer (Allison Hayes), a wealthy but highly troubled woman, is speeding along in her car one night when a glowing white ball settles on the deserted highway in front of her, causing her to veer off the road. When she gets out to investigate, a giant alien exits the object and reaches for her. Terrified, she escapes and runs back to town, but nobody believes her story due to her known drinking problem and recent stay in a sanatorium. Her philandering husband, Harry Archer (William Hudson), is more interested in his latest girlfriend, town floozy Honey Parker (Yvette Vickers), but he pretends to be the good husband in the hope that Nancy will "snap" and return to the "booby hatch", leaving him in control of her $50 million.

Nancy makes him search the desert with her for the "flying satellite". Eventually, they find it. When the alien emerges, Harry fires his pistol at it, but when it has no effect he flees, leaving Nancy behind.

Nancy is later found on the roof of her pool house, but she is delirious and must be sedated by her family physician, Dr Cushing. Harry, egged on by Honey, attempts to give Nancy a lethal injection of her medicine, but when he sneaks up to her room, he finds that she has grown into a giant. Cushing and Dr. Von Loeb, a specialist he has called in, are at a loss how to treat their patient; they keep her in a coma with morphine and restrain her with chains while waiting for the authorities. The sheriff and Jess (Ken Terrell), Nancy's faithful butler, track enormous footprints leading away from the estate to the open alien sphere. Inside, they find Nancy's diamond (the largest in the world) and others, each in a clear orb. They speculate that the jewels are being used as fuel. The alien appears and attacks them, wrecking their car before flying away in the sphere.

Meanwhile, Nancy awakens and breaks free of her restraints. Determined to avenge herself on her unfaithful husband, she stomps off to town. When she rips the roof off the bar to get at Harry, she spots Honey. She drops a ceiling beam on her rival, killing her. Harry panics, grabs Deputy Charlie's gun, and begins shooting, but she picks him up and walks away. Gunshots have no apparent effect on her. The sheriff fires a riot gun, which causes a nearby power line transformer to blow up, killing her. The doctors find Harry lying dead in her hand.

Cast[edit]

Remakes and sequels[edit]

With its low budget — the film was made for around $88,000 — Attack of the 50 Foot Woman made enough money to prompt discussion of a sequel. According to producer Jacques Marquette, the sequel was to be produced at a higher budget, and in color. A script was also written, though the project never advanced beyond the discussion phase.[3]

In the mid-1980s, filmmaker Jim Wynorski was considering a remake of the 1958 movie, with Sybil Danning in the title role.[4] Wynorski made it as far as a shooting a photo session with Danning dressed as the 50 foot woman[5] but, again, the project never materialized, as Wynorksi opted to film the 1988 remake of Not of This Earth instead.[6]

The film was finally remade in a 1993 HBO movie, Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman. The film, directed by Christopher Guest with a script by Thirtysomething scribe Joseph Dougherty, starred Daryl Hannah in the title role.

In 1995, Fred Olen Ray produced a parody entitled Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold, starring J. J. North and Tammy Parks. Beyond the basic premise, the plot had little in common with the original movie, being concerned with the side-effects of a beauty-enhancing formula on two ambitious female models. The movie was deliberately farcical and made on an extremely low budget; the illusion of size-difference was achieved using forced perspective, unlike the earlier movies which used composite imaging.

In late 2011, Roger Corman and his New Horizon company produced a 3D film called Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader, it was released in August 25, 2012. The film was written by Mike MacLean (who also penned Sharktopus for Corman) and directed by Kevin O'Neill. The film stars Jena Sims, a former Miss Teen Georgia, in the title role Cassie Stratford, and Olivia Alexander as Sims' rival Brittany Andrews.

