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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
Michail N. Postnikow Michail N. Postnikow ... Sowjetischer Astronaut / Prof. Arsenew / Prof. Orloff
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 writing process involved 3 writing teams and 12 screenplays before a final script was acceptable to the studio and the government. See more »

Goofs

In the English-dubbed version, the chess-playing robot announces the move King to B-8. The actor moving the robot's pieces moves the king to D-8. 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 »

Connections

Featured in The Thingy: Confessions of a Teenage Placenta (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The version I saw had a lot of problems, but there is still something memorable about it
26 February 2006 | by lemon_magicSee all my reviews

Since this movie was covered fairly early on by the MST3000 crew (along with "Rocketship XM" and "King Dinosaur"), my initial perception of this movie was something on the lines of 'Ehhhh, pretty cheesy', although it was clearly one of the better films they covered. Undoubtedly I saw the chopped up 93 minute version, instead of the longer, more coherent original version mentioned by other reviewers.

However, I saw a standalone DVD edition on sale at a clearance store and picked it up for a couple of bucks on some obscure impulse, and one fine evening I gave it a spin.

You know...in spite of the dated message and foreign cultural references and the problematic dubbing and "Engrish" translations, "1st Spaceship To Venus" does have a certain quality about it that I've come to respect. There's a certain gravity and solemnity to the proceedings. There's a certain wildness and inventiveness to the art direction and the sound design. And while none of the actors here are going to win any awards (or even by remembered by American audiences), if you pay attention you will see humane, approachable performances (undercut by poor dubbing) that make the film much more watchable than glib junk like "Rocketship XM" or space flight oriented stuff out of the Roger Corman sausage factory.

When I first saw "1st Spaceship", I had the impression that it definitely had an East European vibe to it, and the only Slavic speculative fiction author I was familiar with was Stanislaw Lem (whose best known work is probably "Solaris", although my favorite piece is "Non Serviam"). Sure enough, this movie turns out to be based on a Lem piece from decades back. Lem's dispassionate, Kabbalistic voice and speech rhythms, and his gift for oddly moving plots and characters somehow survived the adaptation to film and the tiny budget and the "Engrish" translation, leaving a dignity and substance to the proceedings that many contemporary American sci fi flicks can't match.

No, this will never be anyone's first choice for a space opera shoot-em-up, but under the crappy dubbing and hacked-up editing, the sympathetic eye can see that there is some good work being done here. A good item to add to the collection of the sci fi completist and archivist.


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