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The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)

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The Quatermass Xperiment - british quad poster

The Quatermass Xperiment - british quad poste

Also known as:

The Creeping Unkonwn (USA)

The Quatermass Experiment (UK reissue)


Brian Donlevy Professor Bernard Quatermass
Jack Warner Lomax
Margia Dean Judith Carroon
Richard Wordsworth Victor Carroon
Thora Hird Rosie

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Status: In Release

Category: Film

Release date: August 26, 1955 (UK - Theatrical)

Genre: Science Fiction / Horror

Country of origin: UK

Language: English

Running time: 82 mins

Directed by: Val Guest

Written by: Richard H. Landau, Val Guest, Nigel Kneale

Produced by: Anthony Hinds

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Britain's first rocket has been successfully launched and returns to Earth but communication has been severed. Only one of the three spacemen (Wordsworth) remains on board whose physical and mental health has been severely damaged. He is put under strict observation but his wife smuggles him out of the hospital only to unleash the biggest threat ever to civilisation. For the survivor is being consumed by an alien force, who gains strength from human flesh to multiple and grow, threatening to engulf and kill all living organisms. Professor Quatermass (Donlevy) must find a way to overcome the thing before it becomes impossible.

Adapted from Nigel Kneale's original BBC TV serial.

Variety reported on 6 November 1956 that a nine year old boy had died of a ruptured artery in a theatre lobby, blamed on 'fright' following a screening of the film in a US cinema. The incident gained an entry in The Guiness Book Of Records as the only recorded instance of someone having died of fright after watching a horror film.


UK quad


19 September 2011, Win a set of Icon/Hammer UK DVD releases!

UPDATE 27th September 2011: Answers: 1. Bernard2. Leo McKern (Moriarty in The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother; Peter Hammond was in TV...





24 Jan 2012, 10:39pm

One can't help wishing that Peter Cushing had been cast as Professor Quatermass. Even on his last legs, though, the dynamic American character actor Brian Donlevy DRIVES his two films in the classic Science Fiction series--despite author Nigel Kneale's dislike of him. The production was graced with the presence of top Brtish actor Jack Warner and Richard Wordsworth's unsettling degenerating man. This is a grim film, much more disturbing than the average contemporary American genre films. The fact that the final form of the "monster" was "portrayed" by a nasty piece of tripe is deliciously disgusting. The poor-man's delicacy was clearly not served with butter and brown sugar. As good as this film is, it stands as a solid set-up for the superior sequels, QUATERMASS 2 and QUATERMASS AND THE PIT.