A 1956 BMovie directed by Fred Sears and written by ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' and ''[[Film/TheWolfMan1941 Wolf Man]]'' legend Curt Siodmak, which is mostly remembered for special effects by the legendary StopMotion animator Creator/RayHarryhausen, used to destroy UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC in a spectacular fashion unmatched until ''Film/IndependenceDay''.
!!This film contains examples of:
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Averted. The aliens have come to [[AlienInvasion conquer Earth]], but would prefer to [[VichyEarth negotiate terms]] rather than subdue our planet by force, which would mean governing a devastated world and its resentful population.
* AmericaSavesTheDay: The Flying Saucers concentrate their attack on the United States capital of Washington D.C., completely ignoring the other nations of the world.
** Some of the saucers ''are'' seen against StockFootage of New York, Paris and London, but there's no further reference to them.
-->"People of Earth, attention. This is a voice speaking to you from thousands of miles beyond your planet. Look to your sun for a warning."
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: The flat section of the flying saucers' hull spins for no descernable reason while they fly.
** [[WordOfGod According to Harryhausen]], [[WhenThingsSpinScienceHappens that's how]] their AntiGravity works.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Ya got flying saucers attacking Earth and lots of them!
* FlyingSaucer: [[SarcasmMode Well, duh...]]
* GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion: The DVD release includes a newly-colorized version, supervised by Harryhausen himself, although the original black and white is also included.
* TheGreys: The aliens inside their Power Armour.
* MindProbe: The "Infinitely Indexed Memory Scanner."
* MonumentalBattle: One of the first. Watching icons like the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building being trashed at the climax is one of the highlights of the film.
* PoorCommunicationKills: The aliens' extremely ''roundabout'' way of informing Dr. Marvin of their upcoming visit to the rocket base results in a massacre.
** The message was straightforward, they just made an error regarding the speed at which it was transmitted.
* PoweredArmor: The aliens use a version, mostly just to keep themselves alive, but they do have built-in blasters.
* ScienceHero: The Drs. Marvin both qualify, though Russell gets most of the work done.
* StockFootage: Lots of it, obviously for budgetary reasons, but quite cleverly integrated.
* StopMotion: Unusually, it's used for the flying saucers, not for the aliens themselves. It's even used for scenes where buildings are destroyed, because the usual technique of blowing up miniatures in slow-motion would have been too expensive.
* StuffedIntoTheFridge: The aliens do this to General Hanley and the policeman as revenge for one of their number being killed. They'd been keeping the two imprisoned and brainwashed aboard their ship, and kill them and dump the bodies from a high altitude for Russell and Carol to find in the woods.
* WashingtonDCInvasion: The final battle takes place around major landmarks in the city. Notable for the amount of (second unit) location filming around the Capitol Building and other landmarks, giving the tightly budgeted film a better look than your average B movie.
* WeComeInPeaceShootToKill: The military fire on the Flying Saucer when it lands in the middle of an army base, having not understood their signal asking for a meeting (because it was transmitted at the wrong speed). The aliens in turn want to make peaceful FirstContact, but only to negotiate the surrender of a VichyEarth, as conquering Earth by force is not in their interests.