Thursday, May 7, 2009

Does anyone remember 'Omicron'?

Maybe you can help me to remember more about this old movie, or point towards a way to see it again - - ?

This is a film that I haven't seen in something like 35 or more years.
Several times since then I've wanted to watch it again, and I'm very curious if it's even half as entertaining as I remember it.

'Omicron' is an Italian science-fiction comedy that was first released in 1963.

It was directed by Ugo Gregoretti and starred Renato Salvatori as an alien being who's come to Earth and is inhabiting the body of a dead factory worker.
The alien (Omicron) is an advance scout for an invasion force, here to learn about humans and our way of life.

Until finding a few images (mostly here) I've seen very little mention of this movie over the course of several decades of 'film buffery'. Whatever happened to it?

My memories are a little dim. I saw it a couple times on TV when I was a kid, which means it probably aired on a weekend afternoon on a local station. It probably also means that the version I saw was dubbed into english.

- - And as this was all so long ago, it could likely mean that it's really not as good as what I'm remembering.

I recall Omicron being able to do everything very quickly.
Lots of racing around at top speed to comedic effect.
Omicron sitting down with a stack of books, flipping through the pages and quickly reacting with laughter and tears as he absorbs the text.
Omicron smoking entire cigarettes in one quick draw.

The few small descriptions of the film that I've found corroborate the vague memory that much of the story's draw comes from familiar 'fish out of water' formulas that we're accustomed to seeing anytime a naive outsider character is confronted with the complications and hypocrisy of modern life.

Omicron at work, Omicron falling in love, Omicron learning what it is to be human.

Over the years I've flashed on this film while viewing things like 'Starman', or 'Brother From Another Planet', or 'K-PAX' or even the sitcom '3rd Rock From The Sun'.
You know what I'm talking about.

Other assorted review snippets (and broken translations) about 'Omicron' mention the political backdrop of its humor, specific to Italy in the '60s and specific to the plotline of the resurrected factory worker becoming involved in a labor dispute.
Perhaps this has something to do with the film being so hard to find now? Maybe it hasn't aged well?

Is there a good reason that it's not available on video?

I also recall 'Omicron' having some sort of fun
"The End - - or is it?"-type of ending, always a good sign in an old sci-fi movie, if you ask me.

What can you tell me about 'Omicron'?
Researching it isn't easy when there seems to be so little information available and you don't read Italian.

I'd love to hear from anyone who remembers this movie, especially if you've seen it more recently than the early 1970s.
Is there something there? Should I see it again - - and hey, where/how would I do that?

Please leave a comment or drop an e-mail.

No comments:

Freshly-stirred links