Supersonic Saucer (1956)

I sometimes wonder, when I am watching a children’s film, whether any child out there would actually be entertained by it.

That is certainly my reaction to Supersonic Saucer.

Mind you, I may just be grumpy because the same footage of the eponymous “Saucer” keeps getting reused over and over.  With the exact same music playing each time, and with the saucer taking the same little loops as it flies around.  For a film this short — only Fifty minutes — it seems strange that they felt the need to pad it out.

And, yes, it does feel like padding because it is a standard film convention that you don’t need to show everything, particularly once you’ve established the basic situation.  You can, for example show something leaving, then reaching its destination, then arriving back home.

Three shots.  Done.

The holidays have come and all the kids at the boarding school get to go home — all of them, that is, except for two girls whose parents couldn’t afford to bring them home, and the Headmaster’s son.

He’s not too happy that he’s expected to help look after the girls, and the girls are unhappy because they just want to go home.

Mind you, none of them realize that a local gang is planning to rob the school, with the help of a devious school servant.

But their stay suddenly becomes so much better when a flying saucer shows up from Venus…

The flying saucer is actually some sort of creature which turns into a saucer.  As a saucer, it is a small white animated saucer shape, which is almost always animated against a series of still photographs of the city, and accompanied with the same sound effects and repetitive music.

The creature is an absolutely terrible puppet which is sort of a white blob at first which then unfolds into a taller white blob with eyes.

Let’s face it: no one is going to make a toy out of this thing.  It certainly isn’t either cute or appealing.  The only cute children’s character I can think of which is worse is Magic Crystal.

Oh well.

Supersonic Saucer was one of the series of films made by the Children’s Film Foundation, a tax funded program that made dozens of these short films.  Despite their short length, they were made for theatrical release.

This is perhaps the most puzzling part about these films, as I find it difficult to imagine how they were presented: as part of a matinee program, perhaps, or maybe they ran two at once?

Or maybe they were short to make it easier for a theater to fit them into its schedule, or as the bottom half of a double feature?  I suppose they might have doubled up with a far better American children’s film.  That would work.

Oh, well.  I’ve said it before:

Whenever I finally catch up with some obscure Fifties Sci Fi film I’ve never seen…

There is almost always some obvious reason it was so hard to find…

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