20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) Script

Great scientific advances are often sudden accomplished facts before most of us are even dimly aware of them.

Breathtakingly unexpected was the flash that announced the atomic age.

Equally unexpected was the next stride, when man moved out of his very orbit to a point more than 20 million miles to Earth.

Pepe! ls it your desire that the fishes, they swim away?

Come on! Pull up on the net!

Fishnets. Many big ropes to catch a little fish.

Now, in Texas, that's where one little rope, she catches a big cow!

The net, the net.


-What is that? -Mondello, you do not know of Texas?

She is a big country across the sea, near America.

-That's where the cowboys... -Silenzio!


-We go back. -Why, Verrico? lt is a possibility that in the aircraft there may be people.

But, Verrico, that is no usual aircraft. There are no people on it.

Mondello, you know this thing you say? You were perhaps inside of it?

What are we? Children or men of the sea?

-We go back. -We go back!

Look, a hole.

Pepe, the boat hook!

Mondello, you come with me. l may need your help.

Why me, Verrico? Why me?

Do you not boast to be the bravest man in all Sicily? Come on!

-This man, he still lives. -Take him to the boat, quickly.

Take him.

Bring him.

-Row, row, Pepe. lt's dangerous here. -Verrico!

-There may be other people inside. -Never mind the others! Save yourself!

The oars.

There must be more than two men in there.

Almost certainly, Pepe, but we could not reach them.

May they rest in peace.

From all indications, she's splashed in somewhere right here.

Twenty thousand leagues under the sea.

Perhaps not, General. Calder may have regained control. l appreciate your optimism, Doctor, but that's the way it reads.

We got a radar blip on her just off lceland.

Altitude, 200 miles. Rate of descent, what was it?

Thirty-five hundred feet per minute, sir.

Another sighting by Stillman from Marseilles.

Rate of descent, still 3,500 feet per minute. l'm sorry, Doctor. That puts her right down with the fish.

What makes me sick inside is that they were so close, so very close.

They made it there, and almost made it back.

Major Stacey speaking.

Hold it. Tell the General.

Mclntosh. Yes?

Where? ls that confirmed?

Thank you. She's down off Sicily, Doctor.

Only a few kilometers off the coast of a fishing village named Gerra.

-Where is it? Gerra... -There it is, right there.

We'll need the cooperation of the ltalians, so get the State Department on the phone.

Tell them we've got a green light, and get the ltalian embassy to clear a path.

Tell them to roll up the red tape and put it in a drawer until this thing is over.

-Yes, sir. -After that, call Transport.

Tell them the Doctor and l are leaving now for Sicily.

Yes, sir.

Take them to the Comune di Gerra, quickly.

Mondello, get a doctor, subito.

Verrico, you were inside the wreck. Were only those two men aboard?

No, l was inside with Mondello. We saw one more man but it was a certainty he was dead.

But, signor commissario, the ship of the air, she was so big, so vast.

Surely there must have been other men inside, too. l want you to remember everything that happened, and tell me about it slowly.

The doctor is not at home. He's at Signora Martinelli's who's to have a bambino. Perhaps twins, as before. Who knows?

-And Signor Martinelli is a very sick man. -That's too bad.

There is that doctor from Rome, traveling with his American granddaughter.

-ls he still here? -The man with the house on the wheels?

Pepe would know. Pepe!

Pepe sells him worthless shellfish, anything of no value.

Si, Verrico, you have need for me?

That old dottore from Rome, do you know where he is?

Dr. Leonardo?

He is camped on via Messina, a kilometer from the residence of Signor Groppi.

-Good. You know where the place is? -Of course.

Get the doctor here at once.

Dr. Leonardo!

Come with me, please. Come, now. A great aircraft fell into the sea. lt's a terrible tragedy. Two men, they need you.

Slowly, slowly, my friend. Do l understand there's been an air crash and men are hurt?

The only doctor we have is with Signora Martinelli who's having twins, perhaps more. Who knows?

But l'm afraid l wouldn't be of any help. l'm a doctor in zoology, not medicine.

But my granddaughter, it is possible, Marisa.

-You are a doctor of people with hurts? -Not yet. Not for another year. l'll do the best l can.

Come this way.

Be back as soon as l can, Grandpa.

Good afternoon, my merchant friend. And what is it you wish to sell me today at an exorbitant rate, l'm certain?

An inedible clam which you're willing to part with for very little money, l'm sure.

Dr. Leonardo.

You are a kind man. A just man.

A man of much learning. A man of great wealth.

A man of wealth, a professor of...

Of course, Pepe. Come on in, my Sicilian bandit, and we'll bargain.

