Crosieres siderales (1942)

aka Sideral Cruises
Article 2464 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-31-2007
Posting Date: 5-11-2008
Directed by Andre Zwoboda
Featuring Madeleine Sologne, Jean Marchat, Julien Carette
Country: France

Two people ascend into the stratosphere in a capsule carried by a balloon. When the balloon bursts, it hurtles them into outer space. When they return to Earth, they find that Einstein’s theory of relativity has left them the same age, but all those they knew have aged. They are greeted as heroes, and further trips to the stratosphere are planned.

The above plot description is an approximation; the film is in unsubtitled French, and I was only able to sort out some of the plot thanks to a rather glib description from the Phil Hardy book on science fiction movies. That gave me a little to go on; without it, I would have been lost. I would have known it involved space travel, and I would probably have figured out the role of relativity. Beyond that, the movie is a question mark. Visually, the most interesting thing is a bizarre spectacle that looks it was staged by Busby Berkeley, involving lots of beautiful girls (some not entirely clothed), trapezes, merry-go-rounds, etc. There’s also someone who looks like Spike Jones’s short brother running around. Until subtitles or dubbing comes along, I’m lost on this one.


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