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The Bubble is a 1966 American 3-D science fiction film in color, later re-released under the title Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth. It was written and directed by Arch Oboler and starred Michael Cole and Deborah Walley.

The Bubble
The Bubble British Poster.jpg
British quad poster
Directed byArch Oboler
Produced byMarvin J. Chomsky
Arch Oboler
Written byArch Oboler
StarringMichael Cole
Deborah Walley
Music byPaul Sawtell
Bert Shefter
CinematographyCharles F. Wheeler
Edited byIgo Kantor
Midwestern MagicVeurs
Distributed byArch Oboler Productions
Release date
  • December 21, 1966 (1966-12-21)
  • 1976 (1976) (Re-release)
Running time
112 minutes (Original release)
93 minutes[1] (1976 re-release)
CountryUnited States


A young couple, Mark and Katherine, are traveling on a small airplane and are forced to land in a remote town where the people are behaving oddly. They then attempt to escape from the town, but discover that there is a giant glass-like force field bubble around it that prevents anyone from leaving.



[citation needed]

The Bubble utilizes many gimmick shots that serve only to showcase the 3-D, which in 1966, after a dozen years' near-total absence from U.S. screens, was once again a novelty interesting in itself. Some gimmicks are marginally plot-related, such as Katherine reaching out to greet her husband, her arms stretching out to the viewer, but many are not. An electrical worker climbs up a power pole, the pole shown from above so that it projects out into the audience. Various objects are thrust out at the viewer. For no logical reason, a tray of beers defies gravity and slowly floats out of the screen to waft about in midair and tantalize the audience for a while before slowly returning. Scenes of vacant-faced townspeople strolling along the sidewalk in a daze while repeatedly opening and closing umbrellas, prolonged beyond any storytelling necessity, are revisited at intervals. Much of this gratuitous footage was trimmed out before later re-releases, unburdening the film of roughly twenty minutes of its original nearly two-hour running time.

Technical and historical importanceEdit

[citation needed]

The Bubble marked the introduction of the economical Space-Vision 3-D system. Unlike the two-camera, two-projector systems used to make and show the 3-D feature films of the 1950s, Space-Vision used a single ordinary movie camera with an external optical attachment that allowed it to simultaneously photograph the left-eye and right-eye views stacked in an "over-and-under" configuration on a single frame of film. Because each image was only half the standard height, this resulted in a widescreen aspect ratio with roughly the same proportions as CinemaScope. A special attachment on the projector allowed the two images to be projected through oppositely-oriented polarizing filters and superimposed on a screen provided with a special non-depolarizing surface. As with the feature-length 3-D films of the 1950s, the audience had to wear Polaroid-type 3-D glasses so that each eye would see only the image intended for it. Space-Vision was used for Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (1974), the only widely shown 3-D film of the 1970s. Functionally identical over-and-under systems, branded with various names, were used for most of the films made during a revival of 3-D that began with the release of Comin' at Ya! in 1981.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "FANTASTIC INVASION OF PLANET EARTH (A)". British Board of Film Classification. 1972-11-28. Retrieved 2013-06-29.

External linksEdit