I Married a Monster from Outer Space
|I Married a Monster from Outer Space|
original 1958 movie poster
|Directed by||Gene Fowler Jr.|
|Produced by||Gene Fowler Jr.|
|Written by||Louis Vittes|
|Editing by||George Tomasini|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release dates||October 1958|
|Running time||78 min.|
The story centers on freshly married Marge Farrell who finds her husband Bill strangely transformed soon after her marriage: He is losing his affection for his wife and other living beings and drops various earlier habits. Soon she finds out that Bill is not the only man in town changing into a completely different person.
The movie opens at a restaurant, where Bill Ferrell (Tom Tryon) is celebrating his last night as a single man. He's in the company of several of his friends, none of whom seem too enthusiastic about the state of matrimony. Bill, on the other hand, seems happy at the thought of his wedding tomorrow and leaves early, telling his friends he's going to stop in to see Marge, his bride-to-be. Unfortunately, fate steps in. On the way to Marge's house, he sees a body in the road and stops to investigate. By the time he gets out of his car, the body has disappeared, but he is touched by a mysterious scaly glowing arm which is immediately shown to be connected to a mysterious scaly glowing body. Yes, this is undoubtedly the Monster From Outer Space. Poor Bill collapses on the ground, either from sheer fright or from a physical shock from the alien's touch, and is completely covered by a cloud of smoke.Just then, who should walk in but Bill. It's the next morning,Marge is all dressed up in a long white dress and a veil, and she is not happy. Bill, it seems, is overdue, and she is beginning to wonder if he's run out on her. Two of Bill's friends tell her that, although they all went out for drinks the night before, "Joe" left early to see her. I guess this uncorrected slip makes this officially a b-movie, but so far I'm liking the movie so much I'm going to ignore it. Marge greets him with such enthusiasm that her mother has to remind her that she and Bill aren't married yet. Note Tom Tryon's eyes as he enters here, and in subsequent scenes: if you pay attention, you can often see a deer-in-the-headlights look about his eyes when Bill has to interact with Marge. It's subtle but effective at conveying how uncomfortable the alien feels with these new and unfamiliar experiences -- oops, I gave away a major plot point here, but you've probably already figured out that Bill is no longer Bill. Young newlywed Marge Farrell notices her new husband Bill is acting strangely.The next scene shows that a few kisses aren't enough to make Marge happy. In a time-worn plot device, we see a close-up of a letter that Marge is writing to her mother, and Marge reveals that it's their anniversary and she's realized that not only is Bill not the man she fell in love with, she's afraid of him. However, Marge stares into space, sighs, and crumples up the letter, knowing that in the 1950s, good American women were expected to just suck it up and get on with the ironing. He doesn't show any affection towards her or anything else, including his pet dogs, which he used to love. Marge is also concerned that she cannot seem to get pregnant.
She then notices that other husbands in her social circle are all acting the same way. One night she follows Bill while he goes for a walk. She discovers that he is not the man she knew but an alien impostor: An extraterrestrial lifeform leaves his body and enters a hidden spaceship.
She confronts Bill and he eventually explains that the females from his planet were extinct and that he and other males are taking over human men so they can mate with Earth's women and save their race. Marge is horrified and tries to warn others of the plot, but too many men have already been taken over, including the Chief of Police.
