The credit on the U.S. version of the film, "Battle Beyond the Sun", was given to 'Thomas Colchart', a pseudonym for then aspiring filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. Roger Corman gave him the task of creating two monsters resembling genitalia (one male, one female) which were amusingly spliced into the film. See more »
In the re-edited U.S. version under the title "Battle Beyond the Sun" the same dolly shot of women waving is used twice. The first is when the rocket is landing back on Earth. Only minutes later, when the cosmonauts have left the rocket, the exact same shot is used again. See more »
My giving this a score of 3 is NOT what I would give the original Soviet version of this film. It seems that American-International (a studio that specialized in ultra-low-budget fare in the 60s) bought this film and utterly destroyed it--slicing a two hour plus film into a 64 minute film! Plus, much of this 64 minutes was new material (such as the "monsters")--so you know that this film bears almost no similarity to the original. The original film appears to be a rather straight drama about the Soviet conquest of space--though I really am not sure what it was originally! For insight into the original film, read Steven Nyland's review--it was very helpful.
By the way, this was the third Soviet sci-film I've seen that American-International bought and then hacked apart to make a "new" film--standard practice to a company that was willing to put just about anything on the screen to make a buck--provided, of course, it didn't cost them much more than a buck in the first place!! This Americanized film was about two rival world powers (NOT the US and Soviets) trying to be the first to Mars. The tricky "bad guys" try but fail and the "good guys" rescue one of the idiot astronauts and then head to Mars. Unfortunately, they are temporarily stranded on a moon of Mars where they see some monsters (added by American-International) that are REAAAALLY cheesy and one does bear similarity to a certain part of a female's anatomy. Then, they are rescued--returning to Earth heroes.
The bottom line is that the film was butchered--turning an incredibly beautiful piece of art (for the time) being turned into a grade-C movie. Because of this, the Soviets really had a reason to hate America! I'm just shocked that the horrible job A-I did with this film didn't convince them to refuse to sell more films to these jerks! It's worth a look for a laugh, but the really bad moments that make you laugh are few and far between. So, the film is a dud--not bad enough to make it a must-see for bad movie buffs and too dopey to be taken seriously. I would really love to see this movie in its original form--it must have been some picture.
UPDATE--nietogimenez sent me an email indicating the original IS available and said you can just Google for it.
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