Cast & Crew
Gene Fowler Jr.
In the town of Norrisville, Bill Farrell's pals throw him a bachelor party on the eve of his wedding, but Bill leaves early to check on his fiancée Marge. While Bill is driving, he brakes suddenly to avoid a body lying in the middle of the road. When Bill gets out of the car, the body has disappeared and he is surprised by a shimmering, alien figure. After Bill faints, a cloud of smoke engulfs him. The next morning, Marge is worried because Bill is late for the wedding, although his friends, Sam Benson and Ted Hanks, assure her that he left the bachelor party in fine spirits. After Bill arrives and apologies for his tardiness, the couple is married, then leaves for their honeymoon. As the evening progresses, Marge is bewildered by Bill's odd manner and unsettling questions, such as when he asks what the noise is during a thunderstorm. Bill stands on their hotel balcony after Marge retires and, unseen by her, the alien who took over his body is revealed by the lightning. A year later, Marge writes a letter to her mother, explaining how unhappy she is because Bill is so changed, but crumples it up in frustration. Meanwhile, Sam and Ted are drinking at Grady's bar when the intoxicated Sam decides to leave. He leans against an alley wall to steady himself, and while he is defenseless, is also attacked and possessed by an alien. Soon after, Marge goes to family physician Dr. Wayne for tests to explain her childlessness, but he assures her that she is physically capable of having a baby. On her way home, Marge runs into Sam and his longtime girl friend, Helen Rhodes, who announces that Sam has finally proposed to her. At home, Marge gives Bill a puppy as an anniversary present, but because animals can sense the alien within him, the dog reacts violently to him and Bill secretly kills it. Sam then comes over and, after revealing to Bill that he is an alien now also, instructs him to report to their spaceship, as their scientists have discovered how to increase the needed methane reserves in their human hosts. Late that night, a sleepless Marge watches Bill leave the house and decides to follow him. Marge trails him to the forest where the alien spaceship is hidden, and after the alien exits Bill's body, it stands erect but lifeless as the alien goes into the ship. Marge accidentally knocks Bill's body over as she attempts to revive him, then, shrieking in terror, runs to town. Unable to find anyone to believe her, Marge demands that policemen Schultz and Frank Swanson take her to police chief H. B. Collins, who is her godfather. Collins assures Marge that he believes her strange tale but cautions her to keep quiet while he investigates, so that the aliens are not alerted. Unknown to Marge, Collins, as well as Schultz and Swanson, has been taken over by aliens. Later, on the day of Sam and Helen's wedding, Marge pleads with Helen to postpone, but just as she is about to tell her why, Bill interrupts and the wedding continues. Afterward, at their home, Bill talks oddly about how he is becoming sentimental and is beginning to understand, but Marge merely replies that she is tired. Bill then meets with Sam and Harry, who has also been inhabited, and Sam, who likes being human, comforts his disgruntled comrades, saying that soon their scientists will determine how to mutate human female chromosomes so that they can have children with them. Later, the couples are enjoying a lakeside picnic when Sam falls out of the boat in which he and Helen are rowing. Although Sam is an excellent swimmer, he begins to drown, so Ted rescues him. Dr. Wayne arrives in time to administer oxygen to Sam and is baffled when, instead of saving him, the oxygen kills him. Soon after, Marge again pleads with Collins for help, but he warns her that people will think she is insane if she continues to talk about monsters taking over Norrisville. Marge then attempts to telephone Washington, D.C. from a pay phone but is told that the lines are busy. Her attempt to telegraph the FBI is also stymied, and when she tries to drive out of town, she is sent home by Schultz and Swanson. At home, she confronts Bill, revealing that she knows that he has been possessed. Bill explains that his people are from the Andromeda constellation and were forced to flee their planet because their sun became unstable. Before they could construct enough spaceships, the sun's hostile rays killed all of their females, and the males are now attempting to save their race by procreating with human females. Although Bill states that they inherited human feelings along with the bodies, and that he now loves her, Marge retreats in horror. She goes to the hospital, where she tells Wayne what she has discovered. Because of his strange experience with Sam, Wayne believes her and agrees that they must destroy the spaceship before the aliens take over. As they puzzle over how to tell the human men from the aliens, Ted appears and proclaims that his wife has just given birth to twins. Realizing that in the maternity waiting room he can find a posse of human men to fight the aliens, Wayne sends Marge home to deflect Bill's suspicions. As the men approach the ship, however, it sends out a signal alerting the aliens in town, who rush to join the battle. Aliens attack the men but are killed by two German shepherd dogs, and after gaining entry into the ship, the men discover the bodies of the humans who had been possessed. The captives, kept alive in suspended animation, are hooked up to a broadcasting circuit through which the aliens can access their memories. Although he fears that disconnecting the men from the circuitry will kill them as well as the aliens, Wayne does it anyway, and soon Schultz and the other alien imposters are killed. Just before he dies, Collins broadcasts a message to all the alien spaceships to retreat, as their mission is a failure. Marge comes upon the alien Bill in the woods, and he sadly tells her that her people have won, then dies. The real men are revived, and soon Marge is being comforted by Bill as the spaceship self-destructs.
Gene Fowler Jr.
Ralph Paul Manza
Tony Di Milo
Robert [r.] Benton
Gene Fowler Jr.
John P. Fulton
I Married a Monster From Outer Space
I was a Teenage Werewolf and I Married a Monster from Outer Space shared a director in Gene Fowler, Jr. Fowler was the son of famed journalist/novelist/historian and sometime screenwriter Gene Fowler, a member of the hard drinking Hollywood Hellfire Club led by W. C. Fields, John Barrymore and Errol Flynn. While still a student at the University of Southern California, Fowler fils got his start in the business at the invitation of Allen McNeil, chief editor for Mack Sennett (whose story Fowler's father had told in the book Father Goose.)
