Battle in Outer Space (1959)
Is the Earth reduced to space dust? A giant battle develops on the other side of the moon! (地球は宇宙の塵と化すか？月の裏側に展開する一大決戦！)
— Japanese tagline
Space wages war on Earth!
— American tagline
Battle in Outer Space (宇宙大戦争 is Uchū Daisensō, lit. Great Space War)1959 tokusatsu film produced by Toho, and a loose sequel to The Mysterians. It was released to Japanese theaters on December 26, 1959 and to American theaters on July 8, 1960.
In the year 1965, the space station JSS-3 is attacked and destroyed by a trio of flying saucers. Around the world, an unknown force begins lifting objects into the sky, causing accidents. All the survivors of the events suffer from extreme frostbite. At a UN meeting, it is theorized that the attacks are of alien origin, and the frostbite is a result of them freezing the objects to reduce their gravitational pull. Meanwhile, a delegate exits the building and into a courtyard, and is abducted by a red light.
The delegate reappears, and attempts to sabotage the heat ray experiment at the meeting. He is caught before he can finish, and takes a hostage. He explains that Earth will become a colony of the planet Natarl before attempting to escape. A Natarl saucer soon appears and disintegrates him, leaving behind a radio transmitter which allows the UN to determine the aliens' location: the Moon.
Two rockets, called SPIPs, take off for the moon. They are attacked by remote controlled meteors, but they escape. A pilot of one of the SPIPs is caught trying to sabotage the ship's engines, but he is stopped. A warning is given to the SPIPs to not land on the moon, but it is ignored. The two ships land and find the Natarl base.
The mind controlled pilot breaks free of his ropes and blows up one of the SPIPs. Meanwhile, the Natarl base is discovered. One of the crew members is captured, but he is later freed. The group begins attacking the base, and blow it up. The mind-controlled pilot is freed, and stays behind on the moon for the others to escape. On Earth, the UN prepares for a final battle. They send up Scout Ships and Atomic Heat Cannons to attack. The Earth forces defend as long as they can, but some meteors break through and hit some cities. The Natarl mothership flies down and destroys Tokyo. The Atomic Heat Cannons manage to destroy it, ending the Natarl invasion.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Ishiro Honda
- Written by Jojiro Okami and Shinichi Sekizawa
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Akira Ifukube and Yosaku Suma
- Cinematography by Hajime Koizumi
- Edited by Kazuji Taira
- Production Design by Teruaki Abe
- Assistant Directing by Koji Kajita
- Special Effects by Eiji Tsuburaya
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Ryo Ikebe as Major Ichiro Katsumiya
- Kyoko Anzai as Etsuko Shiraishi
- Minoru Takada as Defense Commander
- Koreya Senda as Dr. Adachi
- Leonard Stanford as Dr. Roger Richardson, U.S. Representative
- Harold Conway as Dr. Immerman
- George Wyman as Dr. Ahmed
- Elise Richter as Sylvia
- Hisaya Ito as Kogure
- Yoshio Tsuchiya as Iwomura
- Nadao Kirino as Crewman Okada
- Kozo Nomura as Rocket Captain
- Fuyuki Murakami as Inspector Ariake
- Ikio Sawamura as Tokaido Railway Track Inspector
- Jiro Kumagai, Mitsuo Tsuda as Defense Official
- Mitsuo Tsuda as Defense Official / Natarl
- Katsumi Tezuka as Naval Officer / Natarl
- Tadashi Okabe as Vice Officer
- Osman Yusef, Heinz Bodmer, Koichi Sato, Rinsaku Ogata, Yutaka Oka as SPIP No. 2 Crewmen
- Malcolm Pearce as Lt. Pearce, Captain of Rocket 1
- Leonard Walsh as Thomas Sheldon
- Yasuo Araki as Rocket 1 Crewman
- Dona Carlson as Mrs. Richardson
- Yasuhisa Tsutsumi, Shigeo Kato as Tokaido Train Engineers
- Kisao Katamochi as Space Station JSS-3 Radio Operator
- Yukihiko Gondo as Official
- Saburo Kadowaki as Astronomer
- Takuzo Kumagai, Kisao Hatamochi, Yasuo Araki, Keisuke Yamada, Koji Kamimura, Shinjiro Hirota as Natarls
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
- Natarl UFO
- Space Station JSS-3
- Moon All Terrain Vehicle
- Natarl Mother Ship
- FFE Space Fighter
- Atomic Heat Cannon
- Main article: Battle in Outer Space/Gallery.
- Main article: Battle in Outer Space (Soundtrack).
- The Great Space War (Literal Japanese Title)
- The Interplanetary Battle (La Bataille Interplanétaire; Belgium)
- Worlds at War (Mundos em Guerra; Brazil)
- Battle in Space (Batalla en el Espacio; Spain)
- Hell in the Stratosphere (Inferno nella stratosfera; Italy)
- Alarm 1965! (Hälytys 1965!; Finland)
- War of Satellites (Guerra de Satélites; Mexico)
- War in Outer Space (Krieg im Weltenraum; Germany)
- Japan - December 26, 1959
- United States - July 8, 1960
- West Germany - November 30, 1960
- Finland - December 16, 1960
- Mexico - January 1, 1961
Battle in Outer Space was acquired by Columbia Pictures, dubbed into English by Bellucci Productions, and released in U.S. theaters on July 8, 1960. It was the first Toho science-fiction film to be released in the U.S. without any added or deleted footage, although Akira Ifukube's score was replaced with library music in several scenes.
Unlike The H-Man and Mothra, the other two Toho titles distributed by Columbia, Battle in Outer Space never received a VHS release in the United States. It was finally released on the three-disc Icons of Sci-fi: Toho Collection DVD set by Sony in 2009, alongside The H-Man and Mothra, with Japanese and English language options.
- Region: 2
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono, 3.0 Perspecta Stereo, 5.1 Surround)
- Special Features: Theatrical trailer, storyboards, pamphlets and concept art, still photos, audio commentary by Koji Kajita
- Notes: Re-released on February 7, 2014 and on July 15, 2015 as part of the Toho DVD Masterpiece Selection.
Sony DVD (2009) [Icons of Sci-fi: Toho Collection]
- Region: 1
- Discs: 3
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono)
- Special Features: Audio commentary by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski (Mothra and Battle in Outer Space), trailers
- Note: Packaged with Mothra and The H-Man.
Sony Blu-ray (2018)
- Region: Unknown
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Unknown
- Special Features: Audio commentary by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
- Note: To be released on September 25, 2018.
Though Battle in Outer Space is not available on Blu-ray in Japan, an HD copy of the film can be rented or purchased on the Japanese version of iTunes.
- The 1977 Toho film The War in Space was planned as a sequel to this film, simple titled Battle in Outer Space II. This idea was scrapped during production.
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