29 January 2005 | gkrupa73
The Cast Saves This Otherwise Blooper.
I have always found Lee Van Cleef to seem to be a very limited actor. Of course, that is because of the roles he found himself having to play. There was not much he had to do in the spaghetti westerns except stand around and look blankly sinister. Then some years ago I found a copy of this film. I remember seeing it in the 1950s but had forgotten the cast. I remember thinking the film silly back then. Now as I have ripened into maturity ("A full grown nut" as Ralph Kramden said to Ed Norton)- or maybe I have just gotten ripe- I find I really enjoy this film. A good monster film is never about the monster. The film is about the people dealing with each other and the monster in that order. It Conquered The World fits that rule. The special effects simply do not exist. The alien is totally absurd in its appearance. However, I can ignore all that because of the acting and the plot involving the characters. I found Lee Van Cleef especially effective in this role and I enjoy watching him bring his character to life. He is struggling with his decision to assist an alien from Venus come to Earth to save us all from our jejune frivolities which inhibit human progress. He wants things to be better for people and thinks he has found a way through this alien being. He has his doubts and Lee is well able to act this conflict of doubt to our great satisfaction. Peter Graves is an actor you can count on to give a good performance even when he is not inspired. Dittos for the rest of the cast. In short, if you can ignore the cheap sets, absurd special effects, uninspired means of corner cutting due to lack of budget, and just enjoy the acting- a weakness for the lesser of the 1950s genre helps, too- I would recommend this film with the stated qualifications.