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New York, 1980: airplanes have replaced cars, numbers have replaced names, pills have replaced food, government-arranged marriages have replaced love, and test tube babies have replaced ... well, you get the idea. Scientists revive a man struck by lightning in 1930; he is rechristened "Single O". He is befriended by J-21, who can't marry the girl of his dreams because he isn't "distinguished" enough -- until he is chosen for a 4-month expedition to Mars by a renegade scientist. The Mars J-21, his friend, and stowaway Single O visit is full of scantily clad women doing Busby Berkeley-style dance numbers and worshiping a fat middle-aged man. Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
I finally got to see the film that haunted me since childhood. For years I saw stills from what I was told was a lost film and was amazed at the huge scale of the sets that rivaled what Fritz Lang had done with Metropolis. They were amazing and awe inspiring.
I wish I could say the same about the whole movie.
Made in the early days of sound this movie is terribly dated. The music seems to be only used during the musical numbers and the jokes seem to be a step above okay vaudeville. Its not bad, its just not good, or good consistently.
The plot has a world where everyone is a number some fifty years in the future (ie. 1980). In connected plot lines a man from 1930 is brought back to life and his antics form a ind of comic relief. Meanwhile a young man, unable to win the hand of his lady love ends up going to Mars. Its all a bit madcap and silly.
The amazing thing is how much of this has been stolen from over the years with films like Queen of Outer Space and Sleeper seeming to have pulled off bits of plot for their own.
Is it worth seeing? Yes. The sets are amazing, even today. The problem is that the rest is hit or miss and the film now is little more than a curio and entry in film history.
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