Combustible Celluloid
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With: William Hopper, Joan Taylor, Frank Puglia, John Zaremba, Thomas Browne Henry, Tito Vuolo, Jan Arvan, Arthur Space, Bart Braverman
Written by: Bob Williams, Christopher Knopf, based on a story by Charlott Knight
Directed by: Nathan Juran
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 82
Date: 06/01/1957

20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Roman Disarray

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Nathan Juran's film differs from most sci-fi monster movies of the period in that the monster shows up early and often. That's because it had the good fortune to be created and animated by Ray Harryhausen, who, even in the age of computers, still gets in a few impressive tricks (the monster breathes, flicks its tail, etc.). A group of Sicilian fishermen find a crashed American spaceship and rescue a kind of egg that eventually hatches into a small green beastie. Our planet's atmosphere soon causes it to grow to giant proportions, and before long it's rampaging at the Roman Colosseum. The main drawback: Harryhausen's beastie has a good deal more personality than the dull humans.

DVD Details: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents this classic in a two-disc set for its 50th anniversary, offering the film in its original black-and-white and in a new colorized version. Harryhausen participates in an audio commentary track, and in a video interview with Tim Burton. Other extras include featurettes, photos, and more.

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