An anticommunist propaganda piece, THE 27TH DAY was well understood by its post-Sputnik audience. Moss is an alien from a dying planet whose people want to immigrate to Earth. He gives five humans from five different countries special killing capsules. It is against the ethics of Moss'
people to kill intelligent life, but Earthlings, he observes, seem set on destroying themselves. The capsules he hands out will instantly kill when opened but become useless after 27 days or the death of their bearer. French destroys her batch by tossing it into the ocean and Tsien's is rendered
to dust when she commits suicide. Moss broadcasts the name of his five bearers to the world. Barry, Voskovec, and Janti are the only ones left with the capsules. Janti is summoned to the Kremlin by the evil Soviet leader Schnabel. Schnabel wants Janti to destroy the West with these capsules, thus
insuring a Soviet-dominated world. Just as Janti is about to give in, he is shot by a KGB guard, and the pills turn to dust. Barry and Voskovec combine forces with French, and just before Schnabel declares nuclear war, the remaining capsules are released. The entire evil empire of the USSR is
wiped out, and the aliens come to colonize a new home on Earth, where peace and freedom will now reign. In addition, Barry and French wind up together in true romance. As science fiction this isn't too bad an effort, with suspense elements directed nicely. Some footage from EARTH VERSUS THE FLYING
SAUCERS was incorporated into the film also with good effect. The acting works well for the simplistic tale, but the film's real point of interest is as a barometer of political influences on Hollywood in the late 1950s. The worst of the HUAC blacklisting was slowly drawing to a close in 1957, but
problems were still blatant within the studio system. There were still a good number of strongly anticommunist, anti-Russian cold war stories being churned out to sate the powers-that-be, and THE 27TH DAY is an excellent example. Director Asher went on to direct BEACH PARTY, the first officially
recognized "beach" movie.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: An anticommunist propaganda piece, THE 27TH DAY was well understood by its post-Sputnik audience. Moss is an alien from a dying planet whose people want to immigrate to Earth. He gives five humans from five different countries special killing capsules. It… (more)