THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT (the creeping unknown) (1955 U.K.) D/W: VAL GUEST W: RICHARD H. LANDAU P: ANTHONY HINDS/ ROBERT L. LIPPERT
Hammer's first attempt at bringing Nigel Kneale's Quatermass to the big screen is an effective b/w sci-fi horror that's been endlessly copied since. A rocketship returns to Earth after mysteriously losing contact with station control. Two of the three astronauts appear to have disappeared while a third remains in severe shock, while slowly mutating into something distinctly un-human. Brian Donlevy is very good as a brash, hard-edged and cold Professor Quatermass who has the last word in a nicely ambiguous final scene. With Jack Warner, Thora Hird, Gordon Jackson, Lionel Jeffries, Sam Kydd, future wife of Paul McCartney Jane Asher (as a little girl), Basil Dignam, Marianne Stone and Toke Townley. QUATERMASS II followed.

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