The 27th Day (1957)

USA,
75m
35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono (RCA Sound Recording), English

An American science fiction film directed by William Asher.

Plot Summary

An alien visitor contacts five people in different countries – Eve Wingate in England, Los Angeles based newspaperman John Clarke, Chinese peasant Su Tan, German Professor Klaus Bechner, and Ivan Bulovsky, a young Soviet soldier. The alien whisks his five contactees away on his spaceship and gives each of them a box which, when opened, has the power to obliterate all life in their respective countries/continents. The alien's home world is dying and his race plan to resettle on Earth – they can't find it in themselves to wipe out another species, but as the human race is hell bent on its own destruction anyway, the alien has simply given them the ultimate tool to achieve their death wish without destroying the planet itself.

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Directed by: William Asher
© MCMLVII [1957] by Columbia Pictures Corporation
Columbia Pictures Corporation presents a Romson production
Executive Producer: Lewis J. Rachmil
Produced by: Helen Ainsworth
Screen Play by: John Mantley based on his novel
Assistant Director: Willard Sheldon
Director of Photography: Henry Freulich
Film Editor: Jerome Thoms
Music Conducted by: Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Sound: Ferrol Redd
Flying Saucer Effects: Ray Harryhausen [uncredited extracts from Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)]
Art Director: Ross Bellah
Set Decorator: Frank A. Tuttle

Cast
Gene Barry (Jonathan Clark)
Valerie French (Eve Wingate)
George Voskovec (Professor Klaus Bechner)
Arnold Moss (the alien)
Stefan Schnabel (the Soviet General)
Ralph Clanton (Mr Ingram)
Frederick Ledebur (Dr Karl Neuhaus)
Paul Birch (admiral)
Azemat Janti (Ivan Godofsky)
Marie Tsien [Su Tan – uncredited]
Theodore Marcuse [Colonel Gregor] *
Monty Ash [Soviet prison physician] *
Walda Winchell [nurse] *
Don Spark [Harry Bellows] *
Mark Warren [Pete] *
David Bond [Dr Schmidt] *
Tom Daly [Joe the bartender] *
John Dodsworth [BBC newscaster] *
Jacques Gallo [French newscaster] *
Ed Hinton [commander] *
Grandon Rhodes [UN presiding officer] *
Emil Sitka [newspaper hawker] *
Mel Welles [Russian marshal] *

Alternative Titles

Der 27. Tag – West Germany
Den 27:e dagen – Sweden
Maihinnousu avaruudesta – Finland
I ventisette giorni del pianeta Sigma – Italy

Includes extracts from
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)

References

Books

  • 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.264-165
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.11 – credits, review
  • by Walt Lee p.506