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
There is a practical reason why the helmets have no faceplates. This way the actors' breath doesn't fog the glass. See more »
We are left to assume that four trained scientists - one of whom comments that its leg-shaped "trees" are at least 40 feet high - fail to notice the rat-bat-spider-crab monster standing in the midst of an otherwise empty plain. See more »
Hard to believe only 8 years between this and "2001"
I recently saw a nicely restored print of this film on the Showtime cable network. The color is not the best, but certainly very good, and the monaural sound is probably better than what one would have experienced in a typical 1960 theater.
A few visuals:
The mission clock on the spaceship bulkhead has a huge "BULOVA" on the face. The "day" numerals on the mission-elapsed time display look like they was made from black electrician's tape. They only show numbers of days that could be displayed with numerals that had no curved lines: "1", "17", and "47".
The female astronaut carries a stylish black purse on board.
There is a very large indicator on the spaceship bulkhead that says "Oxygen Consumption", with a green light indicating "Normal" and a red one indicating "Excessive".
The astronauts have oxygen cylinders on their backs while on EVA, but there is no glass on their helmet visors; their faces are completely open to the atmosphere.
The shots of the Martian exteriors are really pretty cool, quite innovative for the era and the limited budget. Not only is everything a monochromatic red, but there is an interesting solarization effect, which adds a bit of surrealism and makes the backdrops look less cheesy.
"You know, I can't say that I recommend spacesuits for beautiful young dolls. What happened to all your curves?"
and the classic,
"I know you think I acted like a hysterical female there back at the ship, but I can assure you I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself!"
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