IT CONQUERED THE WORLD (1956) Reviews and overview

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‘Every man its prisoner… every woman its slave!’

It Conquered the World is a 1956 American science-fiction horror film, produced and directed by Roger Corman from a screenplay by Lou Rusoff and [uncredited] Charles B. Griffith (Creature from the Haunted Sea; The Little Shop of Horrors; The Undead; et al). The movie stars Peter Graves, Lee Van Cleef and Beverly Garland.


Doctor Tom Anderson (Lee Van Cleef), an embittered scientist, has made contact with a Venusian creature while using his radio transmitter. The alien’s secret motivation is to take complete control of the Earth by enslaving humanity using mind control devices; the alien claims it only wants to bring peace to our troubled world by eliminating all emotions.

Anderson agrees to help the creature and even intends to allow it to assimilate his wife (Beverly Garland) and friend Dr Nelson (Peter Graves). The Venusian then disrupts all electric power on Earth, including motor vehicles, leaving Dr Nelson to resort to riding a bicycle.


“The best scene has Graves’ possessed wife saying she has a “present,” then sending a flying bat-mite his way. There’s a strange subplot about a general being ordered to kill the President, as well as some surprisingly good performances by the talented leads. Even Paul Blaisdell’s silly monster doesn’t take the edge off this entertaining low-budget chiller.” All Movie

“The rich philosophical and political content in It Conquered the World doesn’t prevent issues from cropping up. The unfortunate padding, for instance, is difficult to ignore.” Classic Horror

“The movie is actually quite strong, largely because of a script with far more depth than is usually found in low budget movies of this period; the philosophical discussions about the power of human emotion and the folly of trying to get outside forces to solve our problems for us have a real bite and relevance to them.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

It Conquered the World is a rather entertaining cheapie. There are some undeniably silly bits – like the moment during the power-cut when the cop tells the woman to start cranking her husband’s iron lung by hand. However, if one looks beyond the obvious B-budget tattiness you find a surprisingly high level of out-and-out entertainment.” Moria

“When all is said and done, the film was not that terrible, even when faced with such a travesty of a monster.  We got some good performances out of our cast, and a story that was actually half-decent.  Is it worth watching?  Sure, if only for Van Cleef, but it would never be worth seeing it more than once.” The Telltale Mind

“Sure, the flick may suffer from one too many dialogue heavy scenes, but the performances are so good that you hardly notice. While the bulk of It Conquered the World is made up of people sitting on sofas and having scientific debates, once Corman gets down to brass tax, it kicks ass. The finale in the monster’s cave is simply awesome and helps make up for a lot of the film’s shortcomings.” The Video Vacuum

Choice dialogue:

“Look I don’t know whether you can hear me but if you can, you listen good! I hate your living guts for what you’ve done to my husband and my world. I know you for the coward you are and I’m gonna kill you! Do you hear that? I’m gonna kill you!”

Cast and characters:

Peter Graves … Doctor Paul Nelson
Beverly Garland … Claire Anderson
Lee Van Cleef … Doctor Tom Anderson
Sally Fraser … Joan Nelson
Russ Bender … Brig. Gen. James Pattick
Jonathan Haze … Pvt. Manuel Ortiz
Dick Miller … Sgt. Neil
Taggart Casey … Sheriff N.J. Shallert
Paul Harbor … Floyd Mason
Karen Kadler … Ellen Peters (as Karyne Kadler)
Charles B. Griffith … Doctor Pete Shelton (as Charles Griffith)
Marshall Bradford … U.S. Secretary Platt (as Marshal Bradford)
Thomas E. Jackson … George Haskell (as Tom Jackson)
David McMahon … General Carpenter
Jim Knight … Bazooka Soldier
Paul Blaisdell … The Monster [uncredited]

Filming locations:

2693 N. Beachwood Drive, Los Angeles, California (Clarion newspaper office) (now a cafe)
2740 N. Beachwood Drive., Los Angeles, California (Nelson house)
Beachwood Market, 2701 Belden Drive, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (evacuation street scene)
Bronson Cave, Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park – 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California (alien in hiding)
Universal Studios – 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California (studio)

Filming dates:

From 5th April 1956

Technical details:

71 minutes
Audio: Mono (Ryder Sound Services)
Black and white
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1


The film was released theatrically by American International Pictures on a double-bill with The She-Creature.

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