Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
hit the nation's screens in
1956, one year before Sputnik was launched to usher in the Space Age.
Based on the Donald Kehoe book Invasion
of the Flying Saucers, the film
features the work of special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, including
the iconic collapse of the Washington Monument in the climatic battle
Taking elements from predecessors The Day the Earth Stood
Still and War of the Worlds,
the story begins with Dr. Russell Marvin sending test rockets into the
upper atmosphere as part of Operation Sky Hook. But the rockets keep
disappearing, which may have something to do with the flying saucers
Dr. Marvin and his new wife/secretary Carol have recently spotted.
Eventually, they discover that the saucers are from Mars, and the
aliens plan to conquer Earth because their planet is dead.
Martians give world leaders 60 days to surrender peacefully, but the
ever-inventive Dr. Marvin builds a magnetic pulse gun that can cripple
the flying saucers. Meanwhile, the flying saucers have the requisite
ray that can disintegrate just about anything. A final battle is fought
in the skies over Washington, D.C., destroying the U.S. Capitol
Building and other landmarks but saving the Planet Earth from the alien
Catch a ride on the
flying saucer back
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