Sunday Night Movie: Red Planet Mars

RedPlanetMarsHalfSheetSorry for being a little late with my Sunday Night Movie Feature, but I didn’t finish my Sunday Night movie until tonight, Tuesday night.
Exhaustion on Sunday prevented me from watching the film in a single seating as I prefer to do, and a migraine on Monday prevented me from doing anything at all except dragging myself through my day job.
So, onto the review and comments.
This week’s movie, Red Planet Mars (1952) I found what cruising through the list at Netflix. I’m a big fan of Netflix and especially of the instant-view capability through my Xbox 360. I saw the description and thought that this might be a campy movie worth a spin.
The film stars Peter Graves as scientist Chris Cronyn. Chris along with his fellow scientist wife Linda (Andrea King) have built a transmitter using new technology — the hydrogen valve — and are now attempting to contact the advanced civilization they believe is on the planet Mars. The world is thrown into panic and chaos by the messages they receive.

The film starts off strong, keeping fairly close to the science and paying attention to details such as the speed-of-light lag between Earth and Mars. It deals lightly, but does not ignore, the issue of finding a common means of communication between two beings without a common language. The characters are presented with consequences of the results of their messages. As Mars tells of fantastic life-spans and limitless energy whole industries panic and threaten to topple the economy of the west. There is a parallel story line about a German scientist working on his own hydrogen valve transmitter who is intercepting the messages for his Soviet masters.

This film did not work for me, but in order for me to tell you why it didn’t work I will have to deal in spoilers. Even though the film is 57 years old I’m going to put the rest behind a break for anyone who wants to avoid those mentioned spoilers.
Continue reading Sunday Night Movie: Red Planet Mars

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