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A Message from Mars (1913)

A Martian is sentenced to visit Earth to cure a selfish man.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
E. Holman Clark ...
Ramiel
Crissie Bell ...
Minnie
Frank Hector ...
Arthur Dicey
Hubert Willis ...
Tramp
Kate Tyndale ...
Aunt Martha
Evelyn Beaumont ...
Bella
Eileen Temple ...
Mrs. Claremce
R. Crompton ...
God of Mars
B. Stanmore ...
Wounded Man
Tonie Reith ...
Wounded Man's Wife
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Storyline

A Martian is sentenced to visit Earth to cure a selfish man.

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outer space | based on play | See All (2) »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

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July 1913 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Un messaggio da Marte  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Charles Hawtrey originated the lead role of Horace Parker on the stage. He appeared on Broadway in 1902, 1903 and 1904, in Charles Frohman-produced touring productions of the play. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Long-forgotten British sci-fi movie is more than a tad dated, as you'd expect
9 May 2016 | by See all my reviews

A MESSAGE FROM MARS is an intriguing little sci-fi movie with two distinguishing factors: it's a silent film, released in 1913, and there aren't too many of them around; also, it's British, which is unusual in itself from this era. We have the BFI to thank for recently cleaning up the print and putting it on general release.

As for the film itself, I think it's fair to say this is no classic. I was expecting a low rent British version of A TRIP TO THE MOON from the title, but what we get instead is a morality story along the lines of A Christmas CAROL. The plot involves a disgraced Martian who, in order to reintegrate into his society, must help a selfish human see the error of his ways in order to become a better person.

A MESSAGE FROM MARS is an hour long production with accompanying music and sound effects and tinted scenes varying between sepia, blue, and red. The acting is exaggerated, as you'd expect from the era, but the storyline is quite involved. Although the Martians themselves are disappointingly dated, the 'zap' effects are cleverly staged, and there's a decent set-piece involving a burning building. The camera-work is static for most of the time but there's a good rolling shot of a moving vehicle which must have been tough to stage. I should imagine that this was electrifying stuff for audiences at the time although nowadays it's more of a quaint curio than anything else.


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