“The Space Children” is a 1958 science fiction film directed by Jack Arnold and starring Michel Ray, Adam Williams and Peggy Webber. The film follows a group of children who come across a mysterious glowing orb on the beach and discover they have strange psychic powers.
The plot develops around the struggle between the forces of good and evil, represented respectively by the local scientist (played by Williams) and the government, who want to exploit the children’s powers for their own personal ends.
The film received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics appreciating its originality and fascinating thematic, while others criticized its execution and poor performances by the actors.
Despite this, “The Space Children” has become a cult movie for fans of the science fiction genre and remains one of the most iconic works of the golden era of 1950s American science fiction cinema.
The story of “Children of Space” follows a group of children who come across a mysterious glowing orb on the beach of their small town. The orb exerts a psychic influence on children, endowing them with strange telekinetic powers and mental communication with each other.
Dr. Wahrman (played by Adam Williams), a local scientist, takes an interest in children and their extraordinary abilities. However, the US military, represented by Colonel Price (played by John Eldredge), wants to take possession of the children to exploit their powers for military purposes.
The children, led by Dr. Wahrman’s son (played by Michel Ray), try to protect themselves and the sphere from the clutches of the military. With the help of Dr. Wahrman, their parents and other allies, the children try to resist the pressure of the military and to discover the origin of the orb.
The plot unfolds through the interaction between children and adults, and through the struggle between the forces of good and evil represented by the local scientist and the American government respectively.
Here are the main characters of “The Space Children”:
Bud Brewster (played by Michel Ray): Dr. Wahrman’s son, he is the leader of children with psychic powers.
Joe Gamble (played by Johnny Crawford): One of the children with psychic powers.
Sandy (portrayed by Sandy Descher): One of the children with psychic powers.
Dr. Wahrman (portrayed by Adam Williams): A local scientist who studies children and the glowing orb.
Anne Brewster (played by Peggy Webber): Dr. Wahrman’s wife.
Colonel Price (played by John Eldredge): A US Army officer who seeks to take over children and their powers.
General Tate (portrayed by Russell Johnson): A senior Army officer who supports Colonel Price.
Mr. Gamble (played by Raymond Bailey): Joe’s father.
Mrs. Brewster (played by Jackie Coogan): Bud’s mother.
Mrs. Gamble (played by Jeanne Baird): Joe’s mother.
These are just some of the characters featured in the film, which develops through the interaction between children and adults, and through the struggle between scientists and the military for control of children’s psychic powers.
“The Space Children” is a 1958 science fiction film produced by Paramount Pictures. Directed by Jack Arnold, who also worked on other successful films of the genre such as ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ and ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’.
The screenplay was written by Bernard C. Schoenfeld and William Alland, who had also collaborated together on other science fiction films such as ‘It Came from Outer Space’ and ‘Tarantula’. Cinematography was handled by Ernest Laszlo, who also worked on other successful films such as ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and ‘Inherit the Wind’.
The production of the film was quite problematic due to the limited budget and the short time available for making the film. Additionally, director Jack Arnold had a difficult time managing the group of child actors, who didn’t have much experience on set.
Despite these difficulties, “The Space Children” was made and achieved moderate success at the box office. The film has become a cult favorite for fans of the science fiction genre and remains one of the most iconic films of the golden era of 1950s American science fiction cinema.
Distribution and Reception
“The Space Children” was released in American theaters on November 26, 1958. The film was moderately successful at the box office, grossing approximately $400,000 at the box office.
Critics of the time expressed mixed opinions about the film. Some critics praised the film for the originality of the plot and the ability to create an atmosphere of tension and mystery. Others have criticized the film for the poor quality of the special effects and budget constraints, which are reflected in the overall production.
Despite mixed reviews from critics, “The Space Children” has become a cult film for fans of the science fiction genre and remains one of the most representative films of the golden era of American science fiction cinema of the 1950s. The film also had some international success, being distributed in several countries around the world and helping to spread the science fiction genre around the world.
“The Space Children” is a science fiction film that is part of the science fiction of the 50s. The style of the film is typical of the genre, with the use of technical-scientific language and a plot centered on the clash between humanity and the threat of an alien invasion.
The film is distinguished by its mysterious and unsettling atmosphere, achieved through the use of suggestive music and suitable lighting to create a sinister and disturbing setting. In particular, the film makes use of a luminous sphere which represents the alien presence and which stands out against the background of the night.
The central theme of the film is the struggle between science and the military for control of children’s psychic powers. In this sense, the film emphasizes the importance of responsible management of knowledge and power, inviting a critical reflection on the consequences of using new technologies and scientific knowledge.
In general, “The Space Children” represents a significant example of the style and theme of science fiction cinema of the 1950s, helping to define the collective imagination of the genre and inspiring many other subsequent films.
The director of “The Space Children” was Jack Arnold, born in 1916 and died in 1992. Arnold was one of the best-known directors of the science fiction genre of the 1950s and 1960s, and was particularly appreciated for his ability to create disturbing and suggestive atmospheres.
Arnold has directed a number of blockbuster science fiction films including ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’, ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’ and ‘It Came from Outer Space’. His directing style was characterized by the use of innovative techniques, such as the use of special effects and original shots, which have contributed to making his films classics of the genre.
Arnold has also worked in other film genres, such as adventure and western, directing films such as ‘Red Sundown’ and ‘No Name on the Bullet’. In general, his work has been highly regarded by audiences and critics, and his contributions to science fiction cinema have also been recognized by later filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.