Special-effects wunderkind and genre master Byron Haskin (The War of the Worlds, The Outer Limits) won a place in the hearts of fantasy-film lovers everywhere with this gorgeously designed journey into the unknown. When hi... more »s spaceship crash-lands on the barren wastelands of Mars, U.S. astronaut Commander "Kit" Draper (Paul Mantee) must fight for survival, with a pet monkey seemingly his only companion. But is he alone? Shot in vast Techniscope and blazing Technicolor, Robinson Crusoe on Mars is an imaginative and beloved techni-marvel of classic science fiction.« less
"Robinson Crusoe On Mars is one of those films that makes you long for yester-year.
For those who love the older science fiction films with their wide eyed view of the future of science and space, or those who just love a good solo adventure into the wild, this is one of the more well made films from the Sci Fi 60s (the film also has an appearance from the soon-to-be TV Batman, Adam West). With a wonderful imagining of Mars and some War Of The Worlds like space ships (no wonder as Worlds Byron Haskin helmed this as well) this film is a great addition to any movie buffs library. If you like Forbbiden Planet, this will be right up your alley.
Criterion had offered this on Laserdisc and has been an expensive re-sell on Ebay over the years (between $100 and $200). But now you can own a much better transfer of the film with a few extra features! I have been awaiting this DVD release from them for a long time so this is my Criterion disc of the year!"
Robinson Crusoe On Mars...On DVD!!!
Alan Caylow | USA | 07/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must echo my fellow reviewers on this one: "Robinson Crusoe On Mars" on DVD....FINALLY!!! This has been a longtime favorite movie of mine. I used to watch it all the time on TV as a kid, and I still love it now. As the title suggests, this 1964 sci-fi classic is the "Robinson Crusoe" story set on Mars, with the tale of one astronaut's survival on an alien world. Like "2001," "Forbidden Planet," "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and "Solaris" (the original "Solaris," NOT the god-awful remake with George Clooney), "Robinson Crusoe On Mars" is an *intelligent* sci-fi movie. It's well-written, beautifully shot, expertly directed by Byron Haskin, and acted quite strongly by a very effective trio of actors: Paul Mantee as the stranded astronaut, Victor Lundin as the alien whom our hero names Friday, and Adam West (of "Batman" fame) as a fellow astronaut (even though West's role is basically a cameo). And the movie also features THE most adorable little monkey in the history of cinema, Mona. I'm absolutely delighted to see this sci-fi classic get the DVD treatment at last. And the fact that it's being put out by Criterion is even better! (They also did a marvelous job with "Solaris" too, I must admit.) "Robinson Crusoe On Mars" is one of the sci-fi greats, a very special movie that anyone, even non sci-fi fans, can enjoy. I can't wait to get it!"
Very cool and it's about time!
Greg Horn | waterford, wisconsin USA | 07/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Been a long wait to see this DVD released, but it's great to know it's a Criterion release so it should be awesome! I love this movie, very hard script to keep the audience engaged with so few actors but it works. Very engaging story line, well done special effects and the overall feel of the movie make this a 5 star classic sci fi must see!"
Kathy | Fort Lauderdale, FL USA | 07/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Information on this disc straight from Criterion's website
- New, restored high-definition digital transfer
- Audio commentary featuring screenwriter Ib Melchior, actors Paul Mantee and Victor Lundin, production designer Al Nozaki, Oscar-winning special effects designer and Robinson Crusoe on Mars historian Robert Skotak, and excerpts from a 1979 audio interview with director Byron Haskin
- Destination: Mars, a new video featurette by Michael Lennick detailing the science behind Robinson Crusoe on Mars
- Excerpts from Melchior's original screenplay
- New music video for Victor Lundin's song "Robinson Crusoe on Mars"
- Stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos, production designs, and promotional material
- Theatrical trailer
- PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by filmmaker and space historian Michael Lennick, Melchior's "Brief Yargorian Dictionary" of original alien dialect, and a list of facts about Mars from his original screenplay
"Robinson Crusoe on Mars is presented in its original Techniscope aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Black bars at the top and bottom of the screen are normal for this format. This new high-definition digital transfer was created on a Spirit 4K Datacine from the 35mm 2-perforation A/B interpositive struck from the original negative. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, and scratches were removed using the MTI Digital Restoration System. To maintain optimal image quality through the compression process, the picture on this dual-layer DVD-9 was encoded at the highest-possible bit rate for the quantity of material included.
The soundtrack was mastered at 24-bit from a 35mm magnetic full coat master three track, and audio restoration tools were used to reduce clicks, pops, hiss, and crackle. The Dolby Digital 1.0 signal will be directed to the center channel on surround sound systems, but some viewers may prefer to switch to two-channel playback for a wider dispersal of the mono sound."
I'm a little disappointed that it appears that Adam West wasn't even interviewed for this release. But it's good to have this one on DVD at long last.
When you think of all the crap Paramount has released while this sat on the shelf...."
Good attempt at a realistic SF film with Easter eggs!
James M. Dickey | Alexandria, Virginia | 10/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Robinson Crusoe on Mars" was a noble and enjoyable attempt, if not entirely successful, to show what exploring a strange new planet would really be like, telling the tale of an astronaut in a space program not terribly far advanced from the year this movie was set (1964) on an orbital mission to Mars, who is forced to crash-land on the Red Planet and survive with what meager resources he has.
The science is not perfect (but no worse than in any "Star Wars" movie) and the technical effects reflect their time, but the creators of the film (who included the film's director Byron Haskin, who also directed the original "War of the Worlds" and several classic episodes of the 1960s "Outer Limits series) resisted the attempt to camp it up with silly "sci-fi" perils. (One of the extras indicates that an early version of the script had the hero fighting giant Mars ants!)
Their are many extras, including commentaries by the actors and film creators, pre-production designs and storyboards and more. These appear to have been slightly truncated from those on the laserdisc version, which I previously owned, but the laserdisc had so much material that a little editing may have been in order.
One extra from the laserdisc, which I loved, I thought had been deleted but discovered to my delight is still there as an unadvertised "Easter Egg."
This is a recording of the 45 record of the movie's theme song "Robinson Crusoe on Mars" which came out when the film was first released. Note that the DVD does contain another song with that title sung by film star Victor Lundin and included as a music video, but it is far inferior to the original song.
To hear the original song, access the theatrical trailer and go to the alternate English tracks. One track has a short commentary from a collector of movie memorabilia (including that from "Crusoe") and the other has the theme song."