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t1g3r5fan

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Mychal Bowden
Let’s look at Conquest of Space and I Married a Monster from Outer Space. In the mid to late 1950’s, Paramount Pictures released two very different science fiction movies helmed by two very distinctive directors. The first, Conquest of Space, came from producer George Pal and director Byron Haskin – having already thrilled audiences with The War of the Worlds (1953) and The Naked Jungle (1954) – and gave a tantalizing look at space exploration. The second, I Married a Monster from Outer Space, was rooted more in the Cold War paranoia of the era and came from film editor turned director and producer Gene Fowler Jr. Both having been previously released on Region Free Blu-ray by Imprint, Scream Factory has brought these two sci-fi classics together for their US Blu-ray debut in this double feature release.



Conquest of Space (1955)



Released: 20 Apr...

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Josh Steinberg

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A very nice review of one of my favorites (Conquest). Thank you very kindly for picking this up when I was unable to complete it. It’s nice to read an open-minded appraisal of an imperfect but well intentioned film.
 

Tommy R

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I actually bought this solely for the fact that it has a commentary not previously on the Imprint Blu-ray of Conquest of Space, the Higgins/Dunham one, and the Imprint one had a track that THIS release doesn’t, so they both sit on my George Pal shelf. I’m a George Pal whore. I even have an old DVD of The Great Rupert (in a release that re-titled it as “A Christmas Wish”) since it had a commentary track not found anywhere else.

I didn’t like Conquest of Space the first time I saw it, as I found it to be a far inferior copy of Destination Moon (one of my favs) but on repeated viewings I find it more charming. Easy enough to look past it’s faults and enjoy it as a neat little 50s sci-fi flick.
 

BobO'Link

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I picked up Shout!'s release *solely* for Conquest of Space as I'd previously purchased the Imprint release of I Married a Monster from Outer Space and the 2-fer from Shout! was much less expensive than the Imprint release of that single title - something that doesn't happen often with releases from Shout!
 
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lark144

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Great review! CONQUEST OF SPACE really blew me away when I was seven, which I think I saw on a re-issue, as I would have been a little too young when it was initially released. Even back then, I knew it was far from perfect, but the successes far outweighed the weaknesses. I liked the ambitiousness of it, though considering the end product, George Pal bit off more than he could chew, and while it shows in many ways, from the script to the effects--which btw, were far more impressive seen in a dye transfer print than hi-def--the expansiveness of the film, its focus on the nuts and bolts of space travel, along with a burgeoning comic consciousness, really pulled me in.

While occasionally a little underwhelming, I thought the special effects were the best I had seen up to that point, and it remained my favorite sci-fi film until Kubrick's 2001, which it clearly influnced. I had already read the Willy Ley book, and I thought the film expressed the major themes quite well, allied with a narrative struture that may been both overly melodramtic and undercooked, yet it really worked for me back then. Looking at it now, it's not the near-masterpiece I thought, it's much too unweildly for that, far messier and less polished than DESTINATION MOON, but I like it better because of that. It was a real eye opener in 1958, when I saw it, much more serious and elegant and intelectually curious than all those cheap bug-eyed monster opuses which were around. It had a matter of factness, a focus on the human dilemma inherent in space travel, an interest in the quotidian and how the cosmic can alter that immesurably, so that what may be a virture on earth can be a calmaity in space; again, something that wasn't a focus for sci-fi films until Kubick's entry into the field.

I haven't listened to the commentaries yet, so I can't discusss that. I did own DVDs of both CONQUEST and I MARRIED A MONSTER and for me both masters here are major upgrades, especially CONQUEST, though it still has some imperfections.
 

John Sparks

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Great review! CONQUEST OF SPACE really blew me away when I was seven, which I think I saw on a re-issue, as I would have been a little too young when it was initially released. Even back then, I knew it was far from perfect, but the successes far outweighed the weaknesses. I liked the ambitiousness of it, though considering the end product, George Pal bit off more than he could chew, and while it shows in many ways, from the script to the effects--which btw, were far more impressive seen in a dye transfer print than hi-def--the expansiveness of the film, its focus on the nuts and bolts of space travel, along with a burgeoning comic consciousness, really pulled me in.

While occasionally a little underwhelming, I thought the special effects were the best I had seen up to that point, and it remained my favorite sci-fi film until Kubrick's 2001, which it clearly influnced. I had already read the Willy Ley book, and I thought the film expressed the major themes quite well, allied with a narrative struture that may been both overly melodramtic and undercooked, yet it really worked for me back then. Looking at it now, it's not the near-masterpiece I thought, it's much too unweildly for that, far messier and less polished than DESTINATION MOON, but I like it better because of that. It was a real eye opener in 1958, when I saw it, much more serious and elegant and intelectually curious than all those cheap bug-eyed monster opuses which were around. It had a matter of factness, a focus on the human dilemma inherent in space travel, an interest in the quotidian and how the cosmic can alter that immesurably, so that what may be a virture on earth can be a calmaity in space; again, something that wasn't a focus for sci-fi films until Kubick's entry into the field.

I haven't listened to the commentaries yet, so I can't discusss that. I did own DVDs of both CONQUEST and I MARRIED A MONSTER and for me both masters here are major upgrades, especially CONQUEST, though it still has some imperfections.
 

Robert Harris

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Nice review!

I got to know the Fowlers a bit in the early ‘80s while working on the Napoleon score. Very interesting family, and nice folks. Gene’s wife, Marjorie, was Nunnally Johnson’s daughter. A family worth researching.

Among Mr. Fowler’s editing gigs was a rather simple and straight-forward gig entitled It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
 
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