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Cast

Paul Birch as Paul Johnson
Beverly Garland as Nadine Storey
Morgan Jones as Harry Sherbourne
William Roerick as Dr. F.W. Rochelle
Jonathan Haze as Jeremy Perrin
Dick Miller as Joe Piper
Anna Lee Carroll as Davanna Woman
Pat Flynn as Simmons

Not of This Earth is a 67-minute (or 71-minute on some prints), 1957 American black-and-white science fiction film written by Charles B. Griffith and Mark Hanna. The film was produced and directed by Roger Corman for his Los Altos Productions and was distributed by Allied Artists Pictures Corporation.

The film depicts the dark deeds of an alien intruder who hides under the name of Mr. Johnson. After a nuclear war, the people of his home planet Davanna have developed an incurable blood disease. Johnson's mission to Earth is to test the blood of humans for its usefulness in saving his kind.

Plot

After a nuclear war, the people of the planet Davanna developed an incurable blood disease. One of its citizens is sent to Earth to examine the blood of the humans for its usefulness in curing Davanna's dying race. The intruder has adopted the name Mr. Johnson, conspicuous only for his oversensitive ears and his sunglasses, which he wears even in the dark; the sunglasses hide his blank, white-eyed stare which kills his victims by burning through their eyes and into their brains.

Johnson hires nurse Nadine to look after him in his house. Her boss Dr. Rochelle is under Johnson's hypnotic spell after he found out about his patient's peculiar blood cell structure. Johnson's plans are disturbed by the sudden appearance of a woman from Davanna. She asks him for an instant transfusion because her physical condition has decreased rapidly. Johnson breaks into Rochelle's office, but by accident he steals a probe of a rabid dog. The Davanna woman collapses in the street and dies at the hospital. Nadine's friend, police patrol man Sherbourne, tries to question Rochelle, but the doctor is speechless under Johnson's spell. Johnson kills Rochelle for cautionary reasons, but Nadine, the next person in danger, manages to call the police. Johnson flees in his car, followed closely by Sherbourne on his motorcycle. When Sherbourne rings his siren, Johnson, distracted by the sound, drives the car off the road and dies in the crash.

After Johnson's funeral, Sherbourne and Nadine stand by his grave, which bears the inscription "Here lies a Man who was not of this Earth". While Sherbourne expresses mild compassion for Johnson, whose driving force was the rescue of his planet and its populace, Nadine refuses any kind of pity. They leave the gravesite. A mysterious man appears at the site, walking straight towards the viewer. Like Johnson, he wears the same sunglasses and carries the same distinctive case (which contains transfusion equipment).

Production

Griffith says that after he and Corman had collaborated on Gunslinger, he suggested they make a science fiction film and Corman agreed; Not of This Earth was the result. He also said he originally wrote the part of the vacuum cleaner salesman for himself.

The film was released in the US on the bottom half of a double bill with Corman's Attack of the Crab Monsters.

Some release prints ran 71 minutes; these include duplicate scenes the film's distributor added into the film. Example: a dialogue between Johnson and a representative from Davanna, which appears as a pre-title sequence is reused again some minutes in the film. This release version circulated in syndication on US TV stations, 16 mm copies, and bootleg DVDs and videotapes.

Reception

"[Shows] much imagination, good humour and sheer joy in filmmaking" – Geoff Andrew, Time Out.

"Corman's most enjoyable science fiction film" – Michael Weldon, The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film.

"Marvellous" – The Aurum Film Encyclopedia – Science Fiction.

"[…] although not nescessarily first rank, [Not of This Earth] still belongs, bearing its low budget in mind, to the best science fiction films of the Fifties." – Lexikon des Science Fiction Films.
Remakes

Not of This Earth (1988), directed by Jim Wynorski and starring Traci Lords.
Not of This Earth (1995), directed by Terence H. Winkless and starring Michael York.

DVD releases

Not of this Earth is available as a regular DVD in the US (as part of the Roger Corman's Cult Classics Triple Feature DVD box) and in the UK as a single DVD. Foreign DVD releases exist in Spain (as Emisario del otro mundo) and Germany (as Die Außerirdischen).