Battle of the Worlds
In one of Cluade Rains' last appearances, he portrays Professor Benson, a scientist out of touch with society who thrives on using calculus and mathematics over the man made machinery of the future. Future Earth, displayed here as a politically harmonious Utopia, faces disastrous disruption of its smoothly-running society when a dying planet hovering on the horizon attacks via flying saucer. This planet known as the "outsider" is able to control its saucers by means of musical wave lengths. Once Benson discovers their means of communication, he develops a way to use their technology against them. After the military colony on Mars hears of this "outsider", they orbit Earth where Commander Robert Cole teams up with the Professor in organizing a trip to the core of the intruding planet. In the meantime, the world army is organizing a missile attack to destroy the "outsider" once the science team has returned to earth.
The science team led by Professor Benson and Commander Robert Cole, are given a three-hour time limit to gather as much information as they can about the planet. Once Benson discovers the entrance to the core of the planet, where the enemy world's atomic controls are located, he departs from the rest of his crew in search of scientific solitude. In asking the question, "What importance does life have...if to live means not to know", Benson refuses to leave the core. In doing this the rest of the crew is forced to retreat back to their space ship, because in a matter of minutes the world army was going to detonate their missiles. Although the crew made it to Earth safely, Professor Benson's fate was already decided for that the "outsider" was no more. In one of Antonio Margheriti's earliest films he does a great job of supplying all the necessary cheese for the bean dip. In this couch potato "B" movie classic Margheriti, credited as Anthony Dawson, ends the movie with one of the films worst lines ever: "Poor Benson, if they opened his chest they would find a formula, where his heart should have been."
Antonio Margheriti, who died recently on November 4th of 2002 of a heart attack, will always be known for his ultra low budget horror and sci-fi films. For many who don't know, Margheriti also directed the 1980 blood-fest Cannibal Apocalypse, starring John Morghen; And the crime thriller The Squeeze from 1978, starring the late Lee Van Cleef.