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(aka 'El milagro de Marte')

Directed by Harry Horner
USA
1952

 

An amazing cold-war artifact from 1952. Decoded messages reveal Mars to be the power base of an interplanetary religious revival, prompting the godless Russkies to shape up tout de suite. Harry Horner directed, from a dumbfounding script by Anthony Veiller and John L. Balderston, author of the 1920s stage version of Dracula. With Herbert Berghof, Andrea King, Marvin Miller, and, of course, Peter Graves.

Excerpt from Dave Kehr's review at The Chicago Reader located HERE

***

A husband-and-wife scientist team (Peter Graves, Andrea King) are experimenting with a "hydrogen tube" invention (which he got from a missing German scientist, lost in the collapse of the Reich), when they get signals back from what appears to be Mars. The culture-shock of that event is serious enough, and the couple and their family are suddenly thrust into the spotlight. But then they begin to translate the increasingly complex messages (which started out as mathematical equations) that they receive back, and find that Mars is a perfect world, a true Utopia, and that the messages are quoting Scripture -- and the inevitable conclusion is that God is speaking from Mars. Soon a religious revival starts to spread across the globe. What they don't realize is that the messages are a very calculated fraud, being engineered by a Communist operative (Marvin Miller) and carried out by the scientist (Herbert Berghof) who invented the hydrogen tube, and who now has an even more sinister agenda of his own.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 15th, 1952

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DVD Review: Cheezy Flics - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Cheezy Flics - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:27:09 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.42 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   
Bitrate:
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio:
Cheezy Flics

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Intermission adverts

• Other Cheezy Flics DVDs

• About Cheezy Flics

DVD Release Date: December 5th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 8

 

 

 

Comments:

What an odd film. I was expecting a standard 50's space flic, but who would have guessed the 'Red' in Red Planet Mars might link to the evil commies and a cold-war dissertation. And the religious aspects further drive the narrative into the realm of absurdity. Wow - not what I expected!

The disc is what I would have anticipated from Cheezy Flics - bad, bad, bad. But the point is to see the film, I suppose not bitch about the transfer. But that is what we do here. It is interlaced (see combing sample at bottom), in rough shape with artefacts visible and very muddy visuals. Unnaturally dark and only barely watchable. Most certainly from analog.

The audio is just about as bad. Dialogue is audible but hushed and the score by Mahlon Merrick sounds frequently washed-out and dulled. There are no subtitles and the NTSC media is locked to region 0.

Extras include an 'intermission' commercial that, I guess, you would find theatrically but it must have been between films and this would have been the 'B' picture of a double feature. What peaked my interest was under 'Also From Cheezy Flics' a 2.35:1 widescreen, perchance anamorphic, of Day of the Triffids (1963). Well, where the heck is it? Whom am I kidding - it wouldn't be 16X9.

I'm sure there are other, possibly superior, DVDs out there for Red Planet Mars and the film holds some interest as a historical oddity. But only for the very keen film student, IMO. Pass, unless you can get for under $8 (like I did). 

Gary Tooze

 

 


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Combing from interlaced transfer
 

 


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Distribution Cheezy Flics - Region 0 - NTSC



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