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Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a 1958 science fiction feature film produced by Bernard Woolner for Allied Artists Pictures. It was directed by Nathan H. Juran (credited as Nathan Hertz) from a screenplay by Mark Hanna, and starred Allison Hayes, William Hudson and Yvette Vickers. The original music score was composed by Ronald Stein. The film was a take on other movies that had also featured size changing humans, namely The Amazing Colossal Man and The Incredible Shrinking Man, but substituting a woman as the protagonist.

The story concerns the plight of Nancy Archer, a wealthy heiress whose close encounter with an enormous alien being causes her to grow into a Giant Woman. She uses her new size and power to seek revenge against her philandering husband Harry and his mistress, Honey Parker.

Plot

Allison Hayes stars as Nancy Archer, whose husband Harry (William Hudson) wants the US $50 million she recently inherited from her father so he can abandon her and live it up with his young mistress Honey Parker (Yvette Vickers). After catching Harry flirting with Honey during a Friday night dance at a local bar, Nancy encounters a spaceship carrying an extraterrestrial thirty feet tall who, we later learn, needs diamonds to power his "satellite," as the craft is called throughout the movie. (The film was produced about two months after the launch of Sputnik, and was co-featured with the Roger Corman film War of the Satellites.) Nancy wears one of the largest "rocks" of all, the priceless Star of India diamond. The local sheriff initially scoffs at Nancy's tale, but humors her because the taxes she pays afford him and his deputy a comfortable salary. Harry sees what he regards as his wife's relapse into alcoholism as an opportunity to have Nancy committed to an asylum. The next afternoon, having summoned a psychiatrist to examine his wife, Harry agrees to drive Nancy, now seductively dressed in tight-fitting toreador pants, through the desert in search of the alien.

At sunset they find his satellite. Nancy pounds on the hull of the ship and, finally vindicated, shouts, "It's real! I'm not crazy!" thus rousing the interplanetary traveler inside. Finding the creature impervious to bullets, Harry flees, leaving Nancy at the giant's mercy. The alien intends his victim no personal harm; he only wants the Star of India. However, in seizing the diamond he scratches her throat causing Nancy to faint. He then takes the unconscious woman back to her home and leaves her on the roof of the poolhouse. Later, her doctor explains that she has apparently been exposed to some kind of radiation.

Egged on by Honey, Harry schemes to give Nancy a lethal dose of a "serum" with which she's being treated. Approaching her in the dark with Nancy's private nurse surreptitiously following him, he discovers that Nancy has grown to an enormous size. Nancy's doctors want to operate to stop her growth, but they need Harry's permission to begin the procedure. Imagining his wife to be incapacitated, he leaves home and spends the evening drowning his sorrows in a bar with Honey while awaiting Nancy's demise. Doctors manage to sedate and restrain her massive form as the sheriff and the Archers' butler follow the giant's footprints and discover his satellite. When they attempt to reclaim the stolen diamond, they are chased away and their car demolished before the spacecraft takes off. By nightfall Nancy is too large to restrain. Wrapping sheets around her body, she escapes by tearing the roof off her own mansion. "I know where my husband is!" she exclaims, heading toward town. "He's with that woman! I'll find him." Cornering the cheating lovers, she rips the roof off the bar in which they're hiding and hurls a beam onto Honey, killing her. She then picks up Harry and carries him away like a rag doll (which is the prop that was actually used in this scene). The sheriff fires a riot gun at an electrical transformer just as Nancy passes it. This electrocutes her as well as her husband, which she only wanted to herself, thus ending the movie.

1993 remake

The movie was remade in 1993 as Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman, starring Daryl Hannah in the leading role. Although it was a low-budget production, the 1990s special effects were sufficient to make Hannah a convincing giantess. Whenever she gets angry, she starts to grow. And this movie is a little more revealing. One memorable scene showed her using a swimming pool for a bathtub, whilst talking to her normal-sized husband (played by Daniel Baldwin) on the poolside. The movie also had a strong feminist undercurrent; the heroine's "enlargement" is a metaphor for her emancipation from the men who previously had controlled her life. The ending had also been changed, where it is revealed that the aliens responsible for giving her the ability to grow also gave it to two unnamed women with similar husbands. They are taken onboard the alien ship, and their husbands are placed inside a cylinder and will only be released when they learn to be better husbands. Hannah's husband is the only one not making any progress.

1995 parody

In 1995, Fred Olen Ray produced a parody entitled Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold, starring J.J. North and Tammy Parks. Beyond the basic premise, the plot had little in common with the original movie, being concerned with the side-effects of a beauty-enhancing formula on two ambitious girl models. The movie was deliberately farcical and made on an extremely low budget; the illusion of size-difference was achieved using forced perspective, unlike the earlier movies which used composite imaging.

In popular culture

  • One Key Blooper in the movie is when the Giant from Outer Space, when angered, picks up one style of car, then the camera cuts away then the Giant is shown throwing a totally different style of car into the ditch.
  • This Clip of the Giant throwing the car, from "The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" was used to end the Original Opening Sequence of WPIX Channel 11 New York's "Chiller Theatre" back in the 1960s
  • Clips from the movie are spoofed in the music video for Neil Finn's 1998 single She Will Have Her Way.
  • Clips from the movie theme and related merchandise and scenario were used in the video clip for the song CALL ME from the 80s pop music group GO WEST .
  • Various animated television series have referenced the film, usually in episodes which involve a female character becoming giant-sized.
  • Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" book Moving Pictures climaxes with a giant, 50 foot woman carrying a screaming ape up a tall tower. This is also an inversion of the ending of King Kong, with flying wizards on broomsticks taking the place of the aeroplanes.
  • The iconic Movie Poster has previously been parodied with a similar poster entitled Attack of the 50 ft Christ
  • The Movie was also homaged in Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #13, a story entitled 'Attack of the Fity-Foot Girl!', spotlighting Avengers member Giant-Girl. the cover of this issue was also based upon the Movie's Poster.
  • In the anime series Lucky Star, Hiyori has a delusion resembling the poster for the film, with her classmate Yutaka as the giant woman.
  • A commercial was made that played on MTV2 which was a Buddy Lee advertisement that had a 90 ft. Women walking in the city.
  • On the UK TV show Coupling, the character Jeff Murdock has the movie poster on the wall of his apartment.
  • One episode of Mo Willems´ Sheep in the Big City features a spoof called "Attack of the 50 Foot Creature", referring to a monster made of 50 human feet.
  • Preschool Tea Party Massacre, a Cyber-Grind band has the Attack of the 50 Foot Women as their album cover for the album Return To The Bone Concubine.
  • An episode of the 1998 Warner Bros. cartoon Toonsylvania called "Attack of the 50-Footed Woman" was about a woman who, through nuclear mutation, grows 50 feet tall, and also grows 50 legs.

Availability

The original Attack of the 50 Foot Woman was released on DVD by Warner Bros. on June 26, 2007. It includes an audio commentary with co-star Yvette Vickers and interviewer Tom Weaver.

References

External links

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