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Quatermass and the Pit

A long-dormant tribe from Mars, accidentally liberated by a London excavation, forms a good story peg but routine, somewhat distended development blunts impact of this British-made programmer.

A long-dormant tribe from Mars, accidentally liberated by a London excavation, forms a good story peg but routine, somewhat distended development blunts impact of this British-made programmer.

Nigel Kneale’s original script again turns on the Prof. Quatermass character, essayed by Andrew Keir, this time embroiled with a stuffy colonel (Julian Glover) when a scientist (James Donald) discovers skeletons in a London subway expansion. Evil demons, brain waves and sketchy visions of a dying Mars civilization, plus some great special effects work, provide plot complications. Given the predictable science-vs-military conflicts, and the introduction of Barbara Shelley as a female scientist (like Jean Parker and Ellen Drew in other years), film manages to retain interest through suspenseful (if not always clear) exposition of the mysterious creatures. Roy Ward Baker’s direction is professional.

Quatermass and the Pit

UK

  • Production: Hammer. Director Roy Ward Baker; Producer Anthony Nelson Keys; Screenplay Nigel Kneale; Camera Arthur Grant; Editor James Needs, Spencer Reeve; Music Tristram Cary; Art Director Bernard Robinson, Ken Ryan
  • Crew: (Color) Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 98 MIN.
  • With: James Donald Andrew Keir Barbara Shelley Julian Glover Duncan Lamont Bryan Marshall
  • Music By: