Flight to Mars (Monogram, 1951). Mexican Foyer Card (12.five” X sixteen.5”).
youtu.be/N18m1uoA8Ts?t=3s Full 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 starting of the fifties science fiction trend and identified a team of researchers (and one token newspaper reporter) using a rocket for the 1st inter-planetary trip to Mars. Of study course the moment they are there, they find out an underground modern society populated by attractive Martian ladies led by a Queen Alita (Marguerite Chapman). It was a well known concept that would be recurring in these films as Queen of Outer Area (established on Venus) and Fire Maidens of Outer Area (established on Jupiter).
This minimal film is in fact a gem of a B-film. Monogram was a B studio, but they set a large amount into Flight to Mars (FTM). For one detail, it is in shade. They set more than normal into the sets. It is continue to a B-film, but it is a B+. The plot is derived from Alexsei Tolstoy’s novel Aelita but drew from the e book more than from the 1924 film, which was also (loosely) dependent on the e book. It is more of an journey than political commentary. Most of the action takes spot on Mars. The pacing fairly brisk, for a B film. Irrespective of making use of quite a few B-film cliches, the total influence is effective pretty properly.
Several researchers (including the requisite one woman) and a reporter just take off on an exploratory mission to Mars. The ship is destroyed by meteors (which just generally looks to occur) these that they have to crash land on Mars. They survive, but the ship is far too destroyed to return. The crew ought to go EVA in just flight jackets. They uncover developing buildings and experience the Martians (in area fits) who have metropolitan areas underground. While industrialized and supposedly technologically innovative, the Martians have in no way figured out area journey, so aren’t a lot assist. Their ruler, Ikron, provides to assist the earth guys create a new ship dependent on the structure of the one they came in. In truth, he options to imprison the earthlings and just take their rocket when their carried out. He then options to copy the earth rocket, making a fleet, by which he can invade and colonize the earth. “Ours is a dying planet” he tells the council. Ikron’s plot is found out as the earthlings are aided by the charming martian babe: Alita. She helps the crew narrowly escape the guards and commandeer the duplicated ship so they can return to earth. Alita and her father (the “fantastic” councilman) return with the earthlings so that they may get assist to overthrow the tyrant Ikron. The Finish..
A lot of good reasons. 1st off, this is a clean form of area journey unencumbered with Chilly War gloom which was previously pervading films. The rocket alone is a interesting case in point of 50s wondering. The smoky flames coming out of the model-on-a-string scenes are pure B-film things.
The prevailing idea that alien apparel simply experienced to have a huge lightening bolt icon emblazoned on the upper body, is fun to see far too. Then there are the big shoulder pads! In which did that arrive from? Mars, evidently. It is also type of amusing that alien workers (specially if used by the lousy male) tended to dress in leather-based with studs, as if re-employed from some sword and sandal flicks. Why are innovative technology workers putting on leather-based vests with studs? There’s some quirky social mythology at get the job done there.
And, talking of costumes, it is fascinating that fifties administrators (and audiences) have been so determined that alien ladies would be pretty, young, tall, leggy and dressed in micro-skirts and incredibly higher heels. Area, it appeared, was imagined to be like Las Vegas.
Another fun detail was that there have been no area fits for the earthlings! They just went out in leather-based bomber jackets, caps and oxygen masks. The martians, having said that, greet them putting on the michelin-guy area fits!! (These have been still left above from Location Moon.) THAT is an appealing scene. The earthlings are in caps and leather-based jackets though the aliens are in area fits…on their individual world!
Truly FTM has none of the normal Chilly War themes. This is, of study course, for the reason that it was dependent on a pre-war e book, and a Russian one at that. Nonetheless, the writers prevented grafting in any Chilly War themes, so FTM comes across as more journey than moralizing.
If you experienced found the 1924 film, Aelita: Queen of Mars you would almost certainly not imagine of FTM as a remake. They feel like incredibly different stories, other than for there staying earthlings which land on Mars and uncover martians. The important feminine martian in FTM is named Alita. That is about your only clue. In FTM, she’s a fantastic male — dressed in the appropriate white silky small costume, though the other (“lousy”) woman will get a dark crimson small costume with spiky shoulder pads. If you noticed the 1924 film, Aelita, you’d see a hint at the riot subplot recurring. Viewers are advised there are people who oppose Ikron and that he’ll be overthrown the moment Alita and a “fantastic” councilman get to earth with our earthling crew.
If you view FTM, see the colors. It is shot in CineColor. This two-strip method experienced more a restricted shade rendering selection than Technicolor’s 3-strip, but was a lot cheaper. It was anything like twenty% more expensive than black and white, and expected less lights, so it wasn’t out of the realm for a small studio like Monogram. Because CineColor captured colors making use of a blue and a crimson filter, it was fantastic at blues, browns, reds, and flesh tones. CineColor didn’t do environmentally friendly or yellow incredibly properly. As a consequence, FTM has a decidedly blue-gray and crimson-brown coloring. The colors appeared incredibly 50s.
For actor-watchers, the venerable Morris Ankrum performs the portion of sinister martian ruler: Ikron. Ankrum frequently performs the role of Army Standard in these B-films, so it is kinda fun to see him out of uniform and in the role of villain. It looked like he experienced fun executing it.
Bottom line? FTM is a fun B film. For as early as it came in the Golden Decade of sci-fi, it is a fine area journey. The sets and costumes are incredibly a lot a solution of the moments. FTM is value the research to uncover it.