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The Angry Red Planet (1959)

Not Rated  |   |  Sci-Fi  |  23 November 1959 (USA)
5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 1,939 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 31 critic

One of only two survivors from a Martian expedition is so traumatized she doesn't remember the circumstances of the trip.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Sid Pink) , 1 more credit »
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Title: The Angry Red Planet (1959)

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The first manned expedition to Mars is decimated by an unknown life form...which stows away on the rescue ship.

Director: Edward L. Cahn
Stars: Marshall Thompson, Shirley Patterson, Kim Spalding
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Col. Thomas O'Bannion
Naura Hayden ...
Dr. Iris 'Irish' Ryan (as Nora Hayden)
...
Prof. Theodore Gettell
...
CWO Sam Jacobs
Paul Hahn ...
Maj. Gen. George Treegar
J. Edward McKinley ...
Prof. Paul Weiner
Tom Daly ...
Don Lamond ...
TV Newscaster / Narrator / Martian (voice)
Edward Innes ...
Brig. Gen. Alan Prescott
Gordon Barnes ...
Maj. Lyman Ross
Jack Haddock ...
Lt. Col. Davis
Brandy Bryan ...
Nurse Hayes
Joan Fitzpatrick ...
Nurse Dixon
Duke Norton ...
William Remick ...
Dr. Hawley (as Wm. Remick)
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Storyline

The first spaceship to Mars, presumed lost, is found in space and brought back to Earth by remote control. Only two from an initial crew of four are still alive, but one is unconscious due to an attached alien growth, while the other is traumatized, blocking out all memory of what happened. In hopes to save the unconscious crewman, the amnesiac is interrogated back into remembering. Those in charge thereby learn of the terrible dangers awaiting anyone venturing into the spooky, ruddy stillness of the very alien Martian ecosystem. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sights beyond belief! (Ad cuts). See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 November 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Invasion of Mars  »

Box Office

Budget:

$190,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The much-touted Cinemagic process which was used for the scenes set on Mars was actually the result of a film-developing mistake. The budget was slashed mid-production so the producers considered turning the film into black and white to keep costs down. However, one reel became accidentally double-exposed which produced a shimmering, vaguely psychedelic glare that director Ib Melchior latched onto, thinking it would suit his purposes for the Mars scenes. (It also helped to camouflage the cheap Martian monsters and scenery.) See more »

Goofs

Les Tremayne clearly states that have deliberately landed on the equatorial area of Mars because that area is most likely to have life. Later Jack Khruschen, clearly contradicting that geography, asks where the polar caps are. See more »

Quotes

Col. Thomas O'Bannion: Cowardice is the one thing we can never forgive ourselves!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The main title, cast and credits do not appear until the end of the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Trailer Cinema (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't Anger Mars; it May Send a Giant Amoeba
15 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A spaceship returns from Mars; about a couple of months earlier, a 4-person expedition had been sent to the red planet. Most of the picture is a flashback to what transpired over there. The picture is saddled by inane, melodramatic dialog, typical of many sci-fi efforts of the fifties & sixties. Note, for example, how the ship's commander (Mohr) tells another crew member to 'stay there' for no reason; as if moving to another spot inside the ship will cause a problem. Later, the commander orders two of the crew to remain in the ship while he and another go outside. The two he ordered to stay say 'no way' and follow out; I didn't have high hopes for the expedition's success by this point. There's much talk of 'ears twitching' and hugging a freeze-ray gun named 'Cleo' (short for Cleopatra, of course). It would at least be pretty funny, unintentionally, if the story didn't drag.

There's a very slow pace to the whole thing; the astronauts spend as much time looking out the ship's window portals (which change color from red to blue), commenting on what they see, as they do outside actually exploring. The martian landscape, advertised as filmed in 'Cinemagic,' usually resembles animation cut-outs, or drawings, shot through an orange-red filter to give the illusion of interacting with the actors, who do take on an odd surrealistic appearance due to the process. But I don't think it fools anyone over 10 years old. The one clever mention I did notice was that the memories of the surviving astronaut would be tinged with unreality, so that would explain the unreal nature of the martian vista. Oh, okay...

I was amused by some of the astronauts' actions as they begin to explore; right off the bat, they test their freeze gun on a plant, killing it, just for the hell of it. Then the female member hacks with a machete at what she thinks is a tree but turns out to be the leg of the spider-rat monster. Nice going, lady. Look up next time. No wonder the 'intelligence' on Mars gets upset and doesn't mind that one of the lower lifeforms, a giant amoeba, attacks the explorers. The acting isn't too impressive. Mohr especially, had a very annoying technique, saying a line and then abruptly erupting into a huge grin which always creeped me out - reminded me of It! the Terror From Beyond Space. The ending is fairly anti-climactic; don't expect any huge revelations beyond the 'no more expeditions' with freeze guns named Cleo.


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