A Science Fiction comedy musical that takes place in the New York of 1980. A lot of fun moments with corny and topical jokes and some crude but fun special effects. The future predictions are also a lot of fun. There are some songs along the way. I’ll admit I skipped through them.
Everyone has a number instead of a name and the government decides who you can marry. J-21 (John Garrick) wants to marry LN-18 (Maureen O’Sullivan). The Tribunal says she has to marry MT-3 the son of a newspaper owner. J-21 is given four months to distinguish himself if he wants to change the Tribunal’s decision. He’s already an airline pilot and he doesn’t know what else he can do.
His roommate RT-42 has a ditzy girlfriend D-6 (Marjorie White). They take J-21 to see her boss and his latest experiment. He’s going to try and bring back to life a man who was struck by lightning on a golf course in 1930. It’s a success. His name is Peterson but he changes it to Single O (El Brendel).
J-21 tries to romance LN-18 but a drunken Single O foils that plan and they’re caught by MT-3. A depressed J-21 wanders around town. He’s taken to see famous inventor Z-4. He’s invented a rocket that can get to Mars and back. All he needs is a pilot. J-21 sees this as a chance to distinguish himself. RT-42 goes along as his co-pilot.
They’re off to Mars. They have a stowaway. It’s Single O. A month later they land on Mars. Good thing the air is breathable. This segment goes on too long but there is a bizarre production number. The suspense mounts. Can they get back to Earth before four months are up so J-21 can finally marry LN-18?
The movie was nominated for the Best Art Direction Oscar. The winner was “Cimarron.” If you want to see something different, check this one out. It’s not a SF movie in the strictest sense. It’s more a fantasy film to make audiences feel good as the depression was setting in.
Two years later Maureen O’Sullivan would start her run as Jane Parker in the Tarzan series.