Rocket Ship X-M (1950) – Cheezy Pulp Fluff… And I Liked It!
The story of the first manned space flight, set for a voyage to the moon, when something goes wrong and the ship and crew end up on Mars. Silly enough, I know but this has movie has charm.
Starring Lloyd Bridges, Osa Massen, John Emery, Noah Beery, Jr., and Hugh O’Brien as the crew of the rocket-ship X-M, this is the story of the brave crew of the first human space flight. They are to go to the moon – pretty lofty goal for the first flight but hey – it’s a silly movie! A problem with the life support system causes the crew to pass out for a couple of days and they over shoot the moon and end up on Mars. On Mars they find evidence of a once mighty civilization – and have to deal with barbarous, but strangely human like natives. Our heroes protect them selves by shooting to miss, frightening the Martians enough to allow them to make it back to the ship safely. While on Mars, the entire the scenes are given a sepia colour,that adds to the quaintness. Then there’s perilous the return journey to Earth Sure, not the most realistic story line, but it is silly fun.
This film very much reminds me of the classic Sci-Fi radio plays of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Only 70 minutes long, this is a quick, easy watch and somewhat of a breath of fresh air after some of the films I’ve watched over the last few months. Plus Lloyd Bridges rocks. According to Wikipedia, this movie was rushed to production to ride the public enthusiasm for another Sci-Fi flick that was in production, Destination Moon (it self an interesting film with the screen play written by Science Fiction great, Robert Heinlein). Also, according to Wikipedia, some of the special effects were re-shot in the 1980s and edited in in a VHS release – I have not seen this copy, though. The film was also known as Expedition Moon and Rocket Ship XM-1.
Watch the whole movie on the Internet Archive here: