Ne jouez pas avec les Martiens (1967)

aka Don’t Play With the Martians

Article 3591 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-28-2011
Posting Date: 6-14-2011
Directed by Henri Lanoe
Featuring Jean Rochefort, Macha Meril, Jean Ozenne
Country: France
What it is: Science fiction comedy

A pair of reporters find their job in peril because of their inability to report on the important stories in favor of fluff pieces. They are given a last chance to redeem themselves by covering the birth of quintuplets in a remote location. When a joke message about Martians is sent to the editor right before a power blackout, the message is taken seriously. The situation is complicated when real space aliens appear…

Actually, I had some happy surprises while watching this movie. The first was to discover that I had managed to find a copy that was dubbed into English, so I didn’t have to struggle to follow the story. There’s a point in the movie after the joke message is sent out where I found myself wondering if the Martians were going to be no more real than the ones in THE NIGHT THAT PANICKED AMERICA, because, at that point, I got the feeling that the rest of the movie was going to be built around that misunderstanding. Fortunately, in terms of its fantastic content, space aliens do show up, and though they’re technically not Martians, they’ll do. Overall, it’s a pretty silly comedy, but there are a couple of good laughs; the biggest for me was discovering why the space aliens show up. Overall, it’s a minor curio more than anything else.


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