The 27th Day

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The 27th Day

Post  BoG on Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:06 pm


An alien (Arnold Moss) gives 5 people in various parts of the globe these special capsules which can destroy the Earth - or a good section of it, at least. Directed by William Asher.
Yeah, it took guts to release this film, even in the fifties. It offers a pretty radical overview of what should be done with 'correct' thinking people and 'bad' thinking people. The latter are simply killed; the former are rewarded by the death of their enemies. When I first watched this years ago,
I did figure that everyone in Asia had been wiped out; when I watched it again on TCM's sci-fi night, this time I heard the broadcaster's specific words: all the enemies of freedom were wiped out, so that may mean only the political / military leaders and their most ardent followers in that area are killed. I'm not sure. Of course, the whole point, it seems, was to empty certain areas on Earth of a populace, so that aliens can move in. So, again, this may mean Everyone in Asia is dead at this film's conclusion.
Shocked Quite extreme.
The only other thing I wonder about is the motivations of these advanced / superior aliens. It seems to me that much of this film's story revolved around a test for we Earthlings by the advanced aliens. So, if someone like the clever German scientist ( George Voskovec) figures out the correct way to use these death capsules, we have passed the test - and, only the evil half of the populace gets destroyed Rolling Eyes .

However, we barely passed! The good scientist just managed to deduce the puzzle at the last minute. So, in an alternate scenario - which could very well have happened - the Northern American populace would have been killed and then what? The Soviet Union would rule the world, not invite the aliens over and the aliens would shrug, perishing in a nova explosion? These advanced aliens seemed to be playing very high stakes poker - with half the Earth's population. I'm not sure I would have invited them over as a member of the American winning circle. BoG's Score: 5 out of 10

Some interesting facts:
Star Trek TOS actor alert! the alien was played by Arnold Moss, who has a deep, distinctive, kind of hypnotic voice; he guest-starred in the TOS episode The Conscience of the King and had a lot of experience in Shakespearean roles. This film was one of the rare times a contemporary sci-fi novel (by John Mantley, who also wrote the screenplay) was immediately adapted. Columbia Pictures bought the rights to the soon-to-be-published novel in early 1956. The 27th Day opened in July 1957 on a double bill with 20 Million Miles to Earth
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