Country: UNITED KINGDOM
Enemy from Space
Nigel Kneale’s second adventure to feature the gifted British scientist Professor Quatermass, imaginatively titled Quatermass II, was broadcast on the BBC over six weeks in the Autumn of 1955. A change of lead actor saw John Robinson take on the role after the untimely death of Reginald Tate. No such fate befell Hammer Film Productions when they came to produce their own film treatment in 1957. Despite the protestations of Nigel Kneale who co-wrote the films screenplay, imported American actor Brian Donlevy was once again invited too assume the lead role. However the most important creative talent to return was writer/director Val Guest. Guest’s stylistic strategy and dynamic direction was arguably the decisive factor in the success of The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) and his inclusion for the sequel was essential. Guest in fact manages to create a breathless pace which makes the first film seem sedentary and laboured. When this is coupled with a far more heroic turn for the Quatermass character, an intelligent and highly developed political and social dimension, and capable support from Bryan Forbes, John Longden, Sid James, and William Franklyn you have a film which marginally improves on the original.