Quatermass 2 (1957)

UK,
85m, 7632 ft
35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono, English

A British science fiction film directed by Val Guest. It's the second of Hammer Film Productions' trilogy of films adapted from Nigel Kneale's popular BBC television serials.

Plot Summary

Professor Bernard Quatermass is still angry that the British government won't green-light his Moonbase project when he discovers that someone has built a working replica of his project at Wynnerton Flats. And now some mysterious have fallen on the area – could the two be linked? Quatermass investigates and discovers that the plant is producing for a race of hoping to invade the planet – aliens who have started to possess key government officials…

Credits

Crew
Directed by: Val Guest
© [copyright not given on screen]
A Hammer production
Executive Producer: Michael Carreras
Produced by: Anthony Hinds
Production Manager: John Workman
Production Supervisor: Anthony Nelson Keys
Screenplay by: Nigel Kneale and Val Guest
Story by: Nigel Kneale
Assistant Director: Don Weeks
2nd Assistant Director: Stanley Goulder [uncredited]
3rd Assistant Director: Hugh Harlow [uncredited]
Continuity: June Randall
Director of Photography: Gerald Gibbs
Camera Operator: Len Harris
Focus Puller: Harry Oakes [uncredited]
Clapper Loader: Alan Gatward [uncredited]
Chief Electrician: Jack Curtis [uncredited]
Stills: John Jay [uncredited]
Editor: James Needs
Assistant Editor: Michael Hart [uncredited]
Music: James Bernard
Conducted by: John Hollingsworth
Sound: Cliff Sandell
Boom Operator: Claude Hitchcock [uncredited]
Sound Editor: Alfred Cox
Sound System: RCA Sound Recording
Wardrobe: Rene Coke
Make-Up: Phil Leakey
Special Effects: Bill Warrington, Henry Harris, Frank George
Special Effects Assistant: Brian Johnson [uncredited]
Art Director: Bernard Robinson
Draughtsman: David Butcher [uncredited]
Production Secretary: Angela Taub [uncredited]
Publicity: Bill Batchelor [uncredited]
Produced at New Elstree Studios
Locations: Shell Haven Refinery, Essex, England, UK; Danzigger Productions' New Elstree Studios, , UK; Hemel Hempstead, England, UK; South Downs outside Brighton, Sussex, England, UK
The Producers acknowledge the assistance received from the Hemel Hempsted New Town Development Corporation during the shooting of this film
The producers wish to acknowledge with thanks the facilities extended to them by “Shell” Refining and Marketing Company for the shooting of many scenes at Shell Haven Refinery, Essex.

Cast
Brian Donlevy (Professor Bernard Quatermass)
John Longden (Lomax)
Sydney James (Jimmy Hall)
Bryan Forbes (Marsh)
William Franklyn (Brand)
Vera Day (Sheila)
Charles Lloyd Pack (Dawson)
Tom Chatto (Broadhead)
John Van Eyssen (the P.R.O.)
Percy Herbert (Gorman)
Michael Ripper (Ernie)
John Rae (McLeod)
Marianne Stone (secretary)
Ronald Wilson (young man)
Jane Aird (Mrs McLeod)
Betty Impey (Kelly)
Lloyd Lamble (Inspector)
John Stuart (commissioner)
Gilbert Davis (banker)
Joyce Adams (woman M.P.)
Edwin Richfield (Peterson)
Howard Williams (Michaels)
Phillip Baird, Robert Raikes (lab assistants)
John Fabian (intern)
George Merritt (super)
Arthur Blake (constable)
Michael Balfour (Harry)
Jan Holden [young girl – uncredited]
Vernon Greeves [1st man – uncredited]
Alastair Hunter [Labour MP – uncredited]
Barry Lowe [Chris – uncredited]
Henry Rayner [drunk – uncredited]
Joan Schofield [woman shopper – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Aarde tegen satelliet – Belgian title
Enemy From Space – US title
Feinde aus dem Nichts – German title
O Inimigo do Espaço – Portugese title
La marque – French title
Quatermass II: Enemy from Space – US title
Terre contre satellite – Belgian title
I vampiri dello spazio – Italian title
Vihollinen avaruudesta – Finnish title

Remake of
Quatermass II (1955)

Sequel to
The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)


Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
Quatermass (1979)

Extracts included in
The World of Hammer: Sci-Fi (1994)

Production Notes

Post-production
The film was trade shown in London on Monday 29 April 1957.

