20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)

black and white
mono, English
Reviewed at The EOFFTV Review

An American science fiction film directed by Nathan Juran with effects by Ray Harryhausen.

Plot Summary

A group of witness the dramatic return to Earth of the first space mission to Venus and, inside the ship that crash lands in the sea, they find a small Venusian creature. It's returned to Rome for study by the authorities but begins to grow at an alarming rate until it eventually escapes and goes on the rampage through the city.


Directed by: Nathan Juran
© MCMLVII [1957] by Columbia Pictures Corporation
Columbia Pictures Corporation presents a Morningside production
Produced by: Charles H. Schneer
Screen Play by: Bob Williams, Christopher Knopf
Story by: Charlott Knight
Director of Photography: Directors of Photography: Irving Lippman, Carlo Ventimiglia
Editor: Edwin Bryant
Music by: Music: Mischa Bakaleinikoff, George Antheil, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, George Duning, Louis Gruenberg, Lucien Moraweck, Hans J. Salter, Marlin Skiles [all uncredited]
Sound: Lambert Day
Technical Effects Created by: Ray Harryhausen
Art Director: Cary Odell

William Hopper (Colonel Robert Calder)
Joan Taylor (Marisa Leonardo)
Frank Puglia (Dr Leonardo)
John Zaremba (Dr Judson Uhl)
Thomas B. Henry (General General A.D. McIntosh)
Tito Vuolo (police commissioner)
Jan Arvan (Contino)
Arthur Space (Dr Sharman)
Bart Bradley (Pepe) [real name: Bart Braverman]
George Khoury [Verrico – uncredited]
Don Orlando [Mondello – uncredited]
George Pelling [Maples – uncredited]
Sid Cassel [farmer – uncredited]
Ray Harryhausen [zoo visitor – uncredited]
Rollin Moriyama [uncredited]
Dale Van Sickel [uncredited]

Alternative Titles

The Beast from Space
The Giant Ymir


Motion Picture Herald vol.207 no.11 (15 June 1957) p.418
Monsters from outer space are one of giant step head of human stars. Their fans are less critical and more faithful than for any box office attraction since the last of the western heroes left the theatre screen for the greener but narrower fields of television. This production should, like its predecessors, prove to money in the bank. The monster is credible, even inspires sympathy because he turns destructive only when his captors don't understand him; the human actors are excellent, and the photographic tricks, except in one or two instances, are convincing. – from a review by James D. Ivers

Daily Film Renter no.7475 (27 September 1957) p.5
Stunning trick work gives rise to some tremendously exciting sequences here, including a fight between monster and elephant and the capture of the creature with a bait of sulphur (on which it feeds) and a net dropped from a helicopter. The human element is less impressive but provides a thread of continuity and an unobtrusive romantic angle. Human performances are adequate, but the monster must be reckoned among the most impressive of its kind in screen history. – from a review by F.J.

The Sunday Times (Culture) 5 August 2012 p.39
Nathan Juran's film is a likable sci-fi spin on King Kong, telling of a Venusian beast that accidentally comes to Earth and is harassed by fearful humans. This reptilian, partly anthropoid creature is brought to life via the distinctive rippling of Ray Harryhausen, and makes his final stand atop Rome's Colosseum. – author not credited



  • Daily Film Renter no.7475 (27 September 1957) p.5 – review
  • Fangoria no.145 (August 1995) p.33 – illustrated review (The Video Eye of Dr Cyclops)
  • Fangoria no.216 (September 2002) p.56 – illustrated DVD review (DVD Dungeon: 20 Million Miles to Earth by Matthew Kiernan)
  • The Film Daily vol.111 no.116 (17 June 1957) p.6 – review
  • Filmfax no.105 January/March 2005 pp.50-53 – illustrated article (Joan Taylor saves the Earth! by Paul and Donna Parla)
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.145 no.13 (12 June 1957) p.3 – review
  • Kine Weekly no.2615 (26 September 1957) p.18 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.24 no.286 (November 1957) p.141 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.207 no.11 (15 June 1957) p.418 – review
  • SFX no.292 (November 2017) p.102 – illustrated review (by Dave Golder)
  • Sight & Sound vol.3 no.4 (April 1993) p.70 – video note
  • Today's Cinema vol.89 no.7868 (25 September 1957) p.7 – review
  • Variety 12 June 1957 – credits, review


  • The Sunday Times (Culture) 5 August 2012 p.39 – review (Films of the Week)


  • The Armchair Odeon: The Collector's Guide to the Movies by Denis Gifford p.45
  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.174 – illustrated credits, review
  • Columbia Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1928-1982 by Michael R. Pitts pp.261-264
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.11 – credits, review
  • by Walt Lee p.506 – credits
  • “Twice the Thrills! Twice the Chills!” Horror and Science Fiction Double Features, 1955-1974 by Bryan Senn pp.69-73 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review