THIS ISLAND EARTH (1955) on Blu-Ray – when?

3 Stars

Does anyone have any idea if or when Universal Home Entertainment will get around to releasing the science fiction classic movie THIS ISLAND EARTH on Blu-Ray ???
There was talk about this back in 2005 for its 50th Anniversary, but that came and went without it happening. A special edition DVD-Blu-Ray was discussed then, with special features, but as I recall, Universal was being sold from one parent company to another, and any plans they had then were put on hold or scrapped.
As we saw, there was a bargain-level DVD release in 2006, which did not even use the original ads or movie posters, and it came off looking like a B-movie release, which irked a lot of the fans, due to its association with that silly MST3K movie of 1996.
Another classic Universal film of the 1950s I would love to see on DVD & Blu-Ray is the first historical epic made by Universal, SIGN OF THE PAGAN (1954) in CinemaScope wide-screen format.

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74 Comments

  1. This Island Earth is long overdue on BD since it's a really good looking film and minor sci-fi classic . Same goes for incredible Shrinking Man , and the rest of the films that were included on the two 1950's Sci -Fi box sets of DVDs . I have a hunch we'll see them as soon as they finish the Universal Monsters series (Invisible Man , and Creature From The Black Lagoon). Universal seems to be again actively releasing their catalog lately . Who knows , maybe someday we'll see the Abbott And Costello box set as well.

  2. LouA

    This Island Earth is long overdue on BD since it's a really good looking film and minor sci-fi classic . Same goes for incredible Shrinking Man , and the rest of the films that were included on the two 1950's Sci -Fi box sets of DVDs . I have a hunch we'll see them as soon as they finish the Universal Monsters series (Invisible Man , and Creature From The Black Lagoon). Universal seems to be again actively releasing their catalog lately . Who knows , maybe someday we'll see the Abbott And Costello box set as well.

    I have a sneaky suspicion the Universal Monsters series may be stalled due, in part, to their Dark Universe series being at a standstill. Hopefully, I'm wrong!

    CHEERS! 🙂

  3. Region-free? No. But for those with multiregion players, Arrow UK (Region B-locked) has a fine edition of THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN. Germany offers good-quality Blus (also Region B-locked) of TARANTULA!, THE LAND UNKNOWN, and THE MONOLITH MONSTERS.

  4. I have the German Blu Ray and just watched it for the 1st time this past weekend. I had no playback issues but it is region B on the box. Probably not as good looking as it could be. Every version I have ever seen of this movie seems to have less than the vibrant color that most 50's Universal movies have. Maybe that's the way its supposed to look. But either way its a big step up from the DVD and looks great in its OAR and not the full screen abomination on DVD. I usually avoid French blu rays because I keep hearing that most have non-removable subtitles.

  5. I suspect that if we indeed see any of the 1950s Universal sci-fi titles in Region A, they'll be released by Shout! Of course, it all depends on how active Universal themselves remain in catalogue sales. If their latest efforts flop, I'd look to Shout!

  6. Randy Korstick

    I'm really hoping someone will do a blu ray of the Deadly Mantis. I have a soft spot for this one but can't watch the DVD because of the awful full screen.

    Add The Monster from Green Hell, and The Giant Claw please.

  7. Randy Korstick

    I have the German Blu Ray and just watched it for the 1st time this past weekend. I had no playback issues but it is region B on the box. Probably not as good looking as it could be. Every version I have ever seen of this movie seems to have less than the vibrant color that most 50's Universal movies have. Maybe that's the way its supposed to look. But either way its a big step up from the DVD and looks great in its OAR and not the full screen abomination on DVD. I usually avoid French blu rays because I keep hearing that most have non-removable subtitles.

    No forced subtitles on this EARTH: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film5/blu-ray_reviews_69/this_island_earth_blu-ray.htm

  8. Richard V

    Add The Monster from Green Hell, and The Giant Claw please.

    I think Monster From Green Hell is one of those Wade Williams films . Giant Claw is Columbia, and their films seem to be going to Mill Creek . Hopefully Mill Creek will issue GC and other Columbia films on BD.

  9. I've had the German version for some time. Oddly, it's a step up in resolution over the DVD but the colors aren't as rich and ,in fact, look washed out in comparison.

    As has been stated here why don't we have a region A version ?

    Still hoping for When Worlds Collide, Destination Moon and War of the Worlds at some point.

  10. CarlosMeat

    I've had the German version for some time. Oddly, it's a step up in resolution over the DVD but the colors aren't as rich and ,in fact, look washed out in comparison.

    As has been stated here why don't we have a region A version ?

    Still hoping for When Worlds Collide, Destination Moon and War of the Worlds at some point.

    Don't hold your breath. Unless Paramount finally releases all the classic films they hold hostage (scores and scores of them) to some small label, WWC and WOTW will not happen. DESTINATION MOON is in the endless stranglehold of Wade Williams.

  11. CarlosMeat

    I've had the German version for some time. Oddly, it's a step up in resolution over the DVD but the colors aren't as rich and ,in fact, look washed out in comparison.

    As has been stated here why don't we have a region A version ?

    Still hoping for When Worlds Collide, Destination Moon and War of the Worlds at some point.

    I agree with you. The black levels are rather weak.

  12. I don't remember ever seeing this movie, and I'm not familiar with her, but my first thought upon seeing this thread was "Faith Domergue."

    I must have seen newspaper ads when it first came out (when I was 3).

  13. I saw this on it's initial run in 1955. Was sitting next to my mom, and the mutant, when in the spaceship dissolved, I jumped into my mom's lap and asked if they would please turn down the sound as it was scaring me. I do remember the trailer showing the small airplane being drawn up into the flying saucer in the green light.

    Year later, I'm working an overtime day at the fire station (LAFD FS 20) across from the theater (The Ramona Theater) on Sunset Blvd/at Glendale Blvd.) and I tell him the story and we both laugh…such a small world.

    Of course, it wasn't until years later that I finally saw the movie in its entirety.

    Hence, one of my favorite movies of all time next to FORBIDDEN PLANET!

  14. I was fortunate enough to see this theatrically when it was presented as a Saturday kiddie matinee in the 60's. I hope that a future domestic release on Blu-ray can duplicate the rich and saturated colors of the 35mm print I was so impressed with as a teenager. The German Blu is okay, but it's still a little contrasty and the colors remain weak, although stronger than previous video editions. A perfect release for Shout!

  15. Paramount has HD masters of War of the Worlds and Conquest Of Space available for rental and purchase on digital services like iTunes and Vudu. Now that they seem slightly more open to licensing stuff, hopefully one of their third party distributors will be allowed to put them out on a disc at some point.

    Destination Moon is Wade Williams, so…(bangs head against wall in frustration)

  16. We'll NEVER see this in our lifetime (us oldtimers) on a (US) BD on a disc. This movie, for us that collect sci-fi/horror, is our HOLY GRAIL…along with all the other 50's greats!!!

    When it finally comes out on BD, throw it on my grave and say, "Geese, here it is, sorry it took so long to finally come out…oh, wait, you're the only one that cared if it did!!!" 😮

  17. John Sparks

    We'll NEVER see this in our lifetime (us oldtimers) on a (US) BD on a disc. This movie, for us that collect sci-fi/horror, is our HOLY GRAIL…along with all the other 50's greats!!!

    When it finally comes out on BD, throw it on my grave and say, "Geese, here it is, sorry it took so long to finally come out…oh, wait, you're the only one that cared if it did!!!" 😮

    John, you obviously missed that the whole reason this thread got bumped today is that Shout Factory just announced a Blu-ray.

  18. It would be cool if the Castle Films 8mm version was included as an extra. It was re-titled WAR OF THE PLANETS, I believe. I must have watched that hundreds of times on my Bell & Howell 8mm projector.

  19. RBailey

    It would be cool if the Castle Films 8mm version was included as an extra. It was re-titled WAR OF THE PLANETS, I believe. I must have watched that hundreds of times on my Bell & Howell 8mm projector.

    But no mutant… what a rip-off. This was my very first movie of what would eventually grow to be a 300-title 8mm/super 8mm digest collection, and the reason it was so is because I knew the excerpts came from THIS ISLAND EARTH…surely we'd get a glimpse of the creature! :angry:

  20. Collecting castle films on 8mm was a big part of my childhood. I still have them including several Abbott and Costello ones. Fun Times and the start of my lifelong movie collecting on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, HD-DVD and Blu Ray

  21. One of the most unique aspects of this film is the plot. Our heroes are taken to the planet, observe the destruction, then manage to escape.

    Unlike most movie protagonists, they are just observers. They aren't able to save the two warring societies; they can only save themselves.

  22. Doug Otte

    One of the most unique aspects of this film is the plot. Our heroes are taken to the planet, observe the destruction, then manage to escape.

    Unlike most movie protagonists, they are just observers. They aren't able to save the two warring societies; they can only save themselves.

    Very interesting. Rocket Ship XM and Silent Star are similar in that regard but after the fact .

  23. CarlosMeat

    Very interesting. Rocket Ship XM and Silent Star are similar in that regard but after the fact .

    Speaking of SILENT STAR (known as FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS in its awful, truncated, badly-dubbed American release)….would the rightsholder of this fascinating production please give it a decent Blu-ray release, please?

  24. Yea , the only example I have of Silent Star is a non-anamorphic DVD ! The only thing I don't like about the film is the fact that the doctor is the child of Hiroshima so it sets the date of the entire film not at some time in the future but right around 1975.

  25. BobO’Link

    ^You probably have a set like this:
    [​IMG]

    I managed to snag one of those right before they went OOP. It's a superb set that I'd love to see reissued on BR! It has The Silent Star, In the Dust of the Stars, and Eolomea.

    Yes that is where I got Silent Star.

  26. BobO’Link

    ^You probably have a set like this:
    [​IMG]

    I managed to snag one of those right before they went OOP. It's a superb set that I'd love to see reissued on BR! It has The Silent Star, In the Dust of the Stars, and Eolomea.

    Boy, not for $90 on eBay or $446 @ Amazon CA..

  27. I would also like to see This Island Earth on blu-ray. It makes my top ten of sci fi films of the fifties….

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    War of the Worlds

    Forbidden Planet
    This Island Earth
    When Worlds Collide
    The Day the Earth Stood Still
    The Fly
    The Thing From Another World
    Conquest of Space

  28. Play it LOUD and be sure to warn the neighbors in advance.

    It was quite interesting looking at the audio WAV files on a scope.

    Universal's current mono master is very even and flat meaning it's been heavily compressed and filtered in the digital realm. There's hardly any dynamic range whatsoever.

    The 3-channel Perspecta track is the total opposite and really makes you appreciate the original intent for this highly dynamic sound design. When it's meant to be loud, they pulled no punches with the mix.

    As Jolson said, "You ain't heard nothin' yet!"

  29. Josh Steinberg

    Bob is testing my resolve not to make any more blind buys – but truth be told, every project of his that I’ve bought has always been well worth it. I’m in.

    Me, too–but I've seen the movie (many times) and look forward to really hearing it for the first time. Purchase with confidence!

  30. My small town theater did not convert to widescreen till 195? (Can't remember.) So I remember seeing This Island Earth multiple times there in 1.37. Looking forward to finally watching it in its OAR. To hell with nostalgia!

  31. Well, to tell my story once again, all I remember is being with my mom at the Rialto Theater on Sunset Blvd. at Alvarado in Los Angeles and so, I had to be about 6 tears old. I was in my own seat, and then the mutant dissolves on the floor in the saucer.

    I jumped into my mom's lap and told her to ask them to turn down the sound, because it was scaring me, including the scene I had just watched.

    Fast forward 25 years. I'm standing in front of LAFD fire station 20 working an overtime day across from the movie theater.

    I tell the firefighter that I'm with about the story and we both laugh.

  32. John Sparks

    Well, to tell my story once again, all I remember is being with my mom at the Rialto Theater on Sunset Blvd. at Alvarado in Los Angeles and so, I had to be about 6 tears old. I was in my own seat, and then the mutant dissolves on the floor in the saucer.

    I jumped into my mom's lap and told her to ask them to turn down the sound, because it was scaring me, including the scene I had just watched.

    Fast forward 25 years. I'm standing in front of LAFD fire station 20 working an overtime day across from the movie theater.

    I tell the firefighter that I'm with about the story and we both laugh.

    I think you mean the Ramona Theater not the Rialto. The only Rialto I know is in Pasadena.

  33. I first saw this film in1961, I was 10 & it was showing on Easter Sunday only, & the cinema was The Royalty, Ladbroke Grove, West London (which closed down just a couple of years later), & I've loved it ever since. I saw it with my older sister & a school friend. My sister has no memory of it, but then she's one of the normal majority (not like us), it was just a movie, seen & forgotten.

  34. Camper

    Could someone please explain the aspect ratio situation? Was it meant to be seen in 1.85 but sometimes shown in 1.37 or vice versa?
    Thanks

    The correct aspect ratio is 2.00-1, but 1.85-1 is close enough. The film is protected for 1.37-1 like most flat films from that period, but widescreen is what the compositions are made for.

  35. Camper

    Could someone please explain the aspect ratio situation? Was it meant to be seen in 1.85 but sometimes shown in 1.37 or vice versa?
    Thanks

    The correct aspect ratio is 2.00-1, but 1.85-1 is close enough. The film is protected for 1.37-1 like most flat films from that period, but widescreen is what the compositions are made for.

  36. haineshisway

    I think you mean the Ramona Theater not the Rialto. The only Rialto I know is in Pasadena.

    You're so right. I had been talking with my son about when I took them to the Rialto in So. Pas in the 70's to see HOUSE OF WAX and IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE in 3D when we lived in Alhambra. Then I got on here and still had the theater on my mind. Thanks for the correction
    ,

  37. John Sparks

    You're so right. I had been talking with my son about when I took them to the Rialto in So. Pas in the 70's to see HOUSE OF WAX and IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE in 3D when we lived in Alhambra. Then I got on here and still had the theater on my mind. Thanks for the correction
    ,

    I'd only been to the Ramona once, to see Modesty Blaise 🙂 I have tons of old LA movie sections here, and if you want some real fun, go to newspapers.com and do a one-week free trial, then search LA Times. I went all the way back to 1954 to check out stuff. Really fascinating.

  38. I have most of the sixties editions of the magazine Films & Filming, & they had a section of listing the films opening in the West End & the films going on general release, plus a big list of the films showing on TV. A real walk down memory lane (in London).

  39. Somebody asked why this restoration was not available to the company in Australia that released it on Blu-ray recently?

    That's because Shout provided the funding for the 4K restoration and I'll toot my own horn on the Perspecta restoration.

    I contacted Shout directly and proposed this audio restoration. Universal does not have the stereo tracks so it was through my efforts that original 35mm prints with the stereo optical tracks were located and scanned. 3-D Film Archive was given a crazy tight deadline and for a restoration project that realistically should have taken several months, we accomplished the impossible in about three weeks!

    Be sure to check out the credits in the Perspecta supplement that I assembled for a complete list of all the people that helped to restore this fantastic audio.

    Major kudos to Cliff Macmillan at Shout for his vision and willingness to make this happen.

    Also, any tiny small-town theaters that might have played this in the standard ratio did not play it in stereophonic sound. Be sure that your audio system is properly calibrated for maximum enjoyment.

    This is from our FACTS ABOUT PERSPECTA STEREOPHONIC SOUND supplement:

    View attachment 59233

  40. Any tiny small town theater that may have run this film in the Academy ratio would not have played it in Perspecta. That highly directional sound system was designed for theaters with wide screens.

    I believe there’s a mono track on the disc as well.

  41. Bob Furmanek

    Any tiny small town theater that may have run this film in the Academy ratio would not have played it in Perspecta. That highly directional sound system was designed for theaters with wide screens.

    I believe there’s a mono track on the disc as well.

    That's how I saw the film more than once in my small-town theater. Academy ratio, mono sound, eye-popping color, Faith Domergue, the scary aliens. Did I mention Faith Domergue?

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