|Flight to Mars|
|Riffed by||RiffTrax Presents|
|Riffers||Matthew J. Elliott, Ian Potter|
|Date Released||March 18, 2016|
Flight to Mars is a 1951 American Cinecolor science fiction film, produced by Walter Mirisch for Monogram Pictures, directed by Lesley Selander, and starring Marguerite Chapman, Cameron Mitchell and Arthur Franz.
The story involves the arrival on the Red Planet of an American scientific expedition team, who discover that Mars is inhabited by an underground-dwelling but dying civilization that appear to be human. The Martians are suspicious of the Earthmen's motives. A majority of their governing body finally decides to keep their visitors prisoner, never allowing them to return home with the information they have discovered. But the Earthmen have sympathizers among the Martians. Soon a plan is set in motion to smuggle the scientists and their Martian allies aboard the now guarded spaceship and make an escape for Earth.
Plot Synopsis and PreviewEditSpoilers Begin
The first expedition to Mars, led by physicist Dr. Lane (John Litel), includes Professor Jackson (Richard Gaines), engineer Jim Barker (Arthur Franz), and his assistant Carol Stadwick (Virginia Huston). Journalist Steve Abbott (Cameron Mitchell) is also aboard to cover the historic mission. A final interview with his crew mates before launch makes him realize that there are grave risks for them all.
Once in space aboard the rocketship MARS, the crew begin preparing for their eventual landing on the Red Planet. The spaceship must make a course change after 48 hours, being attracted by the gravitational pull of the Moon. They lose contact with Earth when a meteor storm disables both their landing gear and radio. The crew is forced to decide whether to crash-land on Mars or turn back for Earth. Professor Jackson makes the case that the purpose of their expedition is to collect data, both before and after they land, data which they can send back to Earth using self-propelled space cylinders equipped with homing devices. They decide to proceed with the mission, but that means they can never return.
After they safely crash-land, the MARS crew are met by five Martians at one of their above ground structures. Looking human and being able to communicate in English, their leader, Ikron (Morris Ankrum), the president of their planetary council, explains that they have been receiving Earth's radio broadcasts by which they learned our languages. Their own efforts, however, to transmit messages to Earth have only resulted in faint signals being received.
The Earth crew are brought by the Martians to a vast underground city, which is being sustained by life-support systems fueled by a mineral called Corium. The crew meets Tillamar (Robert Barrat), the past president who now is an adviser to the council. Terris (Lucille Barkley), a young female Martian shows them to their room and serves the group automated meals, made entirely from hydroponically grown food. The expedition members are amazed at the high level of Martian technology in the city and return to the council to ask for help in repairing their spaceship.
Discreetly, Ikron reveals that their supply of Corium is nearly depleted, meaning that the end of Martian civilization is at hand. He recommends that the Earthmen's repaired spaceship be reproduced to create a fleet that can evacuate their people to Earth. Although Tillamar is hesitant, the council votes to adopt Ikron's plan.
Alita (Marguerite Chapman), one of the leading Martian scientists, is placed in charge of repairing the spaceship. Ikorn keeps informed of the work's progress by using Terris as a spy. Jim suspects the Martians' motives and fakes an explosion on MARS to slow down the repairs. Later, after working with her, he tells Alita that he is in love with her and wants her to be his wife. When Jim announces their blast-off for the next day, he surprises everyone with the news that Tillamar and Alita will join them.
Terris reports the suspicious behavior to Ikron, leading to Alita and Tillimar being held by Ikron's men and taken to the council. Jim foils Ikron's plan to seize the repaired spaceship by freeing Tillamar and Alita, with Martian guards in pursuit. After a brief confrontation at the spaceship's gangway, the three make it aboard safely, and the expedition is able to safely blast-off for Earth.
Cast and CrewEdit
- Marguerite Chapman as Alita
- Cameron Mitchell as Steve Abbott
- Arthur Franz as Dr. Jim Barker
- Virginia Huston as Carol Stafford
- John Litel as Dr. Lane
- Morris Ankrum as Ikron
- Richard Gaines as Professor Jackson
- Lucille Barkley as Terris
- Robert Barrat as Tillamar
- Wilbur Back as Councilman
- William Bailey as Councilman
- Trevor Bardette as Alzar
- Stanley Blystone as Councilman
- David Bond as Ramay
- Raymond Bond as Astronomer # Two