Sunday, December 19, 2021

The Magnetic Monster, Electrons, Atoms, and a Pregnant Dame

Okay, not the most terrifying film of the last 100 years.  Still, fans of 1950s B scifi films will still fall in love with this one.  The monster?  Well, let's just say it isn't the strong point of this science fiction movie.  Still, America gets to almost destroy Canada and mad scientists abound.  Picture a U.S. agency called the O.S.I. which has A-men (atomic men) agents saving the world.  Unlike our real mad scientists, Mengele and Fauci, these mad scientists want to preserve mankind.  Hence, 1953's "The Magnetic Monster," directed by Curt Siodmark and Herbert L. Strock.

Okay, the OSI sits around and examines things under microscopes...atoms and electrons, etc.  Then it happens.  Radiation levels are higher than they should be at our nuclear test sites in Nevada...and the clock store down the street reports all its clocks are going haywire.  Hey, this plot is ambitious.  Come to find out, a mad scientist named Denker (Leonard Mudie) has created an element by bombarding it with alpha particles for 200 hours.  I did this with a burrito once...ick.  Now this element is a monster...a magnetic monster...go figure.  Enter the A-Men A Team, Dr. Jeffrey Stewart (Richard Carlson) and his giddy sidekick, Dr. Dan Forbes (King Donovan).  They're job?  Save the world.

Save the world?  From what?  Wait, we should mention the elegant Connie (Jean Byron).  She is Jeffrey's pregnant wife.  Very sweet.  She isn't grouchy and doesn't show so we don't mind her in this picture.  She has nothing to do with the plot so we won't mention her again.  The mass, created by Denker doubles in size every 11 hours and drains all energy to stop and taxi cabs to stall...Fauci would have had a field day with this back in 1953.  Trust me...this is dangerous stuff...everyone who is a scientist in this thing looks really worried.  Then Jeffrey and the military come up with a hair brained idea that might just destroy Canada!  Quaking in your boots yet?

Is Connie enough cheesecake to save this film?  If Canada was destroyed in 1953, would anyone have noticed?  How would we, as a collective people, have adjusted if our paperclips were all magnetized and our watches stopped?  Perhaps the most significant movie ever to come out of the 50s.  Today's CDC obviously saw it and used its playbook to politicize the common cold.  Enjoy "The Magnetic Monster," and then really contemplate the magnanimity of stubbing your toe and then having the government getting involved.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Canadians are good for something, right. Always get a cheap laugh lol, cheaper, the better, even free, I'm laughing my head off now!!!!