I Married a Monster from Outer Space

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I Married a Monster from Outer Space
Marriedmonster.jpg
Directed by Gene Fowler Jr.
Produced by Gene Fowler Jr.
Written by Louis Vittes
Starring Tom Tryon
Gloria Talbott
Music by Daniele Amfitheatrof (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer (uncredited)
Leith Stevens (uncredited)
Franz Waxman (uncredited)
Victor Young (uncredited)
Cinematography Haskell Boggs
Edited by George Tomasini
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • October 1958 (1958-10)
Running time
78 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $125,000[1]

I Married a Monster from Outer Space is a 1958 American black-and-white science fiction film from Paramount Pictures, produced and directed by Gene Fowler Jr. and starring Tom Tryon and Gloria Talbott.

The plot of I Married a Monster from Outer Space revolves around a young wife realizing her new husband has become strangely transformed shortly after their honeymoon. He has seemingly lost all affection for her and for his pet dogs, even his earlier habits have now completely vanished. Thereafter, she quickly discovers that he is not the only man in town that has changed into a completely different person.

Plot[edit]

Young newlywed Marge Farrell (Gloria Talbott) notices that her new husband Bill (Tom Tryon) is acting oddly: He doesn't show any signs of affection towards her or anything else, including his pet dogs, which he used to love. Marge is also very concerned because she cannot become 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 married but an alien impostor: An extraterrestrial lifeform leaves his human body and enters a hidden spaceship.

She confronts Bill, and he eventually explains that all the females on his planet are now extinct, and that he and other males of his species are taking over human men so they can mate with Earth's women, saving their race from extinction. Marge is horrified at this prospect and tries to warn others of this alien plot, but too many men in town have already been taken over, including the town's Chief of Police.

Finally, her doctor (Ken Lynch) comes to believe her wild story, and he gathers up a posse to attack the aliens in their hidden spaceship. Although bullets can't hurt the invaders, they are defenseless against a pair of German shepherd dogs being used by the posse; eventually, all the aliens are killed by the dogs.

Entering the spaceship, the posse finds all of the human captives still alive, including Bill. Shortly thereafter, a fleet of spaceships is seen taking off from all over the world; the aliens must seek females elsewhere, now that their breeding plan on Earth has been discovered.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Both director Gene Fowler Jr. and screenwriter Louis Vittes had worked in series television and had some success. With I Married a Monster from Outer Space, both had some creative freedom, although Vittes was notoriously resistant to any changes to his script, to the annoyance of the leads.[1] Principal photography for I Married a Monster from Outer Space began on April 21, and ended in early May 1958.[2] On September 10, 1958, the film premiered in Los Angeles, followed by its U. S. and Canadian theatrical release in October.[3]

Reception[edit]

Upon its release, I Married a Monster from Outer Space proved to be a hit with audiences and critics.[4] Despite its modest budget and unpretentious production values, the film was an ideal filler for the drive-in crowd.[5] Originally slated as the A film in a double feature with The Blob (1958), I Married a Monster from Outer Space was relegated to the bottom of the bill when audiences preferred the intriguing, color film over the monochromatic and more sombre entry.[1]

Due to its exploitative title, I Married a Monster from Outer Space has long been ignored by critics and film historians, although it received respectable reviews both in contemporary and in later reviews.[6]Danny Peary described it as "an intelligent, atmospheric, subtly made sci-fi thriller,"[6] Tom Milne of Time Out magazine found "good performances, strikingly moody camerawork, a genuinely exciting climax,"[7] and Leonard Maltin called it a "pretty good little rehash of Invasion of the Body Snatchers" with "some nice, creepy moments."[8]

Themes[edit]

The Aurum Film Encyclopedia concluded that "while the film was clearly fueled by the Cold War mentality of the fifties, in retrospect it is its sexual politics that are more interesting, and disturbing."[9] The hint at a subtext of "sexual angst" by Tom Milne[7] is emphasized 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.[10]

Remake[edit]

In 1998 the now defunct UPN television network produced and aired a remake of the film titled, I Married a Monster, with Richard Burgi as the alien husband.[11]

DVD release[edit]

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 the modern 16:9 (1.78:1) TV aspect ratio. The Internet Movie Database, however, lists 1.85:1 widescreen as the film's original theatrical release aspect ratio.[12]

The label L'Atelier 13 released a Spanish language DVD under the title Me casé con un monstruo del espacio exterior.

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Smith, Richard Harland. "Articles: I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: January 6, 2015.
  2. ^ "I Married a Monster from Outer Space." Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences index, June 5. 2012.
  3. ^ "'I Married a Monster from Outer Space'." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: January 6, 2015.
  4. ^ Lee 2008, p. 73.
  5. ^ Lee 2008, p. 68.
  6. ^ a b Peary 1981[page needed]
  7. ^ a b Milne 1998, p. 558.
  8. ^ Maltin 2009, pp. 661–662.
  9. ^ Hardy 1991[page needed]
  10. ^ Seeßlen 1980[page needed]
  11. ^ "Synopsis: I Married a Monster." Allrovi.com. Retrieved: January 6, 2015.
  12. ^ "Technical specifications: I Married A Monster from Outer Space." IMDb. Retrieved: January 6, 2015.

Bibliography

  • Hardy, Phil, ed. The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction, London: Aurum Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0-68800-842-0.
  • Lee, Michael. "Ideology and Style in the Double Feature I Married A Monster from Outer Space and The Curse of the Demon." in Rhodes, Gary Don, ed. Horror at the Drive-in: Essays in Popular Americana. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2008. ISBN 978-0-78643-762-7.
  • Maltin, Leonard. Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide 2009. New York: New American Library, 2009 (originally published as TV Movies, then Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video Guide), First edition 1969, published annually since 1988. ISBN 978-0-451-22468-2.
  • Milne, Tom, ed. Time Out Film Guide, Seventh Edition 1999. London: Penguin, 1998. ISBN 0-141-01354-0.
  • Peary, Danny. Cult Movies: The Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird, and the Wonderful. New York: Dell Publishing, 1981. ISBN 978-0-09154-441-6.
  • Seeßlen, Georg. Kino des Utopischen. Geschichte und Mythologie des Science-fiction-Films. Hamburg: Rowohlt, Reinbek bei, 1980. ISBN 3-49917-334-4.

External links[edit]