In popular culture[edit]

  • The 1987 TMNT cartoon episode "Attack of the 50 Foot Irma" (1989) includes a similair plot, where April's friend Irma is it by a beam, created from a meteorite crashing to Earth, and turns into a giant woman and ends up chased by the authrotities.[7]
  • Planet 51 makes a reference when the military police were going through books on how to treat aliens there is a books stating "Invasion of 50ft Women.
  • Clips from the movie are spoofed in the music video for Neil Finn's 1998 single "She Will Have Her Way".
  • Various animated television series have referenced the film, usually in episodes which involve a female character becoming giant-sized. For example, Challenge of the Superfriends from 1978 features the origins of superhero Apache Chief and supervillainess Giganta.[8]
  • The TV sitcom Night Court referenced the movie when the attorney Dan Fielding is approached by a defendant, a tall and imposing female circus performer; intimdated, he retreats to ask two other characters if they'd seen that movie.
  • Various Clips from the movie were featured in the original opening sequence of WPIXs Chiller Theatre in the 1960s, including the classic goof where one brand of car is picked up by the giant alien and another brand of car, apparently a "Woody" is thrown into a ditch.
  • Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" book Moving Pictures climaxes with a giant, 50 foot woman carrying a screaming ape up a tall tower. This is also an inversion of the ending of King Kong, with flying wizards on broomsticks taking the place of the aeroplanes.
  • The film was also homaged in Marvel Adventures: The Avengers#13, a story entitled Attack of the Fifty-Foot Girl!, spotlighting Avengers member Giant-Girl. the cover of this issue was also based upon the movie's poster.
  • An episode of Phineas and Ferb called "Attack of the 50-Foot Sister" has Candace using her brothers' potion to grow a few inches. However, she gets more than what she bargained for.
  • The 2004 PlayStation 2 videogame The Daibijin (The Gigantic Beauty) faithfully follows the film's original premise when japanese idol Riho Futaba becomes a giantess after being attacked by a crab-like alien.
  • In the episode of Johnny Bravo "Jumbo Johnny", the film was shown in a cinema while 2 guys complained about it before Johnny squished them.
  • In the 2009 film Monsters vs. Aliens, Reese Witherspoon's character Susan Murphy (aka Ginormica) was inspired by this film. Ginormica was, originally, exactly 50 feet.
  • In the 1988 cult classic film Saturday the 14th Strikes Back, the oldest sister Linda Baxter, played by Julianne McNamara, becomes a 50 foot woman and is stuck inside her house.
  • An episode of Totally Spies! titled "Attack of the 50 Foot Mandy" features Mandy as a giantess. The episode also features a scene that closely resembles the movie poster from Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.
  • The cover of a 2010 Mother Jones issue parodies the movie by depicting Sarah Palin as the titular character.
  • An episode of Archie's Weird Mysteries titled "Attack of the 50 Foot Veronica" features Veronica Lodge as a giantess.
  • The album The Completion Backward Principle by The Tubes has a song called "Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman".
  • The album You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into by Does It Offend You, Yeah? has a song called "Attack of the 60 Foot Lesbian Octopus".
  • In a 2012 Elle magazine spread featuring television actresses portraying horror movie characters, Glee co-star Dianna Agron posed as the 50 Foot Woman.
  • The opening track of the 2012 Album Bang! Is This Your Vehicle Sir? by British songwriter and comedian, Boothby Graffoe (comedian), is entitled "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" and consists of a comic account of the film.
  • The 2012 Nintendo games Pokemon Black and White 2 have a movie making sidequest, and one of the films which can be made is based on the 50 foot Woman.

Home media[edit]

The original Attack of the 50 Foot Woman was released on DVD by Warner Bros. on June 26, 2007. It was also available in a Warner Bros. three disc box set titled Cult Camp Classics 1: Sci-Fi Thrillers, which included the films Giant Behemoth and Queen of Outer Space. The DVD includes an audio commentary with co-star Yvette Vickers and interviewer Tom Weaver. The DVDs are officially out of print. On September 20, 2011, Warner Bros. added it to the Warner Archive collection; the Vickers commentary is missing and only the film's trailer is on the disc. Warner Bros. has yet to announce a Blu-ray release.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) - Articles". TCM.com. Retrieved 2013-07-23. 
  2. ^ eMoviePoster.com
  3. ^ Bill Warren, Keep Watching The Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the 1950s, Vol. 2, 1958-1962 (New York: McFarland & Co, 1986), 16.
  4. ^ See Femme Fatales 1:2.
  5. ^ One image appears as the cover of Femme Fatales 1:2.
  6. ^ Femme Fatales, 1:2.
  7. ^ "Attack of the 50 Foot Irma" (in English). TV.com. 23 October 1989. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Challenge of the Superfriends, History of Doom, Part 1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atf-IdmoI04, position 6:58

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