Drive-In Dust Offs: Invaders From Mars (1953)

Gee whiz, sci-fi sure was simple in the early ‘50s, wasn’t it? Slap a little Red Scare subtext here, a damsel in distress there, scientists, the military, and of course aliens rounding out the films that beamed from every drive-in on a Saturday night. One of the earliest (and best) of the bunch is Invaders from Mars (1953), which sets itself apart by employing a unique viewpoint and having spectacular and surreal production design. Don’t write this off as a cheap time waster, you whippersnappers.

Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox near the end of April, this independent production received some favorable notices and made a swift return on its $290,000 budget, for good reason – seen through a child’s eyes, it captures that imagination and runs with it for 78 minutes, shoddy getups and all. Invaders from Mars is told with the fervor of an excited youth playing catch up with an exploding imagination.
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