You have 200 lire?

There's a possibility that l have such a fortune.

Tell me, let me see this great treasure of such great value.

-You have 200 lire with you, in your purse? -Yes.

-That is a true fact? -Sure, that is a true fact.

But, tell me, why is your need so great and so urgent?

Because with the 200 lire, l can purchase the hat from Texas.

Please, may l have my money now?

A hat from Texas? l don't understand you, Pepe. lt is the hat the cowboys wear when they shoot the bandito.

-And the man, he is dead. -Those American movies.

For so great a need, Pepe, you deserve the 200 lire.

Now, let me see. What you got?

Hey, l'd better get my money's worth or l'm coming after you, believe me.


-Si, Doctor? -Where did you find that thing? ln the water, Doctor. ln the sea.

l know. You want to know where you are. ln Gerra.


A village in southern Sicily.

About where we figured.

The others, how are they?

Well, as far as l know, your aircraft is at the bottom of the sea.

Whoever else was on it... Except for this man.

His condition is critical. l'm sorry, but you're in no condition to get out of bed.

-Doctor! Dr. Sharman! -l must ask you to leave this man alone!

-Please. Dr. Sharman! -He's extremely ill.

-Can you hear me? -Go back to your bed.

-Nurse, l'm in no mood to argue with you. -l'm not a nurse! l'm a doctor, or almost a doctor, and this man may be dying.

All right, "almost-a-doctor." Do you know what's wrong with him?

-No, not exactly. -Well, l do. And l know it's fatal.

Eight of my crew have already died from it. lf you must stay, stand still and be quiet.

-Dr. Sharman! Can you hear me? -Will you please lie down?

-Are we going to make it? Make it back? -We are back. We are back!

-You're suffering from exhaustion. -Quiet!

The animal specimen.

-ls it all right? -l don't know.

We crashed into the Mediterranean, and l guess it went down with the wreck.

The others are dead.

Make them find it.

My notes.

-Will you lie down? -Nurse!

Doctor, how long can it live encased in that metal cylinder? l've got to know. lt's our only hope.

...cooperative, informative. Altogether, a joy and a pleasure to be around.

Now, what specimen? What fatal disease?

Would you mind telling me what this is all about? l'm sorry.

l mean it.

-But l can't. -Can't or won't?


He's dead. l know.

You better get some sleep.

Pleasant dreams.



What is it, mia cara?

-My gloves. Where are my gloves? -Under the table.

What is it? Where did it come from?

Pepe, the little fisher-boy. l've never seen anything like this before.

There is no scientific record of such a creature.

Look at the torso. The torso is that of a human being.

And the articulation of the legs. Look at it.

But from where?

The cage. The cage, Marisa.

Soft cloth. The flooring of the cage is rough and hard.

So very ugly, and yet it seems so frightened.

Come inside, mia cara.

Marisa, come.

What is it, Grandpa?

Come here. Come here.

Observe, mia cara. Observe our strange friend.

-Look how much he's grown in a few hours. -lt's unbelievable.

Think, Marisa.

Think of what will be said when l bring this strange creature to the giardino zoologico in Rome.

Now l'm going to the village, and l'm going to see the young fisher-boy and learn where in the sea he found our friend.

Can you inform me of the whereabouts of Pepe?

Pepe? He's right over here playing like a Texas cowboy.


He is gone. Yet he was here a few moments ago. l will see him tonight, and l'll tell him to seek you tomorrow.

No, tomorrow l won't be here. l'm just now on my way to Rome.

Welcome to Gerra. May l introduce myself, General?

-l am Signor Unte, commissario of police. -Thank you. This is Dr. Uhl.

-lt's a pleasure. -How do you do, sir?

From the government in Rome, l received a telegram. l am to cooperate with you. l'm at your service, signore. lf you will come with me, l will take you to Colonel Calder.

He's not badly hurt?

No, General, don't you worry. He recovers quickly. lt was all l could do to keep him from coming to meet you himself.

This way, please.

Congratulations, Bob! You made it!

-First man in all history. How does it feel? -Fine, sir, except that...

Yes, l know. lt's tragic the others died in the moment of their glory.

But still, and l mean it, you deserve congratulations.

Mine, too, Bob. You did a magnificent, heroic job.

-ls there some place we can talk privately? -My office is yours. This way, please.

l am honored, signore. May l introduce Signor Contino from the ltalian Department of State? General Mclntosh.

Colonel Calder. Dr. Uhl.

How do you do, sir?

Thank you for coming so promptly, signore.

And l want to thank your government for expressing its desire to cooperate. l must beg you, however, for the moment, to observe strict secrecy. lt is understood.

What l have to say, you will find incredible but true.

Colonel Calder here has just returned from an expedition to Venus.

To Venice? Perhaps you mean "Venezia"?

To Venus. The planet Venus.

-The planet Venus? -That is correct. l was informed this matter was connected with something vast,

but the planet Venus?

Man's first interplanetary voyage.

On the return trip, the spaceship was crippled by a meteor.

Except for Colonel Calder here, the entire crew perished.

-l am grieved. -The problem that confronts us is this, Venus' atmosphere is such that a human can't breathe and survive for long even after using what we considered foolproof respiratory equipment.

Several members of the expedition died before the others realized the danger.

Dr. Sharman, the chief scientist, also became fatally ill.

He died here, after the ship crashed.

Fascinating. Horrible, but fascinating.

Now, on that ship was a particular sealed metal container. ln it is an unborn specimen of animal life on the planet. We've got to find it.

Our task is to discover in what way life is able to survive and flourish there.

Not until that secret is learned can another expedition return.

And return we must, for on Venus important minerals were discovered that would be of vast benefit to our civilization. l am at your disposal, General. ln what way may l assist you?

We need several divers to descend to the wreck to search for the specimen.

They will be here in the morning.

-Don't you want me to drive for a while? -No, no. Non sono stanco, grazie.

l should like to speak to the two fishermen who went aboard the wreck.

Of course. l have them waiting here. Now, if you will come with me, please.

Verrico, Mondello, one moment of your time, please.

This is Verrico and this is Mondello.

They are the two men who went inside the ship before she sank.

The American general wishes to speak to you of an item of great importance.

We are looking for a cylinder... about this high and about this round.

Probably, it went down with the ship, but there's the possibility it was knocked loose and may drift ashore somewhere today, tomorrow, who knows? lt is so important that we recover this container and its contents that l have offered the reward of a half million lire.

Please spread that information...

-You will not take my hat? -Silenzio, Pepe. The General is speaking.

-Continue, General. -Wait!

What is it? What is it you wish to say? lf l speak of the thing from the ship then you must promise me that l may keep my hat from the great country of Texas.

Of course, you may keep your hat. What do you know about the container?

And there is the matter of a half million lire.

How much is that?

Sufficient to purchase for me a cowboy horse like they ride in Texas?

Enough to buy many horses. What do you know about the container?

You promise to me about the hat, about the horses?

You have my promise, son. lt is there.

Come on, follow me.

-Please, may l have my horse? -Empty. l know where it is. The thing from inside.

Where is it? l took it to Professor Leonardo and sold it to him for 200 lire.

-That's how l have the hat from Texas. -Professor Leonardo, where is he?

He must be somewhere on the road to Messina.

He said he was going to Rome.

How will we find him? How will we know him?

He drives a truck with a house that follows like a goat.

A trailer.

Find it quickly. l'll wait here for the divers.

Yes, sir. Come on.

-Would you accompany the Colonel? -Of course, General.

Besides, l have to see a man about a horse

and a half million lire.

-What? -The canvas has come loose. l'd better stop then.

You know, it occurs to me that our friend is perhaps a mutation, but of what species, l do not know.

Now, here, you catch this on the other side.

There's also the possibility that it might be a type of throwback toward the prehistoric and unknown.

Are you hurt?

No, l don't think so.

l guess l frightened it as much as it frightened me.

But its claw was so strangely hot.

l beg your pardon, but you must be...

-A strange animal has escaped. -Like something you've never seen?

Like something no one has seen before. lt broke out of its cage and grabbed me by the arm.

Hello, "almost-a-doctor."

This creature, tell me about it.

Well, first it was this high.

Then this high.

Now it is tall, nearly as tall as a man. ls that the normal rate of growth?

No, not as far as l know.

The only data we have is in Dr. Sharman's notes.

-Where's the animal now? -lt fled into the woods.

Let's go.

Wait. What is that creature? Where does it come from? l must know. We will go with you. l'm sorry, Professor. l can't now. Thanks for your help.

lt looks as though my patient has fully recovered.


What you got, boy?

Don't move!

Stay where you are.

Let's back out quietly.


The creature has to be taken alive.

There's a cart outside.

Would you have your men bring it in the barn?

Now, will you get me a long wooden pole? l've had nightmares in my time, but l've never dreamed of anything like this.

Actually, they're not ferocious unless provoked.

That poor dog must have jumped him first.

That's good.

That's just what l need. Grazie.

Now, l'm going to try and prod the creature right into that cart. lf l can get him in there, be ready to shut that gate.

Come on down, fellow. Jump!

Come on.

Come on down. Come on.

Come on!

Get back!

Look out!

No! Stop him!

All right, men, over this way.

l don't like it.

-Colonel? -Yeah.

l hate to intrude on your private thoughts, but l'd like to change your bandage.

You're worried about what happened today about where the creature is tonight, aren't you?

We'll find him. We've got to. l guess l've been pretty inconsiderate and self-centered.

You've had a lot on your mind. lf that's an apology, l think it went in the wrong direction.

All you've done is try to help and all l've done is snarl at you.

l hope, when this is all over, you'll let me try to make it up to you over a table for two in a dark café.

With a candle burning on the table?

And a bottle of wine.

-Bob. Bob Calder! -Excuse me.

Here's something, Bob.

Sharman wrote that the basic diet of the creatures is raw sulfur.

-l remember that. -There are rich sulfur beds in Sicily.

Not many kilometers from here, at the base of Mount Etna.

We'll scour the mountains at first light. lf the creature's there, we'll recapture it. l would consider it an honor to offer the facilities of the giardino zoologico in Rome for its observation and examination.

That will not be necessary, gentlemen.

There is no longer an attempt to recapture the monster alive. l don't understand. l must inform you, signore, there is no more cooperation between us.

The beast must be destroyed! lt has injured one man badly, and he might kill others.

My duty is to the welfare of my people. Not this crazy scientific experiment!

Signor commissario, you can't do that!

Signor commissario, please wait.

That is my position.

The safety of the people in this district is my affair, my primary affair. As long as l am commissario. lt may be, you can have me replaced.

That, of course, is your privilege.

Until then, l intend to function as commissario.

You are an efficient man, signor. A man of sincerity.

There will be no thought of replacing you.

Then l must say that at daybreak, l intend to use all means at my disposal to destroy that creature before it kills someone.

But you can't do that.

Yes, sir.

May l remind you that the commissario is a Sicilian police chief performing his duties? l know that, sir, but...

But what?

Would there be any objection if Dr. Uhl and l tried to track it and take it alive?

-Before the commissario has him killed? -Not from me. Signor Contino?

How do you propose to do this?

On Venus, we discovered by accident that these creatures are susceptible to electric shock, and that controlled voltage can paralyze them. lf we could have two helicopters and a squad of armed paratroopers we might be able to drop a charged wire net on the beast.

A net!

All l ask, sir, is permission to try.

lf this can be done before any human life is threatened the ltalian government will have no objection.

-Bob, you'll have your copters. -Thank you, sir.

Thank you, signore.

-The hook is working fine, sir. -That's good, Sergeant.

Take those sacks of sulfur over to the other copter.

We're taking over a load of sulfur to feed our prisoner when we capture him. lf the commissario doesn't catch it first.

Doc, this is like a parachute. lt's got to work the first time.


All right, men. Load up. Let's go.

Let's use the back road. There's a waterfall.

We've spotted the animal, it's by those sulfur beds.


We can't drop the net until it's cleared. l'll drop the sulfur now.

lt's taking the bait. We're ready to move.

Okay, we'll stand by.

Another few feet and you've got it.

Drop it!

Hurry it up!


We're ready, Doc.

Jump clear.

Hit it!

Maples here.

No, John, nothing's happened yet.

Yes, l will. lf you will all come in, please, the General will see you now. lt looks like something now. Keep a line open.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the press. l am fully aware of the rumors that began with an air crash ten days ago off the coast of Sicily.

Not until now have l received permission to make known the facts exactly as they are.

This cablegram has been signed by the United States Secretary of Defense.

"ln the face of widespread speculation, and after consultation

"with governments, the President has authorized release of all information

"to press and news agencies for their immediate publication.

"The airship XY-21 , which crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on the 1 1th

"was a single-stage, astro-propelled rocket launched 1 3 months ago

"from a site within the United States.

"The rocket, with its complement of 1 7 men, "had landed on the planet Venus..."

-Venus? -The planet Venus?

"...had landed on the planet Venus and was on the return to Earth when the ship

"plunged into the sea."

There was one survivor: Colonel Calder, seated beside me.

Commander of the expedition.

Some of you may have heard the story of a monster now confined in Rome's zoo.

That beast is from Venus. lt is an essential object of scientific study if man is to survive the atmosphere on Venus, poisonous to humans.

May we be allowed to see this creature? l ask you to select three of your number to accompany Colonel Calder to the zoo.

Those selected by you will, of course, pool their interviews with the entire press corps and we will furnish you all necessary photos.

Well, l guess that's all, and thank you for your patience.

Sorry, old boy, my line.

John, get this...

The size!

Eight days ago, it was about this tall.

How do you account for its rate of growth? Or is that normal on Venus?

No, it isn't. The scientists here believe the Earth's atmosphere has upset its metabolic rate.

The more it breathes, the more tissue it builds, the bigger it gets. lf you'll follow me, please.

You've probably heard of Dr. Gerhart Blankfurt of Vienna.

Probably the world's top man in anesthesia. lt's the doctor's job to keep the creature unconscious during the examination.

Now, you'll note the wire running down to the creature's wrist.

Dr. Blankfurt keeps 1 ,800 volts of electricity coursing through the body.

More voltage and it would die. Less, it would awaken.

Amazing. Utterly amazing.

You can get a better look at the wrist connection this way.

This is Dr. Koroku of the University of Tokyo.

He's assisting Dr. Uhl.

Another attempt to pry secrets from the creature, Doctor?

We hope this electro-dynamometer will enable us to complete our examination of the oral passages.

Could you give us any positive statement on your progress so far, Doctor?

So far, we have come to one conclusion.

The creature's olfactory system is more highly developed than any known on this planet.

We'll find Dr. Uhl on the platform. He's the man in charge.

Sixty-seven cc's. Correct?

They're feeding the creature a compound of sulfur.

Now, sulfur serves it as our vitamins do us.

-Grandpa, will you need me anymore? -No.

You caught me unprepared. l've been cooking over a hot creature all day.

You get lovelier every time l see you. Or is it the lights in this room?

Well, next to that, l look dandy.

Colonel, when you have a free moment l'd like to tell you about the latest nightmare l've had.

They're busy for the moment, tell me now.

Well... it concerns a dark café a small table, a bottle of wine.

And a burning candle?

And that candle's burning lower and lower.

Pretty soon it's going to burn out.

Well, maybe if we hurry, we can find that dark café before it's too late.


-Now, don't go away. -l won't.

lf you'll come over here, please. Dr. Uhl is expecting you.

Dr. Uhl, l present Miss Reynolds, United Press. Mr. Maples of Reuters.

-This is Monsieur Lacroix, News France. -How do you do?

General Mclntosh has told us the importance of knowing how this animal survives on Venus.

We discovered the creature's respiratory system includes sort of a fibrous filtering element which blocks out all of the poisonous vapors on Venus.

Fortunately, we've been able to duplicate that system almost exactly. lt's like a plastic sponge. lt is made of one of the new synthetics.

By the way, there's a rumor that gunfire has no effect on the beast. Why?

This beast has no heart and it has no lungs. lt has instead a network of small tubes throughout its entire body.

Hence, firearms effect no great damage. Yes, Lee?

Dynamometer is coming on the platform now.

Please, right over here.

Look out for those electric cables!

Look out!

Everybody, off the platform!

Come on, Doc, hurry!

-Get that power back on! -This way, Colonel.

-The power is gone. -Everyone, outside! Fast!



Get that elephant out of there!

Get these people out of here!

-Where's the nearest phone? -There, Colonel.

Yes, sir. And, General, we need some firepower, quick!

All right. As soon as l do, l'll get there. Stay with the beast, but get reports back to me if you can.

Right, sir.

The creature?

On the rampage! lf it isn't stopped, it'll kill hundreds, maybe thousands!

We'll need artillery and tanks immediately.

-lt's up one of the side streets. -l know. l hear it.

Doc, take them to the embassy.

-l'm going to track it as long as l can. -Right.

This is Colonel Calder, get me General Mclntosh. This is an emergency. lt disappeared into the Tiber at Ponte Umberto.

What do you think, would hand grenades force it out? l don't know. l can't tell what it'll do or where it'll do it. lt's worth a try.

There's an artillery unit deployed at...

The Palace of Justice across the bridge. They'll give you all the help you need.

Start blasting it, Bob.

We're moving up with another unit, on the other section of the Tiber.

Yes, sir.

lt's got to be down there someplace. Keep blasting.

-Calder talking. -Anything there, Bob?

No, we don't spot it here.

Nothing here, either.

We've blasted the Tiber through the city for hours. Any ideas?

Hello, Bob.

Do you hear me?

Do you hear me, Bob? Come in, Bob.

lt's here at Ponte Sant'Angelo!

Ponte Sant'Angelo.


lt's headed towards the Colosseum.

Sergeant, deploy your men.


Sergeant, take your men up those stairs.

Up here!

There it is.


Why is it always so costly for man to move from the present to the future?