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Lester and Orville accidentally launch a rocket which is supposed to fly to Mars. Instead it goes to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. They are then forced by bank robber Mugsy and his pal Harry to fly to Venus where they find a civilization made up entirely of women, men having been banished. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Miss Frances Planey:
Orville, after you've finished flying the jet ships for the children, bring them back to the orphanage. Then cut the lawn and water the plants.
All right, Miss Planey.
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Fans of rocket-age science fiction films will find interest in this wacky spoof. The early 1950's saw the start of the atomic age rocket ship film genre with ROCKET X-M and DESTINATION MOON in 1950 and WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE and FLIGHT TO MARS in 1951. These movies were all hits and the trend lasted through the sixties with MAROONED and JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN in 1969 (one year after 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY).
In 1953 Abbott and Costello quickly updated their old vaudeville routines to capture a younger, modern audience and try their hand at this phenomena. They had success spoofing the horror genre with A&C MEETS FRANKENSTEIN and A&C MEETS THE INVISIBLE MAN a couple years earlier and the young audiences who had watched Universal's monster films were now watching rocket films and would soon be watching alien monsters devour entire cities. Though flights to Mars were now a typical plot device, A&C GO TO MARS was ahead of the game by going to Venus six years before FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS (1959)!
Abbott and Costello start off toward Mars but end up back on Earth during New Orleans Mardi Gras. They are fooled by fanciful costumes with giant masks and believe they are on Mars. Eventually they flee to Venus populated by beautiful women and all's well that ends well.
The production values were very good, considering that studios were rushing out poorly produced imitations of ROCKET X-M and DESTINATION MOON after their success. After the quick patter routines of the duo that serviced them well in the forties had become so familiar to the audience it was refreshing to have them do something else. Though certainly not a classic and not on the list of best A & C films, for those tiring of the same routines this film is visually exciting filled with space-age fun, beautiful models and hilarious gags. Kids love the film and older adults love the 50's space-age theme. Grab the popcorn.
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