Watch Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
- 1 hr 5 min
In the classic sci-fi movie Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, which was released in 1958, wealthy heiress Nancy Archer (Allison Hayes) finds herself growing to immense proportions. Nancy is married to Harry Archer (William Hudson), but she is deeply unhappy in her marriage, as Harry is an unfaithful womanizer who is only interested in her for her money. One fateful night, Nancy is driving out in the desert and has a close encounter with a UFO, which leaves her irradiated and mutated.
Upon returning to her normal size, Nancy begins to notice strange things happening to her body- she is growing taller, her hair is turning white, and she is developing superhuman strength. A doctor advises the Archers that Nancy's condition is caused by prolonged exposure to radiation, but they don't believe him. Meanwhile, Harry is cheating on Nancy yet again, this time with his mistress Honey Parker (Yvette Vickers). One night, Nancy sneaks out to catch Harry in the act and inadvertently discovers him and Honey together.
Enraged, Nancy decides to get revenge on her unfaithful husband once and for all. She storms off into town, towering over all of the buildings as she goes, and proceeds to wreak havoc on anyone who crosses her path- including Harry and Honey. The military is called in to stop her, but Nancy's mutant powers prove too strong for them to handle. In the end, Nancy is left alone and embittered, her immense size and strength having turned her into a tragic monster.
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman was directed by Nathan Juran, who had previously helmed several classic sci-fi movies like The Deadly Mantis and 20 Million Miles to Earth. The basic premise of the film- a woman growing to giant size- was inspired by a 1940 fantasy novella called The Nth Man by Homer Eon Flint. The movie was produced on a low budget and features a number of cheesy special effects, including a giant hand and foot that were created by having Allison Hayes wear oversized gloves and shoes.
Despite its campy reputation, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman has become a beloved cult classic over the years, thanks in large part to Allison Hayes' towering performance as Nancy. Hayes, who had previously appeared in films like Sign of the Pagan and Gunslinger, brings a fierce intensity to her portrayal of a woman driven to madness by her husband's infidelity. Even when she is towering over buildings and crushing cars beneath her feet, Hayes never loses sight of the character's humanity.
William Hudson, who plays Harry, is appropriately despicable as Nancy's cheating husband. Yvette Vickers, who would later appear in films like Invasion of the Saucer Men and Attack of the Giant Leeches, has a relatively small role as Honey, but she makes the most of it with her sultry presence. The supporting cast includes many familiar faces from the sci-fi genre, including Ken Terrell, George Douglas, and Otto Waldis.
Although it is often remembered as a cheesy B-movie, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is surprisingly subversive and feminist for its time. Nancy's transformation is initially presented as a punishment for her vanity and materialism, but as the story progresses it becomes clear that her rage is justified- she has been mistreated and objectified by the men in her life, and she has every right to be angry about it. Her giant size and superhuman strength are a metaphor for the power that women have been denied throughout history, and the film ultimately suggests that her monstrousness is less frightening than the societal structures that created it.
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman has had a lasting impact on popular culture, inspiring numerous homages and parodies over the years. In addition to the 1993 remake starring Daryl Hannah, it has been referenced in everything from The Simpsons to Mystery Science Theater 3000. It remains a beloved and essential part of the sci-fi canon, a reminder of the power of women's rage and the enduring appeal of giant monsters.
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a 1958 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 5 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.0.