Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Red Planet Mars|
Actors: Morris Ankrum, Vince Barnett, Herbert Berghof, Willis B. Bouchey, Peter Graves
Director: Harry Horner
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy
An American scientist contacts Mars by radio and receives information that Mars is a utopia and that Earth's people can be saved if they return to the worship of God. Revolution sweeps the Earth, including the Soviet Unio... more »
Cold War v. God In this Thought-Provoking Sci-Fi Flick!
Scotman | Mt. Shasta, CA | 01/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found this movie on Netflix and it is an unusual science fiction story. It's unusual because it has very little to do with Mars or aliens. It had a lot to do with the fall of communism in the USSR, circa 1952, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Harry Horner Vicki (Fox Film Noir) directs this film where in the near future, when they still wore fedora hats and Cold War was at its height, a scientist, Peter Graves [Mission Impossible TV, he looks so young] Biography - Peter Graves: Mission Accomplished and his wide-eyed, emotionally distraught wife, find a way of communicating with the planet Mars.
We first visit a telescope observation place as big as Palomar. They have the photos of Mars taken, which look like matte paintings rather than photographs, and through time-lapse can see the ice mountains at the caps melt into what are "obviously" canals. Holy cow, we gotta talk to these guys.
As Peter Graves' character prepares to turn on his "hydrogen valve radio" his wife Linda, played by Andrea King, Blackenstein (Chk Sen) gets all hysterical, explains how women are naturally frightened and that if he calls up Mars, quote: "You'll send us to oblivion!" So much for a supportive wife.
Lots of technical nonsense too, lots of talking, ho-hum *yawn*. But wait, we get a message!
Mars says they live for 300 years. Insurance premiums rocket.
Mars says they can grow acres of crops. Farm prices crash! Stock market crashes in two weeks. Coal mines close when news comes that Mars doesn't use coal or oil. Western economies all crash, millions unemployed. (Sounds familiar).
Meantime the Russians are laughing at the USA. And the USA is preparing to bomb Russia before the USA is too weak to fight. Does God intervene? Russian church revival? Lots going on here...
Wow, wadda story! We get some propaganda about the Voice of America radio broadcasts, with the Russian Red Guards searching peasants, machine-gunning priests and worshipers, and so on.
Centering around all this is an ex-Nazi scientist who actually invented Peter Graves' transmitter first. He plays both sides (the USA and USSR) for his own benefit.
Did those messages actually come from Mars, or is this a plot?? Hold onto your hats!
The ending got really sappy for me, and was hard to watch, although the ending was especially tough and heartbreaking. Damn.
Not your typical sci-fi, not a lot of cheese.
COLD WAR CHILDHOOD REVISITED
Brian G. Borton | KEIZER, OR USA | 02/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just by chance,I caught most of"RedPlanet Mars" oncable.it was a scary experience, mostly because the portrayalof unreasoniing panic by the societies shown seemed very much the way i elieve people would act. I recall vividly howit was to be a childin the 1950's, when any car backfire or any trash-burning made people think it had happened; the Soviets were attacking,and World War 3 was beginning.
"RedPlanet Mars" accidentally or intentionally anti-Soviet propaganda, and it is effective cinema in that respect. As II watched this film,I was thinking how youngpeter Graves was in thismovie -and at about the same time his brother, James arness, was playing the alien monster in "The Thing."
Great movie, and the dvd is crisp and clear.This is a must for any Science fiction film collection."
The Lord lives on mars
Samuel B. King | Concord, NH | 12/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An interesting mix of scifi and religion, along the lines of "The next Voice You Hear". I saw this film recently on video. A radio transmission is received from Mars, supposedly being the voice of God. if I remember it correctly, this results in the eastern block getting religion and the overthrow of Communism. This movie is fascinating because it is a reversal of usual scifi fare, even during the 1950s. Usually, these films portray America as the country which needs talking to, and Americans being the people who need to change. This movie is very pro-American and pro-traditional Judeo/Christian values. In essence, the cold war (which was revving up in 1952) is won through the intercession of God him/herself. HEAVY DUTY STUFF, DUDE!!!"
The Testing of Faith
Martin Asiner | Jersey City, NJ | 02/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"RED PLANET MARS (1952) is one of those rare "message" science fiction movies in which the underlying subtext of faith versus reason overshadows the "hard" aspect of outer space technology. The film is a post war response by Hollywood to confront the onrushing Soviet menace in a manner that did not involve nuclear weapons. Stalin was still alive and threatening to overwhelm the West with a resurgent Russian tidal wave of communism. Director Harry Horner tried a different tack to suggest that the Soviet menace could be diffused in a way that had less to do with wordly might and more with the power of faith. Peter Graves is a scientist who receives covert messages from Mars, the majority of which are technologically based. The resultant furor over an expected merging of Terran with Martian technology collapses the combined economies of the West. The Russian premier is understandably pleased until some newer messages suggest that the historical Jesus Christ was in fact a Martian who preached the Sermon on the Mount in a manner that applied equally well to both East and West. There is an end of film plot complication over the authenticity of this latter message.
In RED PLANET MARS, the faith of humanity is tested on various levels. The Peter Graves character and his wife (Andrea King) have to face the ultimate question of choosing martyrdom to avoid a wordlwide relapse of barbarism. There are numerous and sympathetic scenes of devout Russian peasants who dig up long buried crucifixes and wear them even as they face machine gun toting KGB guards. And there are several vignettes of ordinary folk who believe in the messages and are willing to adjust their lives for the better. The ending which celebrates the triumph of faith over lack of faith rings of other and similar films (THE NEXT VOICE YOU HEAR, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, and THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS). Despite the heavy-handed patina of religion, RED PLANET MARS is an enjoyable foray in the rarely visited realm of cinematic ideas and allows the viewer to think of the possibilities of what humanity could accomplish even if the red planet were not listening to us."