Robinson Crusoe on Mars

Robinson Crusoe on Mars

3.9 14
Director: Byron Haskin

Cast: Byron Haskin, Paul Mantee, Vic Lundin, Adam West

     
 

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Spun from Daniel DeFoe's tale of the titular character, this sci-fi story involves a spaceship commander, Chris Draper (Paul Mantee) in a similar situation to the original Robinson Crusoe -- but rather than being stranded on an island, our hero is on a hostile planet. Draper, Colonel Dan McReady (Adam West), and a test monkey look as if they are going to collide with

Overview

Spun from Daniel DeFoe's tale of the titular character, this sci-fi story involves a spaceship commander, Chris Draper (Paul Mantee) in a similar situation to the original Robinson Crusoe -- but rather than being stranded on an island, our hero is on a hostile planet. Draper, Colonel Dan McReady (Adam West), and a test monkey look as if they are going to collide with a meteor. Draper and the chimp are able to eject themselves from the vessel, but McReady is not so lucky. The two survivors safely land on Mars and figure out how to breathe, drink, and eat on the inhospitable planet. After some time, Draper crosses paths with a human, Friday, who has recently escaped slavery on an alien planet. As the two find a means of communication, they become friends. They soon work together to survive the incredible odds, including an alien attack and meteorological phenomena. Filmed on location in California's Death Valley, this impressive feature owes much to cinematographer Winton C. Hoch and special effects master Lawrence W. Butler.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although its title suggests that this is a film to avoid, Robinson Crusoe on Mars is actually surprisingly good. Although a considerable financial failure at the time (despite general critical approval), Crusoe has gained quite a cult reputation over the years and is deservedly beloved by science fiction aficionados. Remarkably faithful in spirit to the Daniel Defoe novel, Crusoe benefits from an intelligent screenplay that celebrates the human spirit and its resilience without becoming arch or preachy. It also tells an exciting story, with carefully drawn characters (even when one of those characters talks very little). Director Byron Haskin does an excellent job of conveying the loneliness, isolation, and desperation that the Robinson Crusoe character (actually one Commander Chris Draper), feels, as well as the pride and pleasure at his accomplishments in surviving. Haskin also sensitively handles the relationship between Commander Draper and runaway slave Friday, so that it develops into a friendship rather than a master-servant arrangement. Winton Hoch's excellent cinematography is a decided plus, giving a low budget film a very believable look and making Death Valley resemble a very credible Mars. And Paul Mantee turns in very solid work as Crusoe, anchoring the film in a crucial way. A delightful and uplifting film, Robinson Crusoe on Mars deserves a much wider audience.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/11/2011
UPC:
0715515067416
Original Release:
1964
Source:
Criterion
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:50:00
Sales rank:
183

Special Features

Audio commentary featuring screenwriter Ib Melchior, actors Paul Mantee and Victor Lundin, production designer Al Nozaki, oscar-winning special effects designer and Robinson Crusoe On Mars historian Robert Skotak, and excerpts from a 1979 audio interview with director Byron Haskin; Destination: Mars, video featurette by filmmaker and space historian Michael Lennick detailing the science and dreams behind the film; Music video for Lundin's song "Robindon Crusoe On Mars"; Stills gallery; Theatrical trailer

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Mantee Cmdr. Christopher "Kit" Draper
Vic Lundin Friday
Adam West Col. Dan