WORLD WITHOUT END (1957)
Article #145 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-8-2001
Posting date: 12-22-2001
Astronauts on a trip to Mars hit a time warp and end up 500 years in the future. They return to Earth after a nuclear war, and encounter mutants and a civilized society living underground, whom they help with their 20th century earthman knowledge.
Allied Artists was quite ambitious with this one; just the use of color tells you that. It also has certain novelties; it takes place in the future rather than on another planet, which is certainly unusual. Also, there is a certain variety in the design of the mutants which, though not strictly necessary, shows that there was some creativity being invested in the movie. Unfortunately, the underground society is made up of beautiful women and doddering old men; this scenario is obviously designed to make the virile young twentieth century men become the mates-of-choice of the beautiful women, which seems to me to be less inspired by any sort of logic than it is by the desire to pander to its audience. The smug fifties-style sexism doesn’t help, either; for a woman who is pretending she can’t talk to give herself away when she is accused of being bow-legged is just sexist, but to have this trick engineered by the men betrays the smugness of it all. Ultimately, it feels like a cross between PLANET OF THE APES and FLIGHT TO MARS, with a smidgen of FIRE MAIDENS FROM OUTER SPACE thrown in. If my memory serves me correctly, they fight a cave spider that has popped up in several movies of this ilk.