Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kurt Neumann|
|Produced by||Irving Block
|Screenplay by||Lawrence L. Goldman|
|Story by||Irving Block|
|Music by||Paul Sawtell
|Edited by||Jodie Copelan|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||78 minutes|
Kronos is a 1957 black-and-white science fiction film directed by Kurt Neumann, released by Regal Films, starring Jeff Morrow and Barbara Lawrence. The film is also known as Kronos, Destroyer of the Universe.
In the years since its release Kronos has been widely praised both for its above-average storyline and its farsighted portrayal of the consequences of over consumption of both natural and man-made resources; it has achieved minor cult status as a result.
What appears to be a large saucer shaped meteorite crashes into the Pacific Ocean near Mexico, following an unexplained break-in and assault by a deranged man at a secret U. S. research facility. The crashed meteorite soon reveals itself as an even greater menace than first believed, with grave implications for the survival of the human race.
Kronos, a gigantic slow-moving machine, methodically attacks power plants in Mexico, draining them of all their energy. In doing so Kronos grows in size each time, becoming larger as it consumes more and more energy. Kronos is discovered to be an accumulator sent by an alien race that has exhausted its own natural resources; they have sent it to drain all the Earth's available power and return it to their dying world. A scientist, under control of the unseen alien presence, suggests destroying Kronos by using an atomic bomb on it. This is done using a U. S. Air Force B-47 Bomber; but Kronos only absorbs the bomb's nuclear power, and the machine grows to titanic size. It now threatens to drain all the world's cities and starve the Earth of all power. Scientists devise a clever plan that reverses Kronos' polarity, causing it to feed upon itself, destroying the machine in a huge explosion; the Earth is saved...for now, but will the alien menace be a threat again someday?
- Jeff Morrow as Dr. Leslie Gaskell
- Barbara Lawrence as Vera Hunter
- John Emery as Dr. Hubbell Eliot
- George O'Hanlon as Dr. Arnold Culver
- Morris Ankrum as Dr. Albert Stern
- Kenneth Alton as McCrary - The Pickup Driver
- John Parrish as Gen. Perry
- Jose Gonzales-Gonzales as Manuel Ramirez
- Richard Harrison as Pilot
- Marjorie Stapp as Nurse
- Robert Shayne as Air Force General
- Don Eitner as Weather Operator
- Gordon Mills as Sergeant
- John Halloran as Lab Central Security Guard
Kronos was filmed in a little more than two weeks (mid-January to late January 1957) in California; special effects were created by Jack Rabin, Irving Block and Louis DeWitt. The idea of an alien machine absorbing energy is similar to the giant alien machine from the later (1966) Star Trek television episode "The Doomsday Machine" which destroys planets and uses them to fuel itself.
When the film was first released in 1957, Variety magazine gave the film a favorable review. The staff wrote, "Kronos is a well-made, moderate budget science-fictioner which boasts quality special effects that would do credit to a much higher-budgeted film ... John Emery is convincing as the lab head forced by the outer-space intelligence to direct the monster. Barbara Lawrence is in strictly for distaff interest, but pretty."
Film critic Dennis Schwartz was disappointed in the film's screenplay and the acting. He wrote, "German emigre to Hollywood, Kurt Neumann (Tarzan and the Amazons/Son of Ali Baba/She Devil), directs this b/w shot dull so-so sci-fi film, that's played straight-forward, is humorless and all the thespians are wooden. It's based on the story by Irving Block and the weak script is written by Lawrence Louis Goldman."
- Kronos at the Internet Movie Database
- Kronos at the American Film Institute Catalog. Production Date: mid January to late January 1957. Accessed: July 22, 2013.
- The Doomsday Machine at the Internet Movie Database. Accessed: July 22, 2013.
- The Jetsons at the Internet Movie Database. Accessed: July 22, 2013.
- Variety. Staff film review, 1957. Accessed: July 22, 2013.
- Schwartz Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, May 26, 2011. Accessed: July 22, 2013.
- Kronos at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Kronos at the Internet Movie Database
- Kronos at AllMovie
- Kronos at the TCM Movie Database
- Kronos information site and DVD review by Glenn Erickson at Savant Review
- Kronos trailer on YouTube
- Kronos sound clips (two short ones) from film score at Monstrous Movie Music