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Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924)
"Aelita" (original title)

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This is called the first Soviet science fiction film because of its "futuristic" sets on Mars, although most of it takes place in Moscow. The movie is set at the beginning of the NEP (New ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yuliya Solntseva ...
Igor Ilyinsky ...
Nikolai Tsereteli ...
Engineer Los / Spiridinov
Nikolai Batalov ...
Gusev, Red Army Soldier
Vera Orlova ...
Nurse Masha
Valentina Kuindzhi ...
Natasha, Los' Wife (as Vera Kuindzhi)
Pavel Pol ...
Viktor Ehrlich, Sugar Profiteer
Konstantin Eggert ...
Tuskub, Ruler of Mars
Yuri Zavadsky ...
Gol, Radiant Energy Tower Guardian
Aleksandra Peregonets ...
Ihoshka, Aelita's Maidservant
Sofya Levitina
Varvara Massalitinova
Mikhail Zharov
Tamara Adelheim
Iosif Tolchanov ...
Mars Astronomer with Ihoshka
Edit

Storyline

This is called the first Soviet science fiction film because of its "futuristic" sets on Mars, although most of it takes place in Moscow. The movie is set at the beginning of the NEP (New Economic Policy) in December, 1921. A mysterious radio message is beamed around the world, and among the engineers who receive it are Los, the hero, and his colleague Spiridonov. Los is an individualist dreamer. Aelita is the daughter of Tuskub, the ruler of a totalitarian state on Mars in which the working classe are put into cold storage when they are not needed. With a telescope, Aelita is able to watch Los. As if by telepathy, Los obsesses about being watched by her. After some hugger-mugger involving the murder of his wife and a pursuing detective, Los takes the identity of Spiridonov and builds a spaceship. With the revolutionary Gusev, he travels to Mars, but the Earthlings and Aelita are thrown into prison by the dictator. Gusev and Los begin a proletarian uprising, and Aelita offers to lead ... Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

25 September 1924 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

Revolt of the Robots  »

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Technical Specs

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(video) | (DVD) (restored) (new edition) |

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the international exhibition of decorative arts, 1925 Paris Expo, Yakov Protazanov was given an award for this film. See more »

Goofs

When the spaceship takes off, the ascent is vertical, but the footage shown afterwards, which represents the velocity of the ship, is that of a horizontal motion. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episode #1.2 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A futurist masterpiece
8 November 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

A remarkable film from 1924, of immense historical interest. See the turbulence of Russia as it was just a few years after the 1917 revolution and the subsequent war 1918-21 against the foreign-backed White Army. But see it all in the context of a most amazing futurist film, at least the equal of the other two equivalent futurist greats from Germany and Britain - Metropolis (1927) and High Treason (1928), respectively. Arguably it is the best of the three, with avant garde sets and costumes that could have come straight out of the Bauhaus' choreography workshop. The version shown on Australian TV had a presumably later added music score that was just so perfect and integrated to the film's plot and visuals that it could not possibly have been better had it been original. It had a mesmerising robotic, minimalist, mechanical and repetitive character that was simply made for a futurist and surreal film like this. The cyrillic characters of the silent narration only add (for us Westerners, at least) to the mystery and surreality of the whole story, and one can only feel sorry for those who, after all this tour-de-force, feel shortchanged from an unfulfilled need for a more banal storyline. Or aggrieved by the perception of the film as mere propaganda. There's always reruns of Rambo and The Green Berets for you, fellers! It's a pity most cinephiles are oblivious to the existence of this film, as wider availability and screening would ensure its fame as one of the greatest silent, futurist and early modern films.


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