The 27th Day (1957) Humankind Ending Intelligent 50’s Science Fiction With A Bang

I’m a sucker for a good bit of science fiction so I was excited to watch this one again for my review of The 27th Day (1957)

What’s going down?

A mysterious shadowy figure appears. With a clear and forceful voice he invites five random people from differing nations. “Come with me please“. Wide eyed and fearful they vanish in a bright light. An English lady, an American Reporter, a Chinese villager, a German physicist and Soviet soldier. Five representatives of Planet Earth. Five souls left with the formidable task of saving the human race. When consciousness returns to the five they find themselves seated in a strange futuristic room. Greeted by the figure. “You can call me, The Alien“. They soon discover they are out of this world.

Tasked with a mission so deadly that it would mean the end of all human life on our blue planet. Each receive a small device with enough deadly power to wipe out life within a 3000 mile diameter. The capsules can only be opened by the owner’s mind. To will them open. However once opened the power is free to be used by whomever. The Alien and his race wish to inhabit Earth before their own planet dies. Luckily they have a moral code from killing intelligent life. If these five humans can hold out from killing each other for 27 days the devices will become useless. Will the Cold War between the Superpowers suddenly become hot? Each paranoid if they don’t strike first the other will. The dilemma for our five is how are they gonna keep these devices out of their Governments hands?

Five people given the power to destroy nations! What will they do? What would you do?

The main players

Gene Barry is Jonathan Clark
Valerie French is Evelyn Wingate
George Voskovec is Professor Klaus Bechner
Azemat Janti is Ivan Godofsky
Arnold Moss is The Alien
Stefan Schnabel is The Soviet General
Marie Tsien is Su Tan

Tagline – The 27 Most Terrifying Days in History!

Sure I’ve seen them in something?

Gene Barry is most famous for his role as Dr Frank Addison in the superb adaption of H G Wells sci-fi classic The War of the Worlds (1953). Whereas I’m not a fan of Steven Spielberg’s 2005 remake it was wonderful to see that Gene Barry and his original leading lady Ann Robinson from the 1953 film got to play a married couple just before the death destroying aliens reign down terror and pure destruction.

London born beauty Valerie French brings some eye candy to Earth’s shattering dilemma. She had once been crowned Miss Galaxy and is said to have posed semi naked for a gentlemen’s publication with the awesome title of The Dude Magazine in the 50’s. Yes of course I have googled imaged her. She is gorgeous. Unfortunately the images are very small otherwise I’d have posted them on here. Worth an excursion. But there are these two lovely promo shot’s.

Now Western movie fans will know Valerie French well as she played the sexy lead in Jubal (1956) where she plays the sexually frustrated wife of Ernest Borgnine with the hots for Glenn Ford. Plus another western alongside Randolph Scott in Decision At Sundown (1957) which I haven’t seen.

A fun little bit of trivia I learnt about Valerie French. She was the sister-in-law, for a little while, to Jon Pertwee aka the third Doctor Who and that crazy scarecrow with the removable heads, Worzel Gummidge.

Notes on production?

The 27th Day is directed by William Asher. Who would go on to made a load of slightly saucy music beach films with teen idol Frankie Avalon. With names like Beach Party (1963) Muscle Beach Party (1964) Bikini Beach (1964) and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965). He also directed the cult favourite, Henry Silva in the film I’ve been trying to see for years, Johnny Cool (1963). I will get there one days soon.

The 27th Day was the first novel written by Canadian writer John Mantley. He would also do the screenplay for the adaptation before going off to write for The Untouchables, Gunsmoke and How The West Was Won to name a few, television shows.

Hits like a sledge hammer

There are a few big moments of true WTF and “I wasn’t expecting that!“. However I can’t really say what they are because I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for you. I will say the end is…….. “Did they just do what I thought they did?!?!”. The comment section is free for spoilers though if you’ve seen it.

Cutting remarks

You talk as if the Earth is about to be destroyed?

Those characters you are feeling sorry for are full of hate they’d lynch us if they could get their hands on us.

People hate because they fear and they fear everything they don’t understand which is almost everything!

Verdict

I’d seen The 27th Day some years back. Late night after the boozer had closed. Rather smashed on the old wobble juice. The video quality on that first viewing was pretty rubbish but I’d remembered really enjoying it. Flash forward to last night I’d find myself stumbling across it on Youtube. The picture quality looked excellent. I just had to watch again. I enjoyed it even more this time. It features a snappy run-time, doesn’t mess about, gets straight on with it. A few nice twists, goes against stereotyping and has good message. Obviously not up there with The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) but it sits very close to it. Plus it has a few fun moments………

Holed up at an out of season race course and shacked up for some light flirting and cocktails

Rating score

Wolfman’s rating 7.5/10       IMDB 6.1/10

Feel free to recommend me related movies and any other trivia if you wish. Keep having fun at the movies…. Mikey Wolf

Ps The 27th Day can be streamed at the time of writing on YouTube.

20 thoughts on “The 27th Day (1957) Humankind Ending Intelligent 50’s Science Fiction With A Bang

  1. Ha, I just watched this film last week! And it was the same version on YouTube that’s shown above…a really nice HD print. And you’re right, it was really a good film…I was looking for a low-brow, cheesy sci-fi to watch one night, and thought, this will fit the bill…but it wasn’t cheesy at all, and actually had some good ideas going for it.

    And I liked how people were smart and said, wait, what if this alien’s just testing us? We’d better find out…oops, nope, it’s not a test!

    And my oh my, Valerie French! Too bad that opening beach scene didn’t last longer! And oddly enough, the next night I was in the mood for a Western, and thought, I’ll pick one from my Budd Boetticher collection…hmmm, how about ‘Decision at Sundown’? And who do I see in the opening credits? Yep, Miss Valerie, in glorious color!

    Interesting, too, that I had to check out my last year’s review of ‘They Came from Beyond Space’ for that recent recap post of mine, and saw in the comments that you’d mentioned ‘The 27th Day’ even then!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a super print isn’t it Todd. Yeah the one I’d seen some years back was super dark and grainy. So it was real pleasure to see it again. Yeah it’s not as cheesy as you would at first think. Of course there’s some moments but generally it rolls again at chin stroking pace. The scientist who volunteers to go out out into the middle of ocean to try out the device really made me laugh. Sitting there in his dingy then….. blip.
      The Chinese girl was shocker, didn’t expect that to happen. Straight away too. The Russian soldier story arc was really well played out. Poor guy went through some ordeal!
      What was “Decision at Sundown” like? Actually scrub stupid question. It’s got Valerie in it, who cares if it was any good or not! 🙂

      Like

      • True, that guy in the raft, waving at the cameras like he’s having the time of his life, then…like you said, blip! But at least they didn’t just film it WITH the guy, then without the guy…I thought it was neat that his empty clothes dropped!

        Yeah, some neat stories there…the Chinese girl, the Russian guy…and I liked how Valerie arrives back on the beach and says, hell with this, and immediately throws it into the sea!

        And actually, I wasn’t all that pleased with ‘Decision at Sundown’…granted, Valerie’s presence saved the day, but Randolph Scott’s character was quite the dick in this, in my opinion, and it was hard to like the film when the lead character was so unlikable. The next night I watched ‘Buchanan Rides Alone’, and his character was much cooler in that one.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah she wasn’t having any of that device responsibilities. LOL straight in the sea and be done with it. “Cup of tea and slice cake anyone?”
          I haven’t seen many Randolph Scott’s, maybe 2, so I will dodge “Decision at Sundown” for now and try and see “Buchanan Rides Alone” first. Top tip bro

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  2. “People hate because they fear and they fear everything they don’t understand which is almost everything!“ This is one of the greatest lines ever. I love it so much! I’m laughing at it because it is so…dramatic, over-the-top, gorgeous, true, profound, etc,…My only wish is that I wrote it. If I did, I would copy write it…and I’d be so satisfied, I’d probably never write again. Ha!
    I also love the pictures–espically the promotional photo where they are all standing, looking so uneasy and concerned and there’s Valarie French in heels and a shorty robe with the turned up collar! Ah!…that’s so funny! Hilarious! I must admit, she does have a really good figure…I doubt I’ll run into this one, but if I do, I might give it a go. This is my favorite blog! I love it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah it was way over dramatic. Gene drops it on Val as they sit bored in an old shack with make shift beds as they try hiding out their time. They both ponder the words for a few seconds before being spooked with the sound of a car engine!!
      Yeah I love that promo shot of the five of them too, all looking a little bit miffed. The poor girl was caught off guard just as she’d come out of the sea. Luckily Mr Alien waited for her to put on her short rope before her trip.
      #blushedredface at your last line. Hehe thanks you

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I mean every word–and I’m not being over the top. You take care Mikey. Stay safe and well. Best wishes to your family. I’m off to finish up The Long Goodbye. It’s the third time I’ve tried to watch it. Twice before I bailed, but since I’m shut in I thought I’d give it another go–and third times a charm. I love it, now! It was way over my head (that hurts, Ha!) It took me that long to understand it. My next post is going to be on it. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. Now get to blogging. I’m anticipating your next feature. It could be–literally–anything in the cinematic world, that has that certain somethin’, somethin’. Ha!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have seen The Long Goodbye but many years ago. I used to get it confused with The Silent Partner but after re-watching that one not too long ago I can now tell them apart.
          I’ve got three very different films in the pipe line, one is (hold on to something) a new one low and behold! Problem is that because everyone is here, my PC gets hijacked! Bless him, my son is working so hard, so I have to put on my best plastic smile poker face as he studies for his A-Levels. While my daughter is on her laptop and my wife working from home on hers. Spent all day trying to fix a mini 12 year old laptop with windows 7 on so I could get on it. It’s so slow I nearly wept LOL….. Plus side, I do get to listen to my records

          Liked by 1 person

    • I know Burke’s Law but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one. So many of the those shows I would love to watch. Like 77 Sunset Strip, The Untouchables, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Have Gun Will Travel and Peter Gunn. Just to name a small bunch. The pacing of these style TV shows are so well done. You just chill and get completely hooked. Just never got the time. Though I’m always ready to pick up a boxset when I see them on offer.

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  3. Everyone made the same points I was gonna make: “wobble juice”
    LOL
    Everybody else in a three-piece suit and ol’ Valerie standing there in her robe.
    Half a robe, actually!
    LOL
    I also thought they were a lot stricter about images like that in the ’50s–boobs falling out of tops and hemlines practically up to the pantyline! Like what’s-her-name said on Absolutely Fabulous:
    “Her dress is so short, the world is her gynecologist.”

    Interesting that this director later does a 180 and directs beach movies.
    What an abrupt directional turn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • hehe on the old wobble juice! I seem to be on it more and more during this lock-down. hic!
      Apart from the half robe Miss Valerie does keep it respectable. Though I think you are right on the laws keeping it “decent” I think they were always pushing the boundaries.
      “Her dress is so short, the world is her gynecologist.” HAHA LOL That is so funny.
      Yeah what a switcheroo with the director. “I could go off and do some deep meaningful drama which no one will see or sit on a beach all day surrounded bikinis, cocktails and bongo beats”! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Exactly! He was like, “I’m in Hollywood. Why am I even trying?”
    And then his new life of bikinis and cocktails, LOL

    PS: Not that I was for “decency laws”. I thought they were hilarious and absurd! Like when they made Lucy and Ricky sleep in separate beds on I Love Lucy even though they were married.
    Oh my God! If we let them sleep in the same bed, people might think of SEX, THEN what would happen?! It would be like what Bill Murray said in Ghostbusters–“Human sacrifice, cats and dogs living together–MASS HYSTERIA!!”

    But in a way, conversely, one can see what they were maybe trying to prevent…going down the road we eventually went down where we are now with no propriety whatsoever. But you can’t stop some things. You can’t lasso a cloud, can you?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve been on fire with superb film and TV quotes Stacey. Proper kudos. The Ghostbusters one is so brilliant.
      Yeah that Dear Murderer they were in seprate beds, no wonder she was off canoodling with half the population of her street! Well I never..
      But yeah it’s got completely out of control now. Especially music videos!! My gosh, my jaw is on the floor most of the time. “What, what I’m British don’t you know!” Gasp! “More tea vicar”

      Liked by 1 person

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