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Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Uchû daisensô (original title)
The nations of the Earth unite in a common cause to fight off an invader from outer space.

Director:

Ishirô Honda (as Inoshiro Honda)

Writers:

Shin'ichi Sekizawa (as Shinichi Sekizawa), Jôjirô Okami (story) (as Jotaro Okami)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryô Ikebe ... Maj. Ichiro Katsumiya (as Ryo Ikebe)
Kyôko Anzai Kyôko Anzai ... Etsuko Shiraishi (as Kyoko Anzai)
Minoru Takada Minoru Takada ... The Commander
Koreya Senda ... Professor Adachi
Len Stanford Len Stanford ... Dr. Roger Richardson
Harold Conway Harold Conway ... Dr. Immerman (as Harorudo Konwei)
George Whitman George Whitman ... Dr. Ahmed
Elise Richter Elise Richter ... Sylvia (as Erisu Rikutâ)
Hisaya Itô Hisaya Itô ... Kogure
Yoshio Tsuchiya Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Iwomura
Nadao Kirino Nadao Kirino ... Gravity Man
Kôzô Nomura Kôzô Nomura ... Rocket Commander
Fuyuki Murakami Fuyuki Murakami ... Inspector Iriake
Ikio Sawamura Ikio Sawamura ... Lantern Man
Takuzô Kumagai Takuzô Kumagai ... Alien (as Jirô Kumagai)
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Storyline

Munchkin-like aliens invade Earth full force with their flying saucers and laser weapons, rendering cities helpless. All eyes turn to the most powerful nations on Earth as they unite to concoct a plan to vanquish the aliens and return Earth to the hands of humans, thus, resulting in the most fierce and ultimate battle royale in outer space the galaxy as ever seen. Written by Oliver Chu

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

SEE! Space saboteurs juggle earth's bridges...ships...trains...life toys! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English | Italian

Release Date:

8 July 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Battle in Outer Space See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For a number of years the U.S. distributor, Columbia Pictures, had been unable to furnish 35mm release prints for theatrical showings. This was apparently due to all of the Eastman Color release prints fading to red. This film was not released on home video in the United States until 2009. See more »

Goofs

The funniest bits are the gravity antics. When the first scout ship turns off the thrusters and the crew all unfastens their safety belts, one of them flies up to the ceiling. He is so surprised, clearly no-one told this astronaut that there was no gravity in the spacecraft. They help him down and the chief tells him that there is no gravity in the ship. Then they all begin walking around completely normally. See more »

Alternate Versions

The final 16mm prints struck for U.S. television distribution had the final third of the film letterboxed for the widescreen Tohoscope format. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Attack of the squeaky toys!
30 October 2003 | by henri sauvageSee all my reviews

Pint-size aliens from the planet Natal are bent on conquering the Earth in this colorful space opera from the heyday of Toho Studios. Second in a trilogy of space-themed movies directed by the inimitable Ishiro Honda (the other two being "The Mysterians" and "Gorath") this is pure mindless fun.

The special effects may seem dated now, but for the time they were first-rate, much better than your average sci-fi and far superior to any of the monster films Toho cranked out from the mid-60s onward. This was definitely not done on the cheap: The sets are well thought-out, the astronomical backgrounds detailed and quite convincing.

Eiji Tsuburaya's intricate miniature work is amazing as always. The voyage to the Moon, the fight on the lunar surface, and the final showdown (with souped-up X-15s squaring off against alien saucers and a huge mother ship) are elaborately staged and exciting.

Which is why it's easy to forgive the occasional cheesy bits. For instance, when the beautiful SPIP rockets are taking off for the Moon, Honda illustrates the effects of high-G by having one of the crewmen put his hands on either side of his face and *pull* the flesh back. I also suspect they were running out of funds (the film's only 74 minutes long) when it came time to shoot the scene where the alien mother ship tears up downtown Tokyo with a gravity-reversing ray. Although it's a clever effect, apparently achieved by building the models on top of compressed air jets, the sequence feels too short. Plus the miniatures just don't look quite as detailed or realistic, when compared to other Toho films of the era.

My biggest complaint: In the one scene where you actually meet the aliens in the flesh (sort of) they're in spacesuits which make them look like midget Michelin Men and they sound like a bunch of squeaky dog toys. When a crowd of them "menaces" the heroine, there's not a ray gun in the bunch; all they can can do is shuffle, wave their arms and squeak. Not very intimidating, to say the least. (If anything, they're hilariously reminiscent of that roomful of sex-crazed Cub Scouts in Woody Allen's "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex".)

But the good far outweighs the not-so-good in this romp. In a theater, in its original Tohoscope (Toho Studios' equivalent of Cinemascope), it must have been something to see.

(Update: In 2007, an outfit called Monsters in Motion released "Uchu Daisenso" on DVD -- in letterbox, in the original Japanese with English subtitles -- as part of their "Toho Masters" series. With its companion piece "Gorath" available from MiM, and Tokyo Shock's gorgeous edition of "The Mysterians", Honda's entire space trilogy is now obtainable in the original, unedited widescreen versions.)


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