Portrait of Anxiety as a Child: “Invaders From Mars” (1953)

******* Jimmy Hunt sees the landing of a flying saucer from his bedroom window.******

     Not to be confused with the atrocious Tobe Hooper retread, William Cameron Menzies’ “Invaders From Mars” is a small gem of a film; the kind of movie that is fondly remembered as a troubling twilight half-dream that buries deeply in the back of your mind and sends involuntary shivers down your spine. It is also a heartening example of the truly creative creative instinct which was able to flourish in Hollywood despite the restrictions of the Production Code, and a extremely fine example of that same creativity triumphing over a paucity of budget.

     A deceptively simple tale of alien invasion as seen through the eyes of a twelve year old boy (Jimmy Hunt) who one night is awakened by what he thinks is a lightning flash, but soon realizes is actually a descending flying saucer which buries itself in a mysterious sandpit just beyond a slight hill next to his house. Naturally, being a child no one believes him and he begins to doubt himself until…

      The film resembles a prescient children’s version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, although Jimmy’s anxiety is less about global takeover than fear of a permanent fracturing of his own familial structure. With the escalation of events as the aliens begin their takeover, the film becomes a fascinating study of childhood angst concerning fears of, first, parental abandonment and then a creeping distrust of adult authority.

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  http://chandlerswainreviews,wordpress.com/drive-in-cinema-2/

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in 1950's movies, children, Drive-In Movies, fantasy, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, science fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Portrait of Anxiety as a Child: “Invaders From Mars” (1953)

  1. le0pard13 says:

    I think this film, after I watched it as a kid, actually did give me a nightmare.

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