1951-1960

Nathan Juran – 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)

A US rocket returning from Venus crash lands off the Italian coast, bringing back with it a strange creature that quickly begins to grow to terrifying proportions…

Clearly indebted to King Kong, and employing that film’s empathetic approach to its ‘monster’ (a trope that Harryhausen would continue to employ throughout his career), 20 Million Miles to Earth is a terrific slice of fifties sci-fi. It boasts some of Harryhausen’s finest work of the period, as well one of his most beloved and enduring creature creations. Read More »

Hiroshi Shimizu – Odoriko aka Dancing Girl (1957)

In Asakusa, Tokyo, a couple of a violinist Yamano and a revue dancer Hanae lives in poverty. One day Hanae’s little sister rolls into their apartment and begins to stir things up with her riotousness. Read More »

Andrzej Munk – Pamietniki chlopow AKA Peasant Diaries (1952)

About the movie:
In 1952 Andrzej Munk made PAMIETNIKI CHLOPOW [PEASANT DIARIES], a film that was meant, to put it briefly, to show what people were told to believe about the wonderful lives that Polish peasants led in post-war Poland. In his book ” Moja filmoteka. Kino polskie” [My Film Archive. Polish Cinema] Aleksander Jackiewicz wrote that though he found the film to lack a hint of a shadow on the picture of those times to make it truly authentic, as clearly People’s Poland could not include peasants who were not successful, even so one could find in it “a tiny bit of authenticity that was absent from the works of other directors”. Read More »

David Kramarsky & Roger Corman – The Beast with a Million Eyes (1955)

Extraterrestrial terror is keeping an eye out for human flesh in this horrifying tale of invasion! After a strange craft crash lands near a rancher’s home in the California desert, the rancher’s family believes the danger has passed. But when they are attacked by animals driven into a rage by the alien, they realize that something did survive the crash….and it’s hoping to take in its first meal on Earth….ranch style! Read More »

Byron Haskin – Conquest of Space (1955)

Dramatic Effects Never Before Equalled – Or Even Imagined!

From a space wheel 500 miles above the Earth, commander Samuel Merritt (Walter Brooke) and his men (including Eric Fleming and Benson Fong) construct a sleek robot, then receive orders providing their new craft’s destination: Mars!

Five-time Oscar Winner George Pal (The War of the Worlds) produced this adventure rooted in the ’50s understanding of space exploration… and heightened by the awareness that no matter how advanced science becomes, human weaknesses remain. Read More »

Alfredo B. Crevenna & Emilio Fernández – La rebelión de los colgados AKA Rebellion of the Hanged (1954)

A logging camp, deep in the Mexican jungle is the setting for this dark, cataclysmic drama. A man and his family go to work in a mahogany camp, only to find themselves and their coworkers treated as semi-slave laborers and the recipients of beatings and brutal punishments. Pushed to the brink of fury, the man decides the only way out for himself, and his coworkers, is for him to lead them in a violent and bloody revolt against their oppressors. Read More »

Hiroshi Inagaki – Muhomatsu no issho AKA The Rickshaw Man (1958)

In the turn of the Twentieth Century, the rickshaw driver Matsugoro “Matsu” is a happy man and a troublemaker well-known by everyone in his village. One day, Matsu sees an injured boy, Toshio, and brings him home. His mother Yoshiko Yoshioka asks Matsuo to take the boy to the doctor and then her husband Capt. Kotaro Yoshioka asks her to reward Matsu. However the rickshaw man refuses the money and becomes a friend of the family. When Kotaro unexpectedly dies, Matsuo helps Yoshiko to raise her son. Soon he falls in love with her, but he does not dare to open his heart to Yoshiko since they belong to different social classes. Read More »