It Came from Outer Space (1953), HD BR 2-D
It Came from Outer Space (1953) was a landmark film for Universal in being the studio’s first attempt at depicting an alien visitor, a first for use of stereophonic sound and photography in the Mojave/Joshua Tree landscapes, first presentation of a 3-D monster film (anticipating Universal’s Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)), and the first film to show perspectives from the monster’s point of view.
I rate it as one of the all-time great sci-fi films and top-tier 50’s sci-fi, along side with The Thing, DTESS, IVOTBS, Them!, TWOTW, Shrinking Man, and Black Lagoon. Oddly, I’m not as high about Forbidden Planet (1956) and This Island Earth (1955), which look terrific and are brilliantly designed films, but seem unusually stiff during resent screenings. The Eisenhower-era depiction of military types in FP really seems dated to me now (see Danny Peary’s review in the original Cult Movies (1981)).
It Came from Outer Space was just released on Blu-ray disc and it looks and sounds terrific. I particularly noticed the vibrato nuances of the theremin in the DTS MA 3.0 LCR audio. Some historians (Bob Burns) consider this one of the greatest of the original 3-D movies, and the BR release includes both 2-D and 3-D versions. Unfortunately, I’m a simpleton and refuse to upscale to 3-D or any of the multi-channeled opulence (why would I listen to Bela Lugosi in 7.1 channel anyway?). A few years back I did purchase an OPPO BDP 103D disc player with a Darby processor and I can attest that a xenomorph has never looked finer processed through that bit of electronics.
The bonus material has been around: The Universe According to Universal documentary is superb and Tom Weaver’s feature commentary is informative. I prefer reading Weaver over hearing him. (Tom you talk too fast—please pack less in your commentaries).
Movie: Five Stars. Near Perfect Sci-Fi.
BR: Nice Print. Sounds Terrific. Four Stars. New supplements lacking.