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X The Unknown (1956)

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UK quad


Status: In Release

Category: Film

Release date: September 21, 1956 (UK - Theatrical)

Genre: Science Fiction / Horror

Country of origin: UK

Language: English

Running time: 80 mins

Directed by: Leslie Norman

Written by: Jimmy Sangster

Produced by: Anthony Hinds

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After a mysterious explosion leaves a large fissure in the ground, two young boys are confronted by an unknown phenomenon that inflicts severe radiation burns on one of them. There follows a spate of attacks at radiation establishments as the inexplicable life-form plunders radium stores. Dr Adam Royston, an expert in atomic research, is brought in to explain and curtail the activities of this alien creature before it causes disaster.

X The Unknown was originally conceived as a legitimate sequel to The Quatermass Xperiment, until Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale refused permission to use his characters.


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24 Jan 2012, 11:04pm

One does wish that X THE UNKNOWN was an official sequel to THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT. Certainly the film rates that status in both story and overall quality. Perhaps if Nigel Kneale had been invited to participate in the production and contribute to Sangster's original screenplay, he would have allowed Hammer the use of his characters. Of course, if Kneale were to have made another fuss about Brian Donlevy, perhaps the film was better off being being a stand-alone. As a "Quatermass" entry, though, it might have served as a smooth transition between the comparatively standard "monster" sci-fi of THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT and the cerebral heights of QUATERMASS 2.