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20 Million Miles To Earth

A 1957 science fiction film about an alien creature from Venus who becomes hostile towards Earthlings.

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20 Million Miles to Earth

  • Aug 27, 2001
  • by
Pros: see below

Cons: see above

The Bottom Line: follows the top line

My first introduction to ‘spaghetti' monsters. I've seen a fair share of spaghetti westerns but this was my first monster trip. Humans have finally made a trip to Venus and returned. Unfortunately, things went bad on Venus and by the time the return flight landed/crashed on Earth, we are left with but two survivors - the captain of the ship and the doctor - oh and a mysterious cannister filled with super putty or something.

When the ship crashes into the ocean, off the shore of Italy, fishermen scurry on board and retrieve the captain and the doctors bodies. The shop immediately sinks into the ocean afterward. Debris washes onto shore, including the elusive cannister, and the local pernicious young lad finds it and manages to sell its' contents to the zoological expert that is passing through town in his travel trailer, with his granddaughter. Being an expert in his field, he comes up with the idea that ......"I believe this creature is a mutation of some sort" ....... go figure!

What starts out as a little guy around 6" tall turns into a big guy about 60' tall by the end of the movie, and he definitely ain't happy. Of course, along the way the captain and the granddaughter ("I'm almost a doctor' ) start out as bitter enemies which you know will result in a rousing love affair. Naturally, since this was made in 1957, the affair is only implied.

In addition you have the American army and the local constabulary in a tryst over the creature - one wanting to kill it and the other wanting to capture it for study. The Americans win, they capture it but as with all captured creatures, it gets away and storms through the town wrecking havoc and mayhem.

Same tired old story, just a different creature.

Sitting on the sidelines
Oh, dear, I don't think I've every had my senses assaulted with so much gutter tripe before - at least not since I watched that dreadful remake of Titanic . This shoestring budget and weak, lame script only rivaled the poor special effects for ineptitude.

The spaceship was by far one of the worst I've ever encountered, but I try to remember this was 1957 and the idea of space travel was as outlandish as this movie was. All these women running around in their flouncy dresses with hats and gloves worked my last nerve

Actually, for this time frame, the creature - the Venusian lifeform - wasn't all that bad. He appeared fairly fluid, with good structure and a nice tail. Designed by Harryhausen, you can definitely tell it is one of his early works, but it still showed promise. It beared a remarkable resemblance to the Kraken from Clash of the Titains, but only had one set of forearms. Maybe it was the early prototype for Kraken. Despite that, he wasn't enough to pull the movie off.

Directed by Nathan Juran, written by Christopher Knoph

Susi :(


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More 20 Million Miles to Earth reviews
review by . June 08, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Great monster movie from the 1950's. Some excellent stop motion animation.     Cons: Cheesy, bad script, often silly.     The Bottom Line: This is a great movie to watch if you are building a tradition with your children. My dad and I loved this one on Saturday night.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. I've previously expounded on "gronk" movies in my review of The Angry Red Planet.    …
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20 Million Miles to Earth
50th Anniversary Edition DVD cover Directed by Nathan H. Juran Produced by Charles H. Schneer Written by Bob Williams
Christopher Knopf Starring William Hopper
Joan Taylor
Frank Puglia Cinematography Irving Lippman
Carlo Ventimiglia Editing by Edwin Bryant Distributed by Columbia Pictures Release date(s) June 1957 Running time 82 minutes Country United States Language English

20 Million Miles to Earth is a 1957 American science fiction film written by Bob Williams and Christopher Knopf from an original treatment by Charlott Knight. The film was produced by Charles H. Schneer's Morningside Productions for Columbia Pictures and directed by Nathan H. Juran. As with several other Schneer-Columbia collaborations, it was developed to showcase the stop-motion animation talents of Ray Harryhausen.



The government of the United States, along with The Pentagon organizes the first interplanetary expedition to the planet Venus. The spacecraft XY-21 with a crew of seventeen successfully reaches the planet 20 million miles away and vast mineral resources and precious raw materials are discovered on the planet, but atmospheric conditions are extremely harsh and cannot support life from Earth, and several members of the expedition die because of the conditions. None of this is actually seen, but is all explained in dialogue later on in the film.

On the return journey, thirteen months after leaving, the rocket is crippled by a meteor and crashes ...

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Director: Nathan Juran
Genre: Classics, Horror, Sci-Fi
Release Date: 1957
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: June 25, 2002
Runtime: 82 minutes
Studio: Columbia Pictures
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