The Space Children (1958)

69 mins | Science fiction | June 1958

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HISTORY

The film ends with the following written biblical quote: "'Verily, I say unto you...except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' (St. Matthew, Ch. 18, v. 3)." The Space Children was released on a double bill by Paramount with another William Alland production, The Colossus of New York (see above). The Space Children was the final science fiction film directed by Jack Arnold, who had previously helmed such Universal releases as 1953's It Came from Outer Space and 1957's The Incredible Shrinking Man (see entries above).
       According to modern sources, the name of Tom Filer's unpublished story was "The Egg" and it differed greatly from the Bernard Schoenfeld screenplay. In Filer's story, Kathy, a young polio victim, finds an alien "egg" after a storm. Mysteriously told to protect the egg for ten hours, Kathy battles against her parents, neighbors and local authorities, who seek to destroy the ever-growing creature. The egg then absorbs Kathy, only to suddenly vanish and leave the young girl cured of her lameness. Modern sources state that the alien creature in The Space Children was built out of plastic by Ivyl Burks, the head of Paramount's prop department. In its largest state, the extraterrestrial prop weighed more than 1,000 pounds, measured five feet wide by ten feet long and contain over $3,000 worth of neon lights.
       The Space Children marked the motion picture debut of actor Ty Hungerford, who soon changed his name to Ty Hardin and gained fame on the television series Bronco . Although Hardin ... More Less

The film ends with the following written biblical quote: "'Verily, I say unto you...except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' (St. Matthew, Ch. 18, v. 3)." The Space Children was released on a double bill by Paramount with another William Alland production, The Colossus of New York (see above). The Space Children was the final science fiction film directed by Jack Arnold, who had previously helmed such Universal releases as 1953's It Came from Outer Space and 1957's The Incredible Shrinking Man (see entries above).
       According to modern sources, the name of Tom Filer's unpublished story was "The Egg" and it differed greatly from the Bernard Schoenfeld screenplay. In Filer's story, Kathy, a young polio victim, finds an alien "egg" after a storm. Mysteriously told to protect the egg for ten hours, Kathy battles against her parents, neighbors and local authorities, who seek to destroy the ever-growing creature. The egg then absorbs Kathy, only to suddenly vanish and leave the young girl cured of her lameness. Modern sources state that the alien creature in The Space Children was built out of plastic by Ivyl Burks, the head of Paramount's prop department. In its largest state, the extraterrestrial prop weighed more than 1,000 pounds, measured five feet wide by ten feet long and contain over $3,000 worth of neon lights.
       The Space Children marked the motion picture debut of actor Ty Hungerford, who soon changed his name to Ty Hardin and gained fame on the television series Bronco . Although Hardin mostly worked in television, he continued to appear films through the 1990s. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Jun 1958.
---
Daily Cinema
25 Aug 1958.
---
Daily Variety
11 Jun 58
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 Jun 58
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 57
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Dec 57
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 58
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 58
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
21 Jun 58
p. 872.
Variety
18 Jun 58
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hair style supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
DETAILS
Release Date:
June 1958
Production Date:
December 1957
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp. and William Alland Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 June 1958
Copyright Number:
LP12066
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
69
Length(in feet):
6,195
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18890
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Electrical engineer Dave Brewster and his family are forced to move from San Francisco to Southern California when Dave's company is hired by the U.S. government to work on a new intercontinental missile. While driving down the California coast, Bud and Ken, Dave's two pre-teen sons, hear an eerie sound. Though their parents are unaware of what is happening, the two boys witness an alien from outer space being teleported to Earth. Later, while playing on the beach, Bud and Ken meet the children of the other technicians working on the "Thunderer" missile project, who then show the two boys the missile's launch site. Meanwhile, Dave and the other engineers are briefed on the current state of the project by their supervisor, Col. Manley, who informs them that the goal of the Eagle Point Missile Project is to launch a hydrogen bomb into outer space, where it will orbit the Earth until its payload is deployed. Unknown to their parents, the technicians' children have come under the mind control of the alien, who communicates with them through Bud. When an intoxicated Joe Gamble tries to hit his stepson Tim with a tree branch, the alien intercedes and Joe is later found in his trailer, dead from shock. Back in his family's mobile home, Bud tells his parents about the alien. Dave is then taken to the rock-like alien, which he brings back to their trailer, despite the protests of his wife Ann. The next morning, the alien has doubled in size, and Bud tells his parents that they must keep it safe and warm until nightfall. When their parents continue to argue ... +


Electrical engineer Dave Brewster and his family are forced to move from San Francisco to Southern California when Dave's company is hired by the U.S. government to work on a new intercontinental missile. While driving down the California coast, Bud and Ken, Dave's two pre-teen sons, hear an eerie sound. Though their parents are unaware of what is happening, the two boys witness an alien from outer space being teleported to Earth. Later, while playing on the beach, Bud and Ken meet the children of the other technicians working on the "Thunderer" missile project, who then show the two boys the missile's launch site. Meanwhile, Dave and the other engineers are briefed on the current state of the project by their supervisor, Col. Manley, who informs them that the goal of the Eagle Point Missile Project is to launch a hydrogen bomb into outer space, where it will orbit the Earth until its payload is deployed. Unknown to their parents, the technicians' children have come under the mind control of the alien, who communicates with them through Bud. When an intoxicated Joe Gamble tries to hit his stepson Tim with a tree branch, the alien intercedes and Joe is later found in his trailer, dead from shock. Back in his family's mobile home, Bud tells his parents about the alien. Dave is then taken to the rock-like alien, which he brings back to their trailer, despite the protests of his wife Ann. The next morning, the alien has doubled in size, and Bud tells his parents that they must keep it safe and warm until nightfall. When their parents continue to argue over the fate of the creature, Bud and Ken return the ever-growing alien to its cave. Soon thereafter, Dave is informed that the "Thunderer" is being launched that night. With final preparations for the launch being made, Dave attempts to tell Manley and Dr. Wahrman, the rocket's designer, about the alien, but he is stopped telepathically by Bud and collapses onto the floor. Taken to the infirmary, Dave is stopped from leaving by the sudden appearance in the doorway of his two sons. Later, Bud uses mind control to force a rocket fuel truck off the road. Meanwhile, two other children use similar means to shut down the missile center's phone system. Looking for his young daughter Eadie, Hank Johnson enters the alien's cave, and the sudden shock of encountering the creature causes him to be hospitalized. Back at the missile's control center, Wahrman ascertains that the children are the common link between the sudden rash of bizarre occurrences. Wahrman then goes to the infirmary and tells Dave that he suspects a non-human force is behind the incidents. Learning about the alien, Wahrman is taken to its cave by Dave, where the scientist confronts the extraterrestrial and begs it to release the children from its control. When the alien refuses to communicate with him, Wahrman rushes back to the control center and arrives just minutes before the blast-off. After the rocket fails to launch and the "Thunderer" is destroyed, Dave, Wahrman and Manley hurry to the alien's cave, but are stopped from entering it by the children. The alien then emerges from the cave and is beamed back into outer space. When Manley questions the creature's actions in destroying this one missile, Bud tells the major that children all over the world have been doing the same thing at the same time to their countrys' missiles, giving the Earth a second chance at a nuclear-free life. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.