Scientists experimenting with a means to control time and space discover that the wife of one of their colleagues is actually an alien. The woman is also the spearhead of an alien invasion, but her inability to kill anyone and the fact she has fallen in love, leads to her own death.....
"To call this modest British film low budget is the worst kind of misrepresentation: the budget on creativity and skill at work here surpasses that found in most multi-million dollar productions.
Filmed in stark black-and-white with virtually no visual effects, "Unearthly Stranger" relies on sheer dramatic power to tell its story of an alien plan to sabotage Earth's developing ability for space travel. The film is written and directed with care and performed with a conviction that brings across the suspense and humanity of this story in a way rarely seen in the genre.
Many of the filmmakers would soon be working on TV's "The Avengers", including producer Albert Fennell and director John Krish. Fans of that series will also recognize many familiar faces among the cast. The strongest performances come from John Neville, distinguished stage actor and teacher, and the almost-unknown and very beautiful Gabriella Licudi who, in the title role, brings the concept of interplanetary communications to an entirely new level.
The odd man out in this production is certainly scenarist Rex Carlton. On the basis of this film, it is almost inconceivable that he is the same man responsible for the lurid "Brain That Wouldn't Die" and "Blood of Dracula's Castle", among others. One is tempted to give credit to Jeffrey Stone, who penned the original screen story. But this is a claim that's impossible to support, because Stone was involved as a writer on no other films. So, one can only say that none of Carlton's other screen work would ever approach the level of this, his most subtle and affecting accomplishment.
It is well worth tracking down for any fan of fine science fiction or, indeed, any fan of quality filmmaking." - David Schleicher
"When you see this film, your first remembrance will be, "dark." As in low lighting. Inexplicably, this adds to the suspense, much the same way that Val Lewton successfully utilized shadow to cover for his lack of budget, in such nuggets as "The Leopard Man" and "Curse of the Cat Creature." The second thing about "Unearthly Stranger" is that it joins the ranks of such British gems as "Dead of Night" (1945) and the Quatermass series for its dialogue alone. The story itself is fairly unique-- scientists are attempting to achieve the power to transport their "essences" to other planets via mind concentration alone, and aliens from other planets are looking to stop this advancement by offing all scientists at work on this. The perspective is from a newly-married scientist, a la "I Married a Monster From Outer Space," but without that film's harrowing melodrama. Effects are minimal here, reflecting both the low budget and the British method of story-telling, so FX fans will be disappointed, but acting students will be pleased with the non-hysterical range displayed. All in all, a worthwhile watch. "
Jeffrey Stone (story)
Cast (in credits order)complete, awaiting verification
John Neville .... Dr. Mark Davidson
Gabriella Licudi .... Julie Davidson
Philip Stone .... Prof. John Lancaster
Patrick Newell .... Maj. Clarke
Jean Marsh .... Miss Ballard
Warren Mitchell .... Prof. Geoffrey D. Munro
Also Known As:
Beyond the Stars
Runtime: 78 min
Color: Black and White
Sound Mix: Mono