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Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924)

Aelita (original title)
A mysterious radio message is beamed around the world, and among the engineers who receive it are Los, the hero, and his colleague Spiridonov. Los is an individualist dreamer. Aelita is the... See full summary »

Director:

Yakov Protazanov
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yuliya Solntseva ... Aelita, Queen of Mars
Igor Ilyinsky ... Kravtsov - amateur sleuth
Nikolai Tsereteli Nikolai Tsereteli ... Engineer Los / Evguieni Spiridinov
Nikolay Batalov ... Gusev, Red Army Soldier
Vera Orlova ... Nurse Masha, Gusev's Wife
Valentina Kuindzhi Valentina Kuindzhi ... Natasha, Los' Wife (as Vera Kuindzhi)
Pavel Pol ... Viktor Ehrlich, Sugar Profiteer
Konstantin Eggert ... Tuskub, Ruler of Mars
Yuri Zavadsky Yuri Zavadsky ... Gol, Radiant Energy Tower Guardian
Aleksandra Peregonets Aleksandra Peregonets ... Ihoshka, Aelita's Maidservant
Sofya Levitina Sofya Levitina ... President House Committee
Varvara Massalitinova ... Neighbour at funeral
Mikhail Zharov ... Actor in Play
Tamara Adelgeym Tamara Adelgeym ... Neighbour at funeral
Iosif Tolchanov Iosif Tolchanov ... Mars Astronomer with Ihoshka
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Storyline

A mysterious radio message is beamed around the world, and among the engineers who receive it are Los, the hero, and his colleague Spiridonov. Los is an individualist dreamer. Aelita is the daughter of Tuskub, the ruler of a totalitarian state on Mars in which the working class are put into cold storage when they are not needed. With a telescope, Aelita is able to watch Los. As if by telepathy, Los obsesses about being watched by her. After some hugger-mugger involving the murder of his wife and a pursuing detective, Los takes the identity of Spiridonov and builds a spaceship. With the revolutionary Gusev, he travels to Mars, but the Earthlings and Aelita are thrown into prison by the dictator. Gusev and Los begin a proletarian uprising, and Aelita offers to lead the revolution, but she then establishes her own totalitarian regime. Los is shocked by this development and attempts to stop Aelita, and then reality and fantasy become confused, and Los discovers what has really happened. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

25 September 1924 (Soviet Union) See more »

Also Known As:

Revolt of the Robots See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mezhrabpom-Rus See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video) | (DVD) (restored) (new edition) | | (2007 DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the international exhibition of decorative arts, 1925 Paris Expo, Yakov Protazanov was given an award for this film. See more »

Goofs

When the spaceship takes off, the ascent is vertical, but the footage shown afterwards, which represents the velocity of the ship, is that of a horizontal motion. See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1993 Jeff Forrester / USA Networks produced NEW copyrighted versions of mainstream silent films w/ EXCLUSIVE scores & NEW inter-titles. All but one were in black & white. There were 7 in total. They were aired on the SYFY (SCI-FI) Channel during the Christmas holiday in 1993 as part of SCI-FI Channel's Silent Cinema marathon. It was hosted by renowned film critic Jeffrey Lyons & was taped @ the AMERICAN MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE in Astoria, NY. These particular versions have NEVER been available in ANY home video format. Their whereabouts are currently unknown. They were distributed by JORDEXX TELEVISION, INC. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A futurist masterpiece
8 November 2006 | by alexmatteSee all my reviews

A remarkable film from 1924, of immense historical interest. See the turbulence of Russia as it was just a few years after the 1917 revolution and the subsequent war 1918-21 against the foreign-backed White Army. But see it all in the context of a most amazing futurist film, at least the equal of the other two equivalent futurist greats from Germany and Britain - Metropolis (1927) and High Treason (1928), respectively. Arguably it is the best of the three, with avant garde sets and costumes that could have come straight out of the Bauhaus' choreography workshop. The version shown on Australian TV had a presumably later added music score that was just so perfect and integrated to the film's plot and visuals that it could not possibly have been better had it been original. It had a mesmerising robotic, minimalist, mechanical and repetitive character that was simply made for a futurist and surreal film like this. The cyrillic characters of the silent narration only add (for us Westerners, at least) to the mystery and surreality of the whole story, and one can only feel sorry for those who, after all this tour-de-force, feel shortchanged from an unfulfilled need for a more banal storyline. Or aggrieved by the perception of the film as mere propaganda. There's always reruns of Rambo and The Green Berets for you, fellers! It's a pity most cinephiles are oblivious to the existence of this film, as wider availability and screening would ensure its fame as one of the greatest silent, futurist and early modern films.


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