Astronauts (Lloyd Bridges, Osa Massen, John Emery, Noah Beery, Jr., and Hugh O'Brien) blast off to explore the moon. Because of craft malfunction and some fuel calculations, they end up landing on Mars. On Mars, evidence of a once powerful civilization is found. The scientists determine that an atomic war destroyed most of the Martians (who surprisingly look like humans). Those that survived reverted to a caveman-like existence.Written by
Matthew Soffen <email@example.com>
When George Pal announced production of his space epic Destination Moon (1950) this film was rushed into production to capitalize on it and beat Pal's film into theaters by several weeks. See more »
While the added tinting to make Mars the "Red Planet" of lore makes for an an interesting effect, it also creates a kind of "logic loop". This tinting should also not only be visible when viewing the planet through the portholes, but it would cast this same tint through them, lighting the much of the interior of the ship's cabin red during the landing and while on the planet. But if that were the case, the areas of the interior NOT lit by this tint would remain in B&W, further betraying the film's own look and showcasing the gimmicky use of the tint in the first place. See more »
The Navarre DVD release (as part of a 'triple feature') does not include the new special effects sequences or the pink/red coloring. The Mars sequences are, however, tinted a pallid, sickly green. See more »
Some films are blessed (though the producers would argue) by having less money with which to work. "Rocketship X-M" (the initials represent "eXpedition Moon") relies therefore upon, ahem, a real Story, with Acting, rather than flash and effects. That's why a half-century later, the well-remembered "RX-M" has held up so well. (An analogy could be drawn with the co-incidental 1949-1955 television series "Captain Video and His Video Rangers", where the bulk of budget also went towards quality writers and cast.) John Emery is - surprise!- a good guy here.
Osa Massen, one of the screen's most photogenic stars ever, is radiant. The whole cast carries through the forgivable inconsistencies with style. Ferde Grofé's music takes us from exultant triumph to eerie mystery and, finally, into bitter realization of what the RX-M crew discovers, the utter waste of an entire civilization. (Remember the real-life "face" on Mars?) Grofé well-illustrates the withering madness in the crew's panicked escape and return attempt. And the final moments aboard the doomed RX-M are of the stuff that makes for great film. I saw this in theatrical release, and you, too, will find "Rocketship X-M" one of your most memorable. Highly recommended to all.
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