This Island Earth/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< This Island Earth
  • In a magazine article, the special effects department admitted that the "mutant" costume originally had legs that matched the upper body. They had so much trouble making the legs look and work properly they were forced by studio deadline to have the mutant wear a pair of trousers. Movie posters show the mutant as it was supposed to appear.
  • The Metaluna flying saucer design was based on a famous photograph of an Unidentified Flying Object. In 1950, a farmer named Paul Trent saw, and photographed, a strange craft flying overhead. He took two photos before the craft sped off at fantastic speed and disappeared over the horizon. Known as The McMinnville Incident, because it happened in McMinnville, Oregon, Trent's photographs have never been exposed as a hoax. They remain among the very best photos ever taken of a UFO.
  • The Earth miniature used in the effects shots was also used to make the 1950's-1980's "Earth in Space" Universal Pictures fanfare opening.
  • According to Faith Domergue, the pants of her costume were so skintight that she could not wear underwear. A female assistant had to help her put them on and take them off.
  • In interviews to promote the film, actors Jeff Morrow and Rex Reason said that when scenes involving the mutant came up during the premiere, it took every ounce of restraint for them not to sneak out. They were extremely embarrassed by the mutant costume, which they likened to a giant bug. They felt that the mutant completely ruined an otherwise decent film.
  • A sequel was in the works in 1956. Screenwriter Franklin Coen and producer William Alland submitted a script titled "Aliens In The Skies" to Universal Pictures, and for a short time it was announced as in "pre-production development." Edward Muhl, the studio boss, shot their proposal when he looked over the proposed budget for the film, to be shot in Technicolor and CinemaScope, and to co-star Rex Reason and Faith Domergue reprising their roles, to be released in 1957, and called it too expensive.
  • The only woman from Metaluna in the film is played by Charlotte Lander, in her only screen appearance. She is at the control console for the decompression tubes on board the saucer.
  • In summer 1960, the film was shown in U.S. drive-in theaters on a double bill with Forbidden Planet (1956). It was also re-issued in U. S. theaters in July 1964. There is a three-color 1964 reissue of the full-color 1955 one-sheet, and an abridged 1964 version of the 1955 press book.
  • After the dinner at the secret facility, the German scientist says, "Ladies and gentlemen, the meal was excellent, but after Mozart's marvelous music I need to be alone with myself for a while. Good evening."
  • After Dr. Meacham has arrived at the secret lab in Georgia and the scientists are having a dinner, a woman comments on the music playing at the background by saying: "Mozartti on oikein kaunista." It's Finnish, and means "The music of Mozart is very beautiful."
  • Most of the sound effects are recordings of radio teletype transmissions picked up on a short wave radio, played at various speeds.
  • Universal, dissatisfied with some of Joseph M. Newman's work, brought in Jack Arnold to re-shoot the Metaluna scenes.
  • A large device, shaped a bit like a desk, with a coiled neon tube in the center, is visible at the Ryberg Electronics laboratory. The prop was also used in the laboratories of Universal Pictures' Frankenstein films of the 1940s.
  • In August 1957, this film was shown on a double bill with Invaders from Mars (1953).
  • The light airplane that Dr. Mecham and Dr. Adams attempt to escape in is a Stinson 105, a popular 4-seat light plane of the 1940s and 50s.
  • A print of this film was loaned to MGM, where another science fiction spectacle, Forbidden Planet (1956), was being prepared.
  • Shock-rock group GWAR titled their fourth album 'This Toilet Earth' as an homage and parody of this picture.
  • In one of the scenes in the film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, a television is on in the background. This Island Earth is shown on the tv, where a flying saucer is about to swallow up a light aircraft.
  • The internal elevator tubes in the spacecraft and on Metaluna are same type used in The Time Tunnel (1966) for its Tic Toc Center.
  • The single passenger drone plane Dr. Meacham enters is a Douglas DC3.
  • The film is the subject of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996).
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