Flight to Mars (Monogram, 1951). Mexican Foyer Card (12.5″ X 16.5”).
youtu.be/N18m1uoA8Ts?t=3s Comprehensive Characteristic
Starring Marguerite Chapman, Cameron Mitchell, Arthur Franz, Virginia Huston, John Litel and Morris Ankrum. Directed by Lesley Selander.
This fun gem hailed from the beginning of the nineteen fifties science fiction craze and found a group of experts (and one particular token newspaper reporter) getting a rocket for the first inter-planetary vacation to Mars. Of course after they are there, they uncover an underground modern society populated by appealing Martian gals led by a Queen Alita (Marguerite Chapman). It was a popular topic that would be recurring in these types of films as Queen of Outer Space (established on Venus) and Fire Maidens of Outer Space (established on Jupiter).
This minimal film is essentially a gem of a B-film. Monogram was a B studio, but they set a great deal into Flight to Mars (FTM). For one particular factor, it truly is in coloration. They set much more than common into the sets. It really is however a B-film, but it truly is a B+. The plot is derived from Alexsei Tolstoy’s novel Aelita but drew from the e book much more than from the 1924 film, which was also (loosely) dependent on the e book. It really is much more of an journey than political commentary. Most of the motion requires area on Mars. The pacing quite brisk, for a B film. Inspite of applying several B-film cliches, the over-all outcome performs pretty perfectly.
Numerous experts (together with the requisite one particular woman) and a reporter take off on an exploratory mission to Mars. The ship is weakened by meteors (which just usually seems to materialize) these types of that they have to crash land on Mars. They survive, but the ship is as well weakened to return. The crew need to go EVA in just flight jackets. They locate constructing structures and encounter the Martians (in room satisfies) who have metropolitan areas underground. Even though industrialized and supposedly technologically sophisticated, the Martians have by no means figured out room journey, so aren’t considerably enable. Their ruler, Ikron, delivers to enable the earth gentlemen make a new ship dependent on the style of the one particular they arrived in. In reality, he designs to imprison the earthlings and take their rocket when their carried out. He then designs to copy the earth rocket, making a fleet, by which he can invade and colonize the earth. “Ours is a dying entire world” he tells the council. Ikron’s plot is learned as the earthlings are aided by the wonderful martian babe: Alita. She aids the crew narrowly escape the guards and commandeer the duplicated ship so they can return to earth. Alita and her father (the “excellent” councilman) return with the earthlings so that they could get enable to overthrow the tyrant Ikron. The End..
Lots of factors. Initially off, this is a refreshing form of room journey unencumbered with Chilly War gloom which was already pervading films. The rocket by itself is a amazing instance of 50s imagining. The smoky flames coming out of the model-on-a-string scenes are pure B-film things.
The prevailing notion that alien dresses simply had to have a massive lightening bolt icon emblazoned on the upper body, is fun to see as well. Then there are the big shoulder pads! Where by did that occur from? Mars, apparently. It really is also sort of amusing that alien personnel (specially if used by the negative guy) tended to put on leather-based with studs, as if re-employed from some sword and sandal flicks. Why are sophisticated know-how personnel donning leather-based vests with studs? There is some quirky social mythology at operate there.
And, speaking of costumes, it truly is intriguing that nineteen fifties administrators (and audiences) were being so resolved that alien gals would be pretty, young, tall, leggy and dressed in micro-skirts and pretty high heels. Space, it seemed, was imagined to be like Las Vegas.
A different fun factor was that there were being no room satisfies for the earthlings! They just went out in leather-based bomber jackets, caps and oxygen masks. The martians, having said that, greet them donning the michelin-guy room satisfies!! (These were being remaining around from Location Moon.) THAT is an intriguing scene. The earthlings are in caps and leather-based jackets while the aliens are in room satisfies…on their own earth!
Truly FTM has none of the common Chilly War themes. This is, of course, for the reason that it was dependent on a pre-war e book, and a Russian one particular at that. Nonetheless, the writers prevented grafting in any Chilly War themes, so FTM arrives throughout as much more journey than moralizing.
If you had observed the 1924 film, Aelita: Queen of Mars you would in all probability not imagine of FTM as a remake. They seem to be like pretty distinctive tales, apart from for there staying earthlings which land on Mars and locate martians. The essential female martian in FTM is named Alita. That is about your only clue. In FTM, she’s a excellent guy — dressed in the suitable white silky quick costume, while the other (“negative”) woman will get a darkish crimson quick costume with spiky shoulder pads. If you observed the 1924 film, Aelita, you’d see a hint at the rebellion subplot recurring. Viewers are instructed there are all those who oppose Ikron and that he’ll be overthrown after Alita and a “excellent” councilman get to earth with our earthling crew.
If you watch FTM, detect the shades. It really is shot in CineColor. This two-strip process had much more a confined coloration rendering assortment than Technicolor’s 3-strip, but was considerably more cost-effective. It was anything like twenty% much more high-priced than black and white, and expected less lighting, so it was not out of the realm for a modest studio like Monogram. Since CineColor captured shades applying a blue and a crimson filter, it was excellent at blues, browns, reds, and flesh tones. CineColor failed to do inexperienced or yellow pretty perfectly. As a result, FTM has a decidedly blue-gray and crimson-brown coloring. The shades seemed pretty 50s.
For actor-watchers, the venerable Morris Ankrum plays the component of sinister martian ruler: Ikron. Ankrum usually plays the function of Military Basic in these B-films, so it truly is kinda fun to see him out of uniform and in the function of villain. It looked like he had fun accomplishing it.
Base line? FTM is a fun B film. For as early as it arrived in the Golden Ten years of sci-fi, it truly is a good room journey. The sets and costumes are pretty considerably a item of the instances. FTM is really worth the lookup to locate it.