Red Planet Mars (1952)

Religious anti war, anti communist movie based on a 1932 play. It’s a total bore that stars Peter Graves and features a horrible over acting performance by Andrea King. Character actor Willis Bouchey plays the President of the United States. The Secretary of State is played by character actor Morris Ankrum.

Scientist Chris Cronyn (Peter Graves) is getting signals from Mars that look like the planet may have a highly evolved civilization. His wife Linda (Andrea King) nearly has hysterics and thinks he should stop trying to contact them.

Finally some signals are coming back. The Martians say they live to over three hundred and don’t have any problems feeding their population. They have no use for coal, oil, steel etc. as they rely on cheaper cosmic energy. That causes a panic on Earth and it looks like western civilization is collapsing. Coal mines and steel plants close.

Meanwhile in a lab inside a hut eleven thousand feet up in the Andres Mountains, a Nazi scientist is capturing the messages. He’s the inventor of the hydrogen valve that enabled the transmitter to work in the first place. His drawings were found in Nuremberg and duplicated by Cronyn.

Franz Calder is controlled by the Russians. His contact is Arjenian (Marvin Miller with a Russian accent). Calder says his experiments are a failure but at least he can intercept the messages sent to Cronyn.

Now the messages start having a spiritual content. That causes a religious revolution in Russia and the Premiere is eventually replaced by the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. In the Western world places of worship of the major religion are being filled up. Does God live on Mars?

This is a typical Red Scare movie of the era cloaked as SF. It goes for a shocking ending. It’s a complete waste of celluloid. The last shot instead of saying “The End” says “The Beginning.”

Marvin Miller was the narrator of one of TV’s best but short lived comedy series “Police Squad!” (1982). He appeared in many movies and TV shows. His most famous role was Michael Anthony, the man who handed out the checks on “The Millionaire” (1955-60).

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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