A couple of years later i saw the George Pal film - and instantly fell in love with it. Still love it now, a great mix of drama and adventure, brilliant for its time effects and stunning design work. The sleek, manta craft are still my favourite SF vehicles of all time.
And a very scary film too. The hand on the frankly overacting if she could act Anne Robinson is a brilliant bit of tension but what affected me deeply - still does now in fact - is that "snakey" sound of the Heat Ray as it moves around and the noise of it firing.
Stunning stuff. And the scene where the US first gets whooped has yet to be beaten in my opinion.
And the first appearance and firing of the Heat Ray really deserves to be recognised for the classic film moment that it is.
have a look at this neat compilation and wallow in the greatness of it: