Flight To Mars DVD  » Movies  »
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  • Flight To Mars is one of the few SF classics I knew about and was looking forward to checking it out as it was produced in the early Fifties when the genre was “taking off”, but I was unable to see until I bought the Image Entertainment DVD
  • I was impressed that it was shot in 2-strip Cinecolor by Monogram, a studio famous for low budget productions
  • I found the colors were rich and dazzling, perfect for a fantastic tale of a trip to another planet
  • Seeing them wearing only street clothes, flight jackets and fedoras and shaking hands with a general as they climb the stairs to enter ship had me roaring with laughter as I thought back to the long pre-launch periods of the Apollo missions
  • I've read that Image used a print with the best color available

    • by Frank Cantone
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      Flight To Mars is one of the few SF “classics” I knew about and was looking forward to checking it out as it was produced in the early Fifties when the genre was “taking off”, but I was unable to see until I bought the Image Entertainment DVD. Sorry to say the film was hardly worth the wait. The movie has dated so badly that much of it has become unintentional comedy.

      I was impressed that it was shot in 2-strip Cinecolor by Monogram, a studio famous for low budget productions. I found the colors were rich and dazzling, perfect for a fantastic tale of a trip to another planet. I was especially impressed with the orange/red Martian sky. After brief opening expository scenes


      which I found quite dull, the crew of four men and one woman drive up to the spaceship ready to take off. Seeing them wearing only street clothes, flight jackets and fedoras and shaking hands with a general as they climb the stairs to enter ship had me roaring with laughter as I thought back to the long pre-launch periods of the Apollo missions. The last crew member completes the pre-launch by stating “That about does it!” and shutting the hatch! If only NASA had it this easy!

      Although the effects work with the ship rocketing through space looked primitive compared with today’s effects, I found them to be more interesting than the activities inside the ship, which I felt were as exciting as unsweetened corn flakes. There’s a meteor shower to liven up the “flight” until the landing on snowy Mars. I was however flabbergasted watching as, upon landing, the crew, wearing “futuristic” leather jackets, baggy overalls and breathing tanks which fit in large pants pockets, just casually wander the alien surface. No sense of wonder on being the first humans on another world??? They soon meet an advanced race of Martians who look human and speak English (I like that at least they explained how they learned the language). They are treated as guests in the advanced underground city, and the Martians agree to help them repair their ship, but they may have an ulterior motive.

      I enjoyed the lush underground sets, as ...


      • Flight To Mars DVD
      well as the crew members’ fascination with the various aspects of the city such as the hydroponic gardens. The female Martians’ ultra short dresses may be the best “special effect”, at least for me. And I give the movie extra credit for the ending, which unlike most science fiction movies presents a promise of change, that things will not be the same after this flight with the promise of interplanetary cooperation and trade. Unfortunately even at 72 minutes, I felt the movie still dragged with silly love interests and corny dialogue such as the scenes where reporter Cameron Mitchell tries to win the heart of cold scientist Virginia Huston.

      The DVD presentation was another disappointment. I’ve read that Image used a print with

      the best color available. Unfortunately it shows a lot of wear. There are scratches throughout, numerous splices, and a small brownish blob that appears periodically and pulsates in the lower center screen. I don’ mind a few cases of film wear, but there were too many for me to enjoy the film as a whole. There is a trailer that also has the small pulsating blob, and 2 episodes of Sinister Image in which host David DaValle conducts an interview with Cameron Mitchell. Despite the poor video quality, it is actually more entertaining than the movie.

      For all the flaws of the movie and the DVD, fans of nostalgic Fifties B-movies may still want to check out Flight To Mars.




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