Monday, August 29, 2016

Red Planet Mars (1952)

Director: Harry Horner

Writers: John L. Balderston, Anthony Veiller, John Hoare

Composer: Mahlon Merrick

Starring: Peter Graves, Andrea King, Herbert Berghof, Walter Sande, Marvin Miller, Willis Bouchey, Morris Ankrum, Orley Lindgren, Bayard Veiller

More info: IMDb

Tagline: SEE! The first contact between Earth and Mars!

Plot: An American scientist is able to contact and communicate with Mars with shattering political, economic, and spiritual repercussions.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

The 'red' in the title doubles as the Red Scare/Russian threat at the time this picture was made, complete with relating the USA with Christianity early on.  There's also the battle between science (wanting to advance civilization 1,000 years) and the government (wanting to keep the Ruskies from getting a leg up on us).  If you're looking for outer space picture with martians and groovy models then you're going to be very disappointed.  Nobody leaves Earth.  But if sci-fi loaded with talky-talky, you just might dig it.  On the latter level it almost works.  There are some interesting ideas bandied about but it's HEAVY on Christianity.  It's the God-loving Americans versus the heathen Russians.  If it weren't for that last bit I'd be more inclined to like it a little more but it's such an obvious piece of propaganda that the film is hurt by it.  I REALLY liked the last few minutes where Calder (well-played by Berghof, the evil nasty man) confronts Chis and Linda (Graves and King).  There's some neat and dire shit talked about...until they hit you over the head with the God stuff.  But then shit gets real and people die.  I LOVED that part.  Then it's back to God with the President of the US addressing the world.  The film seems to play to the sheep or children which is curious as it's only adults who might get all the way through it without falling asleep.  For kids, it's got to be a snoozefest.  So I guess if you like your sci-fi heavy on the Jesus, then you might dig this picture, and if you do, you'll probably stand and salute with a tear in your eye when it's all over.

No comments:

Post a Comment