BY THE NUMBERS:
INVASION USA was shot in seven days in April of 1952 on a budget of $127,000. It went on to net nearly a million dollars.
- Source: Albert Zugsmith as interviewed for the book "Kings of the B's" (1973) edited by Todd McCarthy and Charles Flynn
Uncredited actor William Schallert (who portrays a television newscaster) worked on INVASION USA for one day, April 7, 1952, and was paid $75.00
- CONELRAD interview with William Schallert, April 1st, 2001
"Papers have been signed for the Columbia release of "INVASION USA" an American production, pic was co-produced by Albert Zugsmith and Robert Smith and starred Gerald Mohr, Peggie Castle, and Dan O'Herlihy."
- News report from Daily Variety dated September 17, 1952 announcing a distribution deal between Zugsmith's production company and Columbia pictures
INVASION USA opened at the RKO PANTAGES THEATER and RKO HILL STREET THEATER in Los Angeles ON January 14, 1953 and at THE GLOBE THEATER in New York City on April 29, 1953.
Albany, NY: "Mayor Erastus Corning's proclamation of 'Prevent Invasion Week' recommended Albanians see "Invasion USA" at the Grand..."
Washington, DC: "RKO Keith's theatre had a display model of a bombed-out city in its lobby, in connection with "Invasion USA"..."
- Both items from the Dec. 27, 1952 edition of the trade publication The Motion Picure Herald
"IT WILL SCARE THE PANTS OFF YOU!"
- Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, 1952
"…A SHODDY LITTLE SHOCKER."
- Excerpt from Time magazine review dated February 16, 1953
"Invasion USA, the Columbia release opened yesterday at the Globe, is an atomic-war picture showing the invasion and subjugation of the United States by an unnamed, but obviously Soviet, army. It is almost wholly composed of stock combat newsreel footage taken during World War II. But its clever editing makes it a war of the future, complete with atom-seared American cities, drowned American children (when Boulder Dam is atomized), and gut-shot senators on Capitol Hill. And, as a piece de resistance, a stately and desirable American girl commits suicide to avoid being revoltingly pawed by a fat, brutish, whiskey-swilling soldier whose accent places his origin just north of Minsk. It is a message picture.All the actors in it, especially the leads, Gerald Mohr, Peggie Castle, Dan O’Hierlihy (sic), and Robert Bice are dismal in their roles…"
- Excerpt from the New York Times film review of Invasion USA dated May 1, 1953
"'Invasion USA' may best be classified as a missed opportunity. It is what the movie trade might call an exploitation picture, dealing imaginatively with what could possibly happen if an enemy launched an atomic attack against the United States. The picture is one that should have been made on a grand scale, and would then have been highly effective. Instead it is in the hodge-podge quickie class, with seemingly an overload of stock film shots, and inadequate special effects."
- Excerpt from the Los Angeles Times review dated January 15th, 1953 (Note that this review was written by Edwin Schallert, father of William Schallert who appears uncredited in "Invasion USA")
"The cast is headed by Gerald Mohr, blonde Peggie Castle and Dan O'Herlihy. They do the best they can under the circumstances, but most of the other acting is pretty pathetic, especially that of the enemy troops."
- Excerpt from Los Angeles Examiner review dated January 15, 1953
"It is a tremendously exciting film... The picture is a fine example of excellent utilization of stock shots... (It) packs a big wallop."
- Excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter review dated December 3, 1952
"Invasion USA" is an imaginatively turned out film carrying 'scare' possibilities for a strong promotional campaign."
- Excerpt from the Daily Variety review dated December 3, 1952
"'Invasion USA' sounds a lot better than it is..."
- Excerpt from Hollywood Citizen-News review dated January 20th, 1953
"The yarn begins in a New York bar, which seems as good a place as any to start a movie of this kind... Mohr and Miss Castle handle their chores nicely, as does O'Herlihy, a young newcomer who should go great if given the chance."
- Excerpts from the Los Angeles Daily News review dated January 15th, 1953 review
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