Finally, her doctor believes her wild tale and he gathers a posse to attack the aliens in their hideout.Meanwhile, alerted telepathically by the ship of the besiegers, Bill and the two police deputies race to the scene to stop them. As the townsfolk pull the wires and disconnect the power, the two policemen grasp their chests in turn and collapse and die. The "real" deputies, now unhooked from their alien machines, regain their senses quickly are none the worse for wear. Whatever stasis they were in seems to not have harmed them, and it even helpfully kept their facial hair from growing. The townsfolk warily go inside the ship (apparently those were the only two aliens aboard). It's a pretty bare- bones set, though I do appreciate not seeing banks of computers with rhythmically blinking Christmas lights or billowing dry ice fog. They find about a dozen human men (all the cast so far, Bill, Sam, the cops, etc...) hanging from wires above boxes with glowing lights. These are the "real" people, as we shall see, and the one's that we' ve been watching for the last hour seem to have been "created" somehow by the aliens to serve as suits for their smoky alien forms (what I was calling "assimilation" before now seems more like "making a copy"). Further, if you "cut off the power" to the "broadcasting circuits" here on the machines hooked up to the real humans, then the "fake" humans running around out there will die, which will then kill of their alien symbiots. None of that makes a damn lick of sense, and this last-second, over-complicated piece of technobabble might be my only real knock on this movie's otherwise excellent script. Although bullets can't hurt the invaders, they are defenceless against a pair of German shepherd dogs that the posse has. The aliens are eventually killed by the dogs.
Entering the spaceship, the posse finds all of the human captives alive, including Bill. An army of spaceships is seen lifting off around the world, seeking a new refuge.
- Tom Tryon as Bill Farrell
- Gloria Talbott as Marge Bradley Farrell
- Peter Baldwin as Officer Frank Swanson
- Robert Ivers as Harry Phillips
- Chuck Wassil as Ted Hanks
- Ty Hardin as Mac Brody (as Ty Hungerford)
- Ken Lynch as Dr. Wayne
- John Eldredge as Police Captain H.B. Collins
- Alan Dexter as Sam Benson
- James Anderson as Weldon
- Jean Carson as Helen Alexander Benson
- Jack Orrison as Officer Schultz
- Steve London as Charles Mason
- Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom as Max Grady (bartender)
I Married a Monster from Outer Space was produced by Paramount Pictures. Shooting ended in May 1958. On September 10, the film premiered in Los Angeles, followed by its regular release in October.
Due to its exploitative title, I Married a Monster from Outer Space has long been ignored by critics and film historians, though it received respectable reviews in later years. Danny Peary described it as "an intelligent, atmospheric, subtly made sci-fi thriller", Tom Milne of Time Out magazine found "good performances, strikingly moody camerawork, a genuinely exciting climax", and Leonard Maltin called it a "pretty good little rehash of Invasion of the Body Snatchers" with "some nice, creepy moments".
The Aurum Film Encyclopedia concluded that "while the film was clearly fuelled by the Cold War mentality of the fifties, in retrospect it is its sexual politics that are more interesting, and disturbing". The hint at a subtext of "sexual angst" by Tom Milne is emphasised by German critic Georg Seeßlen, linking I Married a Monster from Outer Space and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) to Film noir: Their subjects in common, states Seeßlen, are the distrust between the sexes and the depiction of marriage as a trap where the death of one partner seems inevitable.
In 2004 Paramount released a DVD of the film which, other than the open matte, full frame (1.33:1) format of the 1998 VHS release, cropped the image to modern 16:9 (1.78:1) TV format. The Internet Movie Database lists 1.85:1 widescreen as the film's originally intended format.
The label L'Atelier 13 released a Spanish language DVD under the title Me casé con un monstruo del espacio exterior.
- Info on budget on IMDB.com
- I Married a Monster from Outer Space in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences index, 2012/06/05.
- I Married a Monster from Outer Space at Turner Classic Movies, 2012/06/05.
- I Married a Monster from Outer Space at the Internet Movie Database.
- Danny Peary: Cult Movies, Dell Publishing, New York, 1981.
- Time Out Film Guide, Seventh Edition 1999, Penguin, London, 1998.
- Leonard Maltin's 2008 Movie Guide, Signet/New American Library, New York, 2007.
- Phil Hardy (ed.): The Aurum Film Encyclopedia – Science Fiction, Aurum Press, London, 1991.
- Georg Seeßlen: Kino des Utopischen. Geschichte und Mythologie des Science-fiction-Films, Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1980.
- Synopsis on Allrovi.com
- Info on technical specifications on IMDB.com