For a few months in 1954 and the early part of '55 reviews spelled out official aspect ratios for individual releases: is listed as 1:85, : 2:55, , This Island Earth: 2:1, , : 1:85. Then the magazine breaks off its reportage, probably deciding they were adding to the confusion rather than making things clearer.
THE technical effects of "This Island Earth," Universal's first science-fiction excursion in color, are so superlatively bizarre and beautiful that some serious shortcomings can be excused, if not overlooked. Featuring Rex Reason, Faith Domergue and Jeff Morrow, this William Alland production, at the Victoria, can also boast reasonable acting and plucky, even literate, writing. It sorely needs a pair of shears, a less conventional musical score and a director of considerably more drive and less awe toward his subject than Joseph Newman.
Even cutting it slack for the primitive technology can't remedy the greater problem that This Island Earth is rather dull, even at a brief 86 minutes in length. During the ponderous preamble prior to the trip to Metaluna, I found myself fighting the urge to make wisecracks at the screen, MST3K-style, in response to the stentorian dialogue. That's when I remembered that the film heckled in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie was - tada! - This Island Earth. (Best line: Brack (Lance Fuller) singing into the Interociter, "It's the Brack Show, starring me, I'm Brack!") With Reason's insanely manly voice - he makes Yul Brynner sound like Chris Tucker - it's hard to resist a catcall or two.