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directed by William Asher
USA 1957


Gene Barry (War of the Worlds) stars in this unique, intelligent sci-fi thriller. Five ordinary humans are summoned by an alien (Arnold Moss, Gambit) who gives each a box containing capsules capable of killing millions of people. If they can refrain from using the capsules for 27 days, the Earth will be spared. Will they be able to stand firm, especially when word leaks out and a panicked and furious population starts to hunt them down? William Asher (I Love Lucy) directed this seldom-seen sleeper, adapted by John Mantley (Gunsmoke) from his own novel; the cast also includes Valerie French, George Voskovec, Paul Birch, Mel Welles and legendary voice actor Paul Frees in a rare onscreen appearance as a newscaster. Newly remastered.


For a nation firmly trapped in the icy grip of the American-Soviet Cold War of the 1950s, The 27th Day (1957) offered audiences a suitably chilling movie experience. Sharing some themes with the better known sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), The 27th Day poses a tantalizing end-of-the-world scenario, on a much more modest budget, that played off the fears – and prejudices – of contemporary Americans, circa 1957.

Excerprt from TCM located HERE


Theatrical Release: July 27th, 1957 (USA)

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DVD Review: Sony Pictures (Screen Classics by Request) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Sony Pictures

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:15:1

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.32 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (2:12)

DVD Release Date: September 21st, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 10



I guess the best response to The 27th Day is 'LOL'. Hey, I'm all for a little 50's sci-fi suspension of disbelief - but throw in the most obvious political propaganda and you've got  a bona fide, cult-defining, chuckler. The aliens are square dealers but in the end they can almost be heard chanting "U.S.A U.S.A U.S.A.!" in unison. Okay, it's not as obvious as I am making out and I'd be lying of I didn't say I enjoyed every minute.

Mimicking the move from the Warner Archive Collection, these releases are pressed DVD-R discs and available exclusively through Sony Pictures web site or at a few on-line retailers. This is single-layered, progressive and anamorphic in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. For SD - it looks impressive - solid contrast and greyscale, decent detail and clean as a whistle.

There's a PAL DVD of The 27th Day that's been around for a few years (from Spain I think) but, from what I have been able to gather, this Screen Classics is significantly improved in a/v.

The English audio is adequate - flaws are unnoticeable. Like Warner Archive discs, there are no subtitles available. The only extra is a trailer for the film. The menu design is basic and the film is divided to 10 chapters.

I can't seem to get enough of the 50's sci-fi genre and this was prime as well as being a bit of a hoot. Without the politico it is a fine sci-fi flic in its own right but with it The 27th Day advances to a new level of appeal with its sardonic look at the rest of the world. If you listen close enough I believe you can hear the lead alien mutter under his breath about the Russians. It sounds like he says 'Lousy Commies' but this is where subtitles would have been informative. :) Great stuff - recommended!

  - Gary Tooze



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