20 Million Miles To Earth (1957)(Columbia Pictures)
If “The Day The Earth Stood Still” was intended to showcase mankind’s preconceived idea that
all things that are not immediately understood are inherently evil then “Twenty Million Miles to
Earth” was destined to drive the point home. Very rarely has there been a more tragic figure
portrayed on film as the Ymir. (Named for the first of the giants in Norse mythology) The poor
creature is kidnapped from its native planet of Venus, attacked by a dog, attacked by a farmer
with a pitchfork, tortured with electricity and finally is sent plummeting to its death by a barrage of
bazooka fire. Welcome to Earth.
The film “Twenty Million Miles to Earth” and its misunderstood monster both came from the mind
of legendary special effects genius Ray Harryhausen. The films exotic local, Italy, also sprang
from Harryhausen’s desire to make a film outside the confines of Hollywood. Once again his
outstanding stop motion work would help turn an otherwise average monster film into a classic.
The first manned flight to Venus is struck by a meteor on its return and is forced to crash in the
Mediterranean Sea. The crew’s only survivor, Col. Calder, is quickly taken to Sicily while a young
boy named Pepe makes an interesting discovery among the crashed ships washed up debris.
Little Pepe doesn’t realize that the metal canister he holds in his hands contains an unborn
creature from the planet Venus.
From Space, The Giant Ymir
Directed By: Nathan Juran
Written By: Charlotte Knight & Christopher Knopf
William Hopper as Col. Robert Calder
Joan Taylor as Marisa Leonardo Frank Puglia as
John Zaremba as Dr. Judson Uhl
Thomas Browne Henry as Maj. Gen. A.D. McIntosh
Tito Vuolo as Police Commissioner Charra
Jan Arvan as Contino
Arthur Space as Dr. Sharman
Bart Braverman as Pepe
Runtime: 82 minutes
Color: Black and White
Released: June 17, 1957