Video Details

Title: STRANGER FROM VENUS (Patricia Neal, Helmut Dantine)
Title AKA:/aka/ Immediate Disaster /aka/ Venusian

OUR PRICE: $10.00

Year: 1954 / VHS / 75 mins

Director: Burt Balaban

Starring:
Patricia Neal, Helmut Dantine, Derek Bond, Cyril Luckham, Willoughby Gray, Marigold Russell, Arthur Young, Kenneth Edwards, David Garth, Nigel Green, Stanley Van Beers, Graham Stuart, John Le Mesurier

Video Notes:
This fine reworking of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" takes place in England, where an alien from Earth's planetary neighbor lands to issue an ultimatum to the human race. Rarely-seen science-fiction tale. "Providing further evidence that 1951's The Day the Earth Stood Still had an immediate and lasting influence, this quiet little gem from 1954 spins off from the earlier film's trendsetting premise, and features a fine role for that classic's costar, Patricia Neal. With those similarities accounted for, it's only fair to assess Stranger from Venus on its own terms. Fashioned more like a respectable B-movie melodrama than a sci-fi thriller, it offers only a few seconds of cheesy special effects (in the form of an ultra-low-budget flying saucer), and instead emphasizes mature dialogue and competent acting to deliver the time-honored theme that humankind has a lot to learn on the intergalactic scale of civilized behavior. Helmut Dantine plays the title role--a dapper gent from Venus who arrives in a rural English town, possessing awesome powers (and a brain packed with the entirety of human knowledge), and intending only to inform the military powers-that-be of the dangers of atomic weaponry. With her trademark empathy, Neal plays a local American who understands, accepts, and quietly falls in love with the nameless alien. There must be tragedy, of course, and when the military hawks prevent the Venusian's rendezvous with his mother ship, the cost is regrettably high. (As we've learned earlier, centuries-old Venusians merely vanish when they expire.) By this time, however, the requisite wisdom has been expressed, human foolishness has been exposed and humbled by alien superpowers, and Stranger from Venus ends on a quiet note of melancholy optimism. Unfolding with thoughtfulness and filmmaking economy, this is an obscure genre entry that devoted fans are encouraged to discover." -Jeff Shannon. VIEWER COMMENT : "I don't know I could be wrong, but it seems to me that movies made today require a ton of special effects ( especially in the Sci Fi - Fantasy genre ) to keep an audience interested. Nothing wrong with this though, as I myself enoy a little escapist entertainment as much as the next person. Having said that though I must confess that it is my opinion that good writing and acting will win out over high tech effects almost everytime with few eceptions and nothing is better if you have both. Which brings me to this film, Stranger From Venus. It has very little in the effects department (Plan 9 From Outer Space has more) but the script and acting are a notch above alot of movies in this genre today or in the 1950's when this film was made.The story is not your average alien invasion plot that dominate most film in this category, which to me is a breath of fresh air. In fact,I'd put Stranger From Venus in a category of Sci Fi films that are a bit different from the rest of the crowd like The Man Who Fell To Earth, Man Facing SouthEast and Signs. So,if you are looking for exploding planets,high tech battle cruisers or strange looking creatures, you won't find it here but if you seek a good well written story from a different angle then your patience will be rewarded."