Press

1957
Daily Film Renter no.7370 (30 April 1957) p.3
“Starting off with an exciting pre-credits sequence, this picture keeps on the move, building up into a seat-gripping climax which makes clever use of live and model shots. With plenty of scientific jargon and some weird apparatus, the film is guaranteed to give the myriad science fiction fans just what they want […] Performances and scripting are convincing; direction is straight to the point; and special technical effects excellent. There is no romance, and sex-appeal is down to a minimum. But this will not hamper the film's chances with the fans, who will be too engrossed to notice!” – from a review by F.J.

Today's Cinema vol.88 no.7765 (30 April 1957) p.6
“Brian Donlevy's forthright methods as leader are worthily supported by John Longden, Sydney James, Bryan Forbes and a busy cast, and London scenes alternate with the baleful trouble centre. Polished hokum full of action and ingenuity, it sensibly dispenses with Romance and its grip never subsides.” – from a review by P.L.M.

Kine Weekly no.2594 (2 May 1957) p.18
“The picture gives its story credible treatment and backgrounds, as well as crisp, incisive dialogue. Brian Donley adopts an authoritative air as Quatermass, John Longden is smooth as a official, Sidney James provides welcome light relief as a hard-drinking reporter and Bryan Forbes, William Franklyn, Vera Day and Marianne Stone lend able support. Its moments of suspense are expertly timed and the final battle in the plant, which, by the way, resembles a giant oil refinery, carries a tremendous kick. Intelligent hokum, it's certain to make a hefty impact on the popular box-office.” – from an uncredited review

Films and Filming vol.3 no.8 (May 1957) p.28
“This is a fair to middling piece of British Science Fiction, generous with its lupoid visual horrors, but short on imaginative ideas and atmosphere. The script, faithfully adapted from Nigel Kneale's television serial, covers similar ground to Invasion of the Body Snatchers and X – The Unknown, but is not quite up to the standard of either. […] [T]his would have been more chilling if only the film did not give such an impression of having been rushed. Although made by the same technical unit which worked on X – The Unknown, this Quatermass sequel misses that impressive sense of location, or ordinariness to counterpoise the fantastic, which was conveyed by the earlier film. The dialogue is slack and the acting is variable, with only Sidney James and John Van Eyssen bringing the absolute conviction to their rôles necessary in this kind of tall story.” – from a review by Peter John Dyer

References

Periodicals
The Daily Film Renter no.7368 (26 April 1957) p.3 – note (Trade shows)
The Daily Film Renter no.7370 (30 April 1957) p.3 – review (by F.J.)
The Daily Film Renter Gleneagles Special no.7374 (6 May 1957) pp.17-40 – illustrated note (Picture section: An illustrated guide to the new product)
Dark Terrors no.8 (April 1994) pp.20-33 – illustrated production notes
Fangoria no.187 (October 1999) p.25 – illustrated video review (by Dr Cyclops)
The House That Hammer Built no.1 (February 1997) pp.41-43 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
Films and Filming vol.3 no.8 (May 1957) p.28 – credits, review (by Peter John Dyer)
Infinity no.37 (2021) pp.18-23 – illustrated interview with Val Guest (Guest appearance by Richard Hollis)
Journal of Popular Film and Television vol.30 no.3 (Autumn 2002) pp.158-165 – illustrated bibliography, article (“Bring something back” – The strange career of Professor Quatermass by Dave Robinson and Nick Cooper)
Kine Weekly 2 May 1957 p.18 – credits, review
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.24 no.281 (June 1957) pp.74-75 – credits, synopsis, review (by P.H.)
Starburst no.299 (May 2003) p.64 – illustrated DVD review (by Jan Vincent-Rudzki)
Today's Cinema vol.88 no.7765 (30 April 1957) p.6 – review (by P.L.M.)
Visual Culture In Britain vol.5 no2 2004 pp.27-40 – article (Uncanny Landscapes In British Film and Television by Peter Hutchings)

Books
British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928-1959 by David Quinlan p.363 – credits, synopsis
English Gothic by Jonathan Rigby pp.39-41, 48, 56, 83, 142, 162, 213 – illustrated notes, review
Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.75, 383
Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personnel, the Company by Howard Maxford pp.656-658 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
The Hammer Story by Marcus Hearn and Alan Barnes pp.20-21 – credits, illustrated article
A History of Horrors: The Rise and Fall of the House of Hammer (Revised Edition) by Denis Meikle pp.31-35, 43, 82, 232 – notes, review
Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.155
It Came from 1957: A Critical Guide to the Year's Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films by Rob Craig pp.174-176
by Walt Lee p.123 – credits
Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.400-404
Video Source Book (13th edition) 1992 p.2102 – US video data