The first Ray Harryhausen movie I got to watch during this endeavor of mine and also one of my favorites. I don’t know when I first saw this movie but I had only see it once in it’s entirety before I got it on DVD. Before that I had always seen bits and pieces of it on television, which is a shame because this is such a great movie. So on with today’s movie, 20 Million Miles To Earth.
The plot: When a United States rocket crashes into the ocean off the coast of Italy, two fishermen manage to rescue two men from the craft before it sinks into the ocean. When members of the U.S. government arrive, they inform the Italian authorities that the rocket had been on a mission to Venus and that the mission leader, Col. Bob Calder, was the only one to survive. However, the two men were not the only things that made it back. A creature’s egg was brought back from Venus and while Bob originally thought that it had been lost in the crash, it had actually managed to wash ashore and wind up in the possession of Dr. Leonardo. Not knowing what it was, Dr. Leonardo put the egg in a cage, where a small, bipedal creature hatched and begins to grow at a remarkable rate. While the Italian government wants to destroy the creature, Bob manages to convince them to let him study it. However, the creature escapes from the lab and begins to go on a rampage through the streets of Rome.
I know I have said it before but I honestly can’t say it enough. I love Ray Harryhausen’s work. I have almost all of the major motion pictures that he worked on and have enjoyed every one of them numerous times, and this one is no exception. The plot was pretty typical of sci-fi movies of the time. The acting was pretty decent although there were times that Pepe could get on your nerves. The scenes with Ymir, the creature from the movie, were very well done both in the stop-motion animation and the rear screen projection. It really showed how much Harryhausen had improved in his abilities in stop-motion animation and visual effects in general.
A great sci-fi movie and a great example of a Hollywood legend’s work. This is definitely worth watching.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5