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Virtually The Day the Earth Stood Still retold, The Cosmic Man is another moralistic antiwar film with a kindly, intelligent alien who makes the U.S. Army look like destructive dunderheads. Bruce Bennett stars as the Robert Oppenheimer-type scientist who feels guilty about having created the atomic bomb and is now cautious about the relationship between science and the military. He's called in to investigate a mysterious floating white sphere believed to be from outer space. John Carradine is the helpful alien the army brass wants to exploit until they begin to fear his superior powers. Bennett fights to understand and save the Cosmic Man from trigger-happy soldiers and toady scientists. The special effects are charming because of their cheapness. The Cosmic Man first appears in negative but passes himself off as human by wearing a trench coat and kooky glasses with eyes painted on them. Add to that some hams in supporting actor roles and occasionally ridiculous dialogue. Look for Griffith Park Observatory doubling as a science lab!

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ID8702CO Cosmic Man DVD (1959/John Carradine) $9.99