The simplest, purest reason for this is I tend to love films adorned with practical effects and real set decoration and construction. At one level, I think I'm almost CGI-intolerant; but the truth is I think great CGI has its time, place, and uses as well. But older films have a certain look that modern features just can't match, especially on the 'retro cool' factor with maybe just a touch of kitsch thrown in to bring it all back to Earth.
So any time one of these older Science Fiction film gets slated for commercial release, I'm usually in the market to give it a solid look-see; and that's likely what I'll be doing this July when Flight To Mars (1951) gets a release. Directed by Lesley Selander -- a storyteller caught somewhere between A and B pictures from what I've read -- this 1950's feature starred Marguerite Chapman, Cameron Mitchell, and Arthur Franz. According to IMDB.com, here's the plot summary:
"A newspaper reporter and a bunch of scientists fly a rocket to Mars just to find out that Martians look exactly like us. Mars is running low on one of their natural resources (Corium), and plan to steal the Earth astronauts' rocket and conquer Earth. The Martian underground helps the Earthmen stop the insidious plan."
As is the case with many of these smaller SciFi films of a certain era, it's escaped the attention of serious students of film, making it perfect for those of us who seriously get jazzed about them; and I'm looking forward to viewing and reviewing should the opportunity present itself in the days ahead.
I have obtained a copy of the press release issued by The Film Detective, and I'm happily copying and pasting below for all involved. It is up for pre-order at Amazon.com, and those interested in getting to the front of the line can go right here.
Launching to Special-Edition Blu-ray & DVD, July 20
From the Dawn of the Science-Fiction Boom, With a Stunning, 70th Anniversary Restoration
From the Original Cinecolor Separation Negatives & Out-of-This-World Special Features
LOS ANGELES — July 2021 — For Immediate Release — Cinedigm, the leading independent streaming entertainment company super-serving enthusiast fan bases, announced today that The Film Detective, the classic film restoration and distribution company, is releasing Flight to Mars (1951) on special-edition Blu-ray and DVD, July 20.
Flight to Mars blasted into theaters at the dawn of the 1950s science-fiction boom from legendary producer Walter Mirisch (Some Like It Hot, The Magnificent Seven, West Side Story, The Great Escape, The Pink Panther). Filmed in gorgeous Cinecolor with special effects ahead of its time, Flight to Mars stands as an eye-popping, must-have feature for any fan of the science-fiction genre.
Starring Marguerite Chapman (The Seven Year Itch, Coroner Creek, Destroyer, A Man’s World, Parachute Nurse) and Cameron Mitchell (The High Chaparral, Hollywood Cop, Monkey on My Back, How to Marry a Millionaire), the film follows five Earthlings who land a successful space expedition on Mars, where they encounter seemingly welcoming Martians. To their surprise, the Martians fear they have depleted the key mineral used to power their life support systems and are determined to get off the red planet by any means necessary, including stealing the Earthlings’ ship and invading Earth!
Restored via a 4K transfer sourced from the original 35mm Cinecolor separation negatives, the stunning restoration and preservation was completed by Paramount Pictures Archive, Andrea Kalas, Charles Stepczyk and Charlotte Johnson and serves as the latest collaboration between The Film Detective and The Wade Williams Collection, with future titles to be announced this summer from Williams’ expansive collection of essential genre films.
OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD SPECIAL FEATURES: Two new documentary shorts from Ballyhoo Motion Pictures, Walter Mirisch: From Bomba to Body Snatchers and Interstellar Travelogues: Cinema's First Space Race, with celebrated science-fiction artist/historian Vincent Di Fate ● Audio commentary by author/film historian Justin Humphreys ● Full-color insert booklet with essay, Mars at the Movies, by award-winning author Don Stradley ● English and Spanish subtitles.
Flight to Mars will be available for purchase on July 20 on special-edition Blu-ray ($24.95) and DVD ($19.95).
To learn more, visit: https://www.thefilmdetective.com/flight-to-mars