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First Spaceship on Venus (1960)

Der schweigende Stern (original title)
Unrated | | Sci-Fi | 31 October 1962 (USA)
When an alien artifact discovered on Earth is found to have come from Venus, an international team of astronauts embarks to investigate its origins.

Director:

Kurt Maetzig

Writers:

Stanislaw Lem (novel), Jan Fethke (adaptation) (as J. Fethke) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Yôko Tani ... Die japanische Ärztin / Sumiko Ogimura MD
Oldrich Lukes Oldrich Lukes ... Amerikanischer Atomphysiker / Prof. Harringway Hawling
Ignacy Machowski ... Polnischer Chefingenieur / Prof. Saltyk / Prof. Durand
Julius Ongewe Julius Ongewe ... Afrikanischer Fernsehtechniker / Talua
Mikhail N. Postnikov Mikhail N. Postnikov ... Sowjetischer Astronaut / Prof. Arsenew / Prof. Orloff (as Michail N. Postnikow)
Kurt Rackelmann Kurt Rackelmann ... Indischer Mathematiker / Prof. Sikarna
Günther Simon Günther Simon ... Deutscher Pilot / Robert / Raimund Brinkmann
Hua-Ta Tang Hua-Ta Tang ... Chinesischer Linguist / Dr. Tchen Yu / Lao Tsu
Lucyna Winnicka ... Fernsehreporterin / Joan Moran (as Lucina Winnicka)
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Storyline

(U.S. Version) A mysterious magnetic spool found during a construction project is discovered to have originated from Venus. A rocket expedition to Venus is launched to discover the origin of the spool and the race that created it. Written by Leo L. Schwab <ewhac@best.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You are there... on man's most incredible journey!

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

East Germany | Poland

Language:

German

Release Date:

31 October 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

First Spaceship on Venus See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (short)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (Agfacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The German version contains a reference to one of the professors having his career stalled when he was thrown out of the university by the Nazis. Director and co-writer Kurt Maetzig had his career stalled by the Nazis because his mother was Jewish. See more »

Goofs

The US release has English dialogue translated from the German. Some of the translation isn't quite right. They keep referring to the power lines as being "high tension" from the German "Spannung" but for electrical lines this would usually be better translated as "High Voltage".

(Technical note: In 1960, the term "High Tension" was commonly used as opposed to "High Voltage". "Voltage" in French is "Tension". When designing High-Voltage transmission lines, the utility companies didn't want to alarm people, so they decided to use the term "Tension" instead of Voltage (which is also somewhat appropriate, since high-tension lines also have high tension!))

Also they translate the German word "Automaten" as "automats" which may be better translated as "machines" or "equipment". See more »

Alternate Versions

This film was released in the United States as _First Spaceship on Venus (1962)_. This version was edited down to 80 minutes, dubbed into English, and had Andrzej Markowski's score replaced by a stock score prepared by Gordon Zahler of the General Music Corporation. See more »

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User Reviews

 
STRIKING, THOUGHTFUL SCI-FI.
16 July 1999 | by Bob-45See all my reviews

What's wrong with this picture? This movie is neither highly regarded by critics nor IMDB voters. Yet, it contains some striking visuals; thoughtful comments on the "human" condition; an attractive, multiracial, coed international cast (daring for the time); and a pretty good storyline, to boot.

Excavators at the site of the 1906 mystery explosion in Tunguska, Siberia, discover evidence that the explosion was the destruction of an alien spaceship. Evidence includes a "memory spool." Scientist determine the alien spaceship came from the planet Venus, and cryptographers and linguists begin to translate the memory spool.

Before translation can be completed, an international crew is assembled and an enormous nuclear powered spaceship constructed (a stunningly beautiful piece of matte work) for a flight to Venus. The ship begins its voyage before the on-board linguist makes a startling announcement. The memory spool contains plans for a Venusian invasion of earth!

The ship lands on a eerie, vapor-cloaked Venus (Striking art direction; just how did they do those strange, microbe-like vapors?). The crew discovers, a burned out, uninhabitable planet. The Venusians, apparently attempting an invasion to escape either overcrowding or an impending nuclear war, have destroyed themselves, leaving only the shadows of their disintegrated bodies. Further exploration discovers a strange, living amoeba-like organism and a damaged, super-gravity beam weapon aimed toward earth. Many members of the crew are lost, and the ship is eventually deflected back to earth by the accidental discharge of the gravity beam.

The movie IS choppy, without a doubt because the American distributor, Crown International, cut the film by over one half hour. I'd certainly LOVE to see the excised footage; however, since the film is East German, I doubt if a complete print still exists. Besides, we Americans are having enough trouble finding obscure fifties and sixties from ENGLISH-speaking countries, including our own.


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