Monday, February 13, 2017

A Quick Look: FLIGHT TO MARS (1952-color)

   The early 50's saw a number of space operas in production. Some were science fiction, while others leaned toward pulp. Out of this magic period arrived FLIGHT TO MARS, a semi George Pal-ish space opera in which man lands on the red planet to discover a functioning civilization on the brink of exhausting itself. The Martians are split on how to handle the knowledge of Earth's new space capabilities. Some feel Earth may be their salvation by peaceful trade, others that Earth must be taken with force. Fine cast headlines the sort of space opera that tries to be both serious and fun, in a story where space-suits are functional but women wear miniskirts in the Martian city. A lot of elements here would be used over and over within the genre, but FLIGHT TO MARS maintains some originality in it's being the first film to play with these themes. Most previous space operas of the decade featured either barren worlds or civilizations too savage to menace our own world. After this, though, such films were less space-bound safaris and more cosmic intrigue. Although the film had some TV play, it's become fairly rare since it's original release. The Wade Williams DVD print is pretty worn, for example. Still, it's great to see pictures like this being preserved and enjoyed.

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