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Friday, March 25, 2011

The 27th Day (1957)

Five people from five different countries; America (Gene Barry), England (Valerie French), Germany (George Voskovec), Russia (Azemat Janti) and China (Marie Tsien) are captured by an alien (Arnold Moss) and taken aboard a space ship. He gives each of them a small box which contains the power to annihilate all human life within a 9,000 mile radius and returns them to Earth. Directed by William Asher (BEACH PARTY), this is a rather hokey piece of red paranoia masquerading as science fiction. The film may have the thematic structure of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL but none of its imagination and power. That doesn't mean that it isn't fun in that 1950s "it came from outer space" way, just that it isn't very good sci-fi. It's a rather talky piece with little in the way of excitement and very little screen time given to the Chinese (Tsien) and Russian (Janti) characters while too much time is expended on the tedious romance between Barry and French.

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