The 50th Anniversary Edition of Kurt Neumann's science fiction classic. Four men and a girl blast into space on mankind's first expedition to the Moon. But due to a cataclysmic event in space, their ship is sent hurling ou... more »t of control towards the planet Mars. Suspenseful terror as the crew fights for their life on a war-ravaged world with radiation-riddled nightmare creatures! The climax makes this one of the most powerful and unforgettable science fiction movies ever made. "Rocketship X-M" was deftly brought to the screen by famed writer/director Kurt Neumann. Long considered the definitive space exploration film of the 50's, a genuine classic with a power that has spanned the decades. Includes Trailer.« less
Did much to inspire the space movie craze of the 1950s
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 01/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rocketship X-M was really one of the first good science fiction films of the 1950s, and its influence can be seen in the slew of space movies released throughout that decade. In some ways, it is the quintessential science fiction film of the era; it sends a crew of four men and one woman into space for the first time, and these characters actually get a chance to express their own personalities during the journey. While the science of the film misses the mark in a number of ways, the filmmakers did not rely on alien "monsters" to help the story along. The movie has a message, and its plausibility and rather unhappy conclusion bring that message home to viewers. The film also reflects to some degree the culture of the time in terms of gender, sporting a number of chauvinistic lines sure to rankle many modern viewers.Our intrepid crew for this secret first manned spaceship launch consists of ship designer Dr. Exum (John Emery), navigator Floyd Graham (Lloyd Bridges), engineer Major William Corrigan (Noah "Rockford's Dad" Beery, Jr.), some less important guy played by Hugh O'Brian, and brilliant female chemist Dr. Lisa Van Horn (Osa Massen). When Floyd isn't navigating, he's putting the moves on the cold and aloof Lisa. Things go swimmingly at first (with the ship, not with Lloyd's advances), but then a problem with the fuel mixture (sure - blame the woman) causes the engines to die. When Dr. Van Horn defends her computations, she is treated to a few chauvinistic remarks about acting like a woman; the great and mighty men figure things out on their own, and before you know it everyone is knocked unconscious and the Rocketship X-M (which was supposed to land on the moon) finds itself flung out into deep space. As luck would have it, though, they wake up to find themselves within reach of Mars and take advantage of the opportunity to land there. This is a Lippert film, so you knew there would have to be many scenes of people climbing hills and mountains somewhere in it. Well, the crew members make a few discoveries about the state of past and current life on the red planet and try to make it back home to spread the word to the people of earth - it's your basic nuclear was is bad kind of advice. The ending is not a happy one by any means, but it does serve to further man's (or at least science fiction script writers') determination to explore outer space. There's nothing fancy at all about this movie, yet it really does deliver the type of message a science fiction film should carry. Along with the science, weak as it turned out to be in places, and a "scientific moral" to the story, we actually get to see characterization come to life before our very eyes (especially in terms of Floyd and Lisa). I think this 1950 film deserves to be called a classic in its field, and it still has much to offer all fans of science fiction."
Robert E. Rodden II | Peoria, IL. United States | 11/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There were two movies released in the same year of 1950: Destination Moon, by George Pal, and Rocket Ship X-M, by Kurt Neumann. The truth is, scientifically, Destination Moon is the superior film, but for fifties Sci-Fi fun, I've always preferred Rocketship X-M. Let's first be fair to Destination Moon: it was conceived first, produced first, and is by far a superior achievement in the realm of science-fiction/fact. But Neumann and Lippert Studios hurried through production a similar story line about the first spaceship to the moon, then decided to extrapolate a storyline that threw the ship off course, sending it tragically to Mars.
This is where I prefer the story line. We briefly see a world that is desolated by a past Nucleor Holocaust, the wrecked cities radiated, and the mutated survivors no more than violent cavemen. The story moves quickly, and is put together like a Jules Verne novel, where the science is slightly hokey, but with a little tongue-in-cheek attitude, believable enough to keep us hanging on. Though all the astronauts are politically incorrect, we still like them. Even Lloyd Bridges, who gets a little tiring pointing out the "short comings" of female scientists to Osa Massen, eventually becomes likable enough to care about. You'll recognise some old timers of movies here, including Hugh O-Brien (The Shootist), and Noah Beery Jr. (Jim Rockford's dad in the Rockford Files and cowboy actor in countless films), as well as sci-fi regulars John Emery (Kronos) and Morris Ankrum (Earth VS. the Flying Saucers). This is great Saturday Matinee popcorn fun."
One of the Best Science-Fiction Movies from the 1950s
CrowTurtle | 02/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
The basic story here is four guys and a woman (scientists and mechanics and a pilot) blast-off in a space rocket to go to the moon for scientific purposes - and just plain adventure. That's all i'm going to say about the plot.
Now remember Rocketship X-M was made/released in theatres in 1950 - a year before 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' came out in 1951.
So Rocketship X-M was one of the very first movies to set the stage for this truly wonderful and remarkable era for the science-fiction world.
Forget that half the science in this film is now outdated (along with certain remarks by Col. Floyd Graham on Dr. Lisa Van Horn) - nevertheless at the time this movie had a hard science mentality to it. But more importantly Rocketship X-M has a feel and look to it (in black & white) that is really cool, not to mention good characters and a very interesting turn in the story - an almost mystical side to it (without being too heavy-handed about it).
And about the "woman" issue - well, to me it's actually how the film itself treats Dr. Lisa Van Horn (played by the wonderful Osa Massen). Just to have a woman in the year 1950 aboard a space ship as a vital intelligent member in the first place is quite remarkable. It does so with respect - showing her as actively part of the crew and a very intelligent and competent scientist. Col. Floyd Graham (played by Lloyd Bridges) despite his old fashened remarks shows by his actions nothing but respect and trust in her actual abilities.
To me 1950s sci-fi movies are amoung the best - this would include such films as 'Earth vs. the Flying Saucers', 'Forbidden Planet' and the above mentioned 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'. "
WE'RE OFF COURSE
Thomas E. O'Sullivan | Knoxville, Maryland United States | 12/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film opens with a countdown and just keeps going after lift off. Short on science fact, but long on style and ideas, this is one of the better early "first into space" movies. It has a Jules Verne feel, a German work ethic pace, and keeps the surprises and the clique's coming - two of which were staples in these early type of movies: the sudden metor storm between the Earth and Moon and the "we're off course" stunt where the ship makes a U-Turn and heads for Mars or Venus (in this case it's Mars). But despite this, this is an entertaining film with a good cast and a surprise ending that is almost unheard of these days. ROCKETSHIP X-M is not for everybody, but if you are a collector and a sci-fi fan, than this is an excellent addition to any library."
Dr. Freeman | Perry, Iowa United States | 12/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I want to thank Image for a wonderful transfer. The sound and picture quality is wonderful on this DVD. The story has been told here so no need to go over it again. Very enjoyable story of the first rocket into space. I would add that the "pinkish" color used to "colorize" Mars looks very good, much better than the "cinemagic" used in the later movie, Angry Red Planet."