Flight to Mars (1951)

Article #1155 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-13-2004
Posting Date: 10-10-2004
Directed by Lesley Selander
Featuring Cameron Mitchell, Marguerite Chapman, Arthur Franz

Five people go to Mars to discover a dying society.

I find it somewhat surprising that the poverty row studio Monogram would try to undertake a color science fiction epic. However, I’m not surprised that the result ended up like this. On the plus side, there are the familiar faces of Cameron Mitchell (looking so young I can hardly recognize him), Marguerite Chapman, Arthur Franz and Morris Ankrum (as the bad guy, of all things). It also is full of pretty colors, and the women of Mars where extremely short miniskirts (which counts for a lot in some quarters). On the down side, we have the plot (one half ROCKETSHIP X-M, one half tepid melodrama) and the uninspired direction in which almost everything that happens is reduced to scene after scene of people standing around (or sitting around) and talking while the camera just takes it all in. All the action is saved for the last one and a half minutes of the movie, and its ending is almost as abrupt as the one in CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON. It has its charms, I suppose, but I’d rather watch ROCKETSHIP X-M or DESTINATION MOON anytime.


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