Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Man from Planet X (1951)

The Man from Planet X (1951) by #EdgarGUlmer
#RobertClarke #MargaretField

An alien from a mysterious planet uses hypnotic powers to enslave a Scottish island.

“The WEIRDEST Visitor the Earth has ever seen!”

#Horror #SciFi

The Man from Planet X (1951) is a fairly serious minded SciFi movie – not unlike The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). The fact that they were both released in 1951 is interesting to me. The Day the Earth Stood Still Is by far the better movie, but The Man from Planet X is solidly above average. It’s said that Steven Spielberg took the idea of an alien communicating through music from this movie and used it in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). If that’s true, it’s an impressive legacy of influence for Edgar G. Ulmer’s low budget B-movie. 

Ulmer is perhaps best known for the classic film noir Detour (1945), but he also directed The Black Cat (1934), which I think is one of the greatest horror films of the 1930s. He made over fifty movies in his career, including Girls in Chains (1943), Isle of Forgotten Sins (1943), and Murder Is My Beat (1955).

The Man from Planet X (1951) stars Robert Clarke as reporter who travels to Scotland to write a story about his old friend Professor Elliot, played by Raymond Bond. The Professor’s daughter (and love interest of Robert Clarke) is played by Margaret Field, who was the mother of future superstar actress Sally Field. 

I could try to summarize the plot of The Man from Planet X, but I hate spoilers, and I think that it’s probably best to go into the movie knowing nothing and simply let it reveal itself to you. 

Insert a few pithy remarks about plot holes here (not that there are too many) and I guess my job is done.

I’ve seen The Man from Planet X (1951) about three times over the years, and it never fails to entertain me. It also makes me think, which can’t be said for all of the movies I lovingly label #NotQuiteClassicCinema. I will probably be watching it a fourth time on some future #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn