“If I should return in the future, perhaps we will meet with a better understanding.”
The Air Force tracks a UFO as it passes over Oak Ridge, California. It lands in Stone Canyon just outside of Oak Ridge. The Air Force sends Colonel Matthews (Paul Langton) and Dr. Karl Sorenson (Bruce Bennett) from Pacific Tech to investigate. The UFO is ball shaped and appears to be hovering about 6 feet above the ground. Matthews and Sorenson don’t get along very well. They have differences of opinion on how to handle the sphere.
Near by Kathy Grant (Angela Greene) is a widow that runs a tourist lodge near the canyon. Hearing about the craft through the town grapevine she and her crippled son Ken (Scotty Morrow) drive up to see what is going on. The Air Force and the scientists make their headquarters in her lodge.
That night the comic man (John Carradine) leaves the sphere and wanders around the lodge. Sometimes he is invisible and sometimes he appears as a black shadow. He appears to be partially visible in daylight but invisible at night. Dr. Sorenson believes he is made of anti-matter. After wandering around and investigating his surroundings the cosmic man reappears dressed from head to toe, including a hat and coke bottle glasses. Nothing shows except his face. He says he is looking for a room at the lodge. Kathy believes he is one of the scientists assigned to the sphere.
Dr. Sorenson and his assistant Dr. Richie (Walter Maslow) try to find out who the cosmic man is and why he is on Earth. He believes his intentions are peaceful and he wants to communicate with it. On the other hand, Colonel Matthews believes that he is a danger and he wants to destroy it. When he finally contacts the humans as the cosmic man, he relays his reason for coming to Earth.
“The Cosmic Man” was released in 1959 and was directed by Herbert S Greene. It’s an independently made movie. It is also one of the lesser known offerings. The special effect of showing the Cosmic Man as a translucent black figure was done by having Carradine wear "a peculiar-looking set of white tights and a hood to match; he was shot against a black background, then printed in negative into the scene." Herbert Greene directed only one other film, “Outlaw Queen” (1957), and "The Cosmic Man" was the only film made by Futura Productions Inc.
The props are low tech. While examining the sphere, an Air Force corporal places devices around the object. The devices are actually reflective grids used by film crews to adjust the lighting in specific parts of a shot.
Yes, it does have the same theme as “The Day the Earth Stood Still” just not as flamboyant. And with no budget. The most interesting thing about the movie is John Carradine’s voice. His voice is in the movie more than he is. The movie itself is basic 50’s “B” movie stuff. Great for Saturday matinees as the second string. It’s nothing fancy, but I’m sure there are a few people that may have seen it on the big screen. I enjoyed it.