Awakened by a strange noise young David MacLean (Jimmy Hunt) looks out his window one night and sees a flying saucer land off in the distance in the sandpit behind his house. He tells his parents and his dad George (Leif Erickson) heads off to investigate.
When his father doesn’t return David’s mother Mary (Hillary Brooke) calls the police. They send two officers to investigate but they both disappear in the sandpit too. Suddenly George returns but is now different. There’s red mark on the back of his neck and he’s acting cold and distant. David begins noticing behavior changes in more of the townspeople. He then witnesses his neighbour Kathy (Janine Perreau) falling in the sandpit. When goes and tells her mom Kathy suddenly appears but again changed.
In the meantime George has taken Mary for a visit to the sandpit. David goes and tells the police what he’s seen but they don’t believe him. He freaks out at the thought of his parents coming to collect him so one of the cops Sgt. Rinaldi (Max Wagner) brings in Dr. Pat Blake (Helena Carter) to take a look at him.
David explains his story to her after checking for red neck marks and Dr. Blake believes him and takes him to see her friend Dr. Stuart Kelston (Arthur Franz). Dr. Kelston believes David and has come to the conclusion that this is the beginning of a Martian invasion.
The Martians have learned of the scientific lab that George works at and that the lab is working on a new type of rocket. The Martians want the rocket destroyed and are mind controlling people to get the job done. Dr. Kelston calls in the military and then the battle begins.
When this movie was made in 1953 the United Kingdom censors complained about the ending so they recalled the actors and shot more footage and reedited the ending. The original American ending is darker and better in my opinion. This classic was one of the many sci-fi movies in the 1950s with the Cold War/Red Scare propaganda worked into the story. The fear and paranoia work excellently and director William Cameron Menzies (Things to Come, Chandu the Magician) makes the most of the low budget. A classic.
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