Red Planet Mars (1952)

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Red Planet Mars (1952)

Post  BoG on Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:21 pm

I don't know if this was adapted from a stageplay.  I'm guessing no. As Bill Warren writes in his "Keep Watching the Skies" book,  it was probably influenced by the little 1950 movie, The Next Voice You Hear. This all seems to be about a yearning to hear the voice of God, even if it's on a radio. Peter Graves stars in an early role as a scientist planning to send & receive messages from Mars. And, I didn't think about it at the time, but now the images are coalescing in my mind and the set does resemble that Krell lab in Forbidden Planet. This may be a monumental discovery of...well, never mind, for now.
This is an unusual, odd sci-fi film. Bill Warren himself writes in his book that he hated this film as a child; and that's to be expected. He expected martian invaders and so on. But this film isn't for kids. It's for adults to debate and ponder as to what the intent and actual story of the movie really was. I don't think any two people will entirely agree on everything about this film. Myself, by the midpoint of the tale, I viewed this as an anti-Soviet parable. This was the way, the storytellers told us, to do away with that godless empire and the way things should be.  In a way, they were right in predicting events of 40 years later. Of course, events in the real world happened a bit more...realistically.

The other aspect to the film was, as mentioned above, a strong religious slant. Religion seemed to be THE WAY, this film tells sweep away, again, evil empires and the evil men who run them - the Soviets here, as someone else pointed out, are little more than gangsters in uniform. It seems to be an easy way out for all of us in the west (except the atheists among us). Then the villain of the piece pops up in the last 10 minutes of the film and basically undermines all this philosophy we've been presented with so far. Or does he? A final plot twist and..sheesh, my head is spinning. Sort of a downbeat ending - unless you really believe. BoG's Score: 5.5 out of 10

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