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Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924)

Aelita (original title)
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 ...
Nikolai Batalov ...
Vera Orlova ...
Nurse Masha
Valentina Kuindzhi ...
Natasha, Los' Wife (as Vera Kuindzhi)
Pavel Pol ...
Viktor Ehrlich, Sugar Profiteer
Konstantin Eggert ...
Yuri Zavadsky ...
Aleksandra Peregonets ...
Sofya Levitina
Varvara Massalitinova
Mikhail Zharov
Tamara Adelgeym
Iosif Tolchanov ...
Mars Astronomer with Ihoshka
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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>

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25 September 1924 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

Revolt of the Robots  »

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

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Finnish band "Cleaning Women" tours playing music on clotheshorses to the 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

Edited into The Ghost of Anna-El Tour (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Key Science Fiction Film
21 January 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Bolshevik propaganda: the comparison between 1921's Russia, and a capitalistic planet Mars. Engineer Los is building a spaceship to reach Mars. He is in love with Aelita, the regent, who he met in his dreams. In real life, his wife Natacha takes care of refugees.

One of the earliest full-length films about space travel, the most notable part of the film remains its remarkable constructivist Martian sets and costumes designed by Aleksandra Ekster. Their influence can be seen in a number of later films, including the Flash Gordon serials and probably Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" and "Woman in the Moon".

For any science fiction fan, this is a must-see. It is not the first by any means... George Melies was already on top of that from day one. But as noted, these costumes and sets go above and beyond what we expect from early films. You would think 1920s Russia would have better things to invest in, but maybe this was used to plant some ideas in the people's heads.


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