Gene Fowler, Jr. made his debut as a "cutter" on the Dick Powell comedy Thanks a Million (1935) and within a few years was editing Fritz Lang's Hangmen Also Die! (1943) and The Woman in the Window (1944). By 1950, Fowler was itching to direct features and accepted the luridly-titled I Was a Teenage Werewolf because he thought no one would go see it. (Fowler had previously helmed episodes of the Dan Duryea series China Smith.) The surprise success of that Herman Cohen production encouraged Fowler and partner Louis Vittes (a TV writer with credits on the Gunsmoke, Medic and Waterfront series) to try something similar using a title of their own construction. I Married a Monster from Outer Space had a slightly higher budget ($125,000) than he was used to but Fowler also enjoyed more creative freedom. The producers handed down only one non-negotiable demand: the Martians had to glow.
I Married a Monster from Outer Space marked a step up in prestige for its leading lady, Gloria Talbott. The Glendale, California native (her great-great grandfather was a cofounder of this suburb of Los Angeles) had just come off of work on the low-budget horrors The Cyclops (1957) and Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957) and appreciated the relative luxury of the Paramount backlot. In an interview with film historian Tom Weaver in 1986, Talbott recalled a surprisingly hectic and tense set for a modestly-budgeted B picture. Although the dark-eyed actress enjoyed the gig (apart from an abscessed tooth that developed smack dab in the middle of shooting), she was frustrated by the inflexibility of scripter Vittes, who stationed himself beneath director of photography Haskell Boggs' camera to ensure that all of his dialogue was spoken word-for-word. Talbott remembered costar Tom Tryon as cordial but aloof and that Tryon hated making the film. The son of an affluent Connecticut clothier and a Yale graduate, Tryon had landed in Hollywood on April Fool's Day, 1955, and enjoyed a painful tenure as a Hollywood star. Famously bullied by Otto Preminger during the making of The Cardinal (1963), Tryon quit the business by 1968 to focus on writing. Though he began The Other as a screenplay, the project morphed into a novel, which became a bestseller in 1971 and was filmed by Robert Mulligan in 1972. Thereafter known as Thomas Tryon, the former movie monster enjoyed a celebrated second career as a novelist until his death from stomach cancer in 1991 at the age of 65.
I Married a Monster from Outer Space was intended by Paramount to headline a double bill filled out by Irvin Yeaworth, Jr.'s The Blob (1958), an independent, Pennsylvania-shot feature the studio had acquired. When test audience scores of the two-fer suggested that moviegoers preferred the vibrantly full-color The Blob to the noirishly monochrome I Married a Monster from Outer Space, Fowler's baby became the B-film.
The critics of the day were mostly enthusiastic, if somewhat condescending, at the time of the film's release in September of 1958. "Strong supporting fare," trumpeted Variety while the Hollywood Reporter found the piece "fairly interesting" and Film Daily allowed that it was strictly "satisfactory... competent..." Not amused in the least was the critic for The Mirror-News, who thought little of The Blob and found its co-hit to develop along "similarly moronic lines" and that it was "frightening in one aspect its unrelieved mediocrity." Due in large part to its emphatically unique title, the film has endured as a cult item and from an academic stand point remains equally readable as a proto-Feminist tract or an anti-Communist screed.
Producer: Gene Fowler, Jr.
Director: Gene Fowler, Jr.
Screenplay: Louis Vittes
Cinematography: Haskell B. Boggs
Art Direction: Henry Bumstead, Hal Pereira
Film Editing: George Tomasini
Cast: Tom Tryon (Bill Farrell), Gloria Talbott (Marge Bradley Farrell), Peter Baldwin (Officer Frank Swanson), Robert Ivers (Harry Phillips), Chuck Wassil (Ted Hanks), Ty Hungerford (Mac Brody), Ken Lynch (Dr. Wayne), John Eldredge (Police Captain H.B. Collins)
by Richard Harland Smith
Gene Fowler, Jr. interview by Tom Weaver, Science Fiction Stars and Horror Heroes.
Gloria Talbott interview by Tom Weaver, Interviews with B Science Fiction and Horror Movie Makers.
Interview with Thomas Tryon by Jane Wilkie, Playgirl, August 1973
Interview with Thomas Tryon, Publishers Weekly, July 1976, Vol. 210, No. 1
A Life in Two Acts by Jocelyn McClurg, Northeast, April 26, 1992
e-mail from Tom Weaver, January 20, 2009
I Married a Monster From Outer Space
Although Maxie Rosenbloom's character is called "Grady" several times in the film, he is called "Maxie" once by a bar patron. The film is unclear as to whether the aliens are inhabiting the human men's actual bodies or are using the men's memories to create false bodies that resemble the men. According to a May 6, 1958 item in Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" column, Joan Bradshaw had been cast in "the tramp role" in the picture but was ill and had to be recast.
On September 9, 1958, Hollywood Reporter noted that a publicity stunt for the film had backfired when Jack Sterling, "the star of the picture," went "in his film costume" to the Los Angeles County Marriage Bureau with an actress to apply for a marriage license. Upon learning that the application was a "publicity gag," bureau personnel ordered Sterling and the actress to leave. Sterling is not listed by any other contemporary source as appearing in the picture, however, and it is possible that he played one of the aliens. According to a modern source, makeup artist Charles Gemora created the alien costumes.
Released in United States 1958
Released in United States 1997
Released in United States March 1975
Released in United States 1958
Released in United States 1997 (Shown at AFI/Los Angeles International Film Festival (Special Presentation-All Night Halloween Movie Marathon) October 23-November 1, 1997.)
Released in United States March 1975 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Science Fiction Movie Marathon - Selection of Trailers) March 13-26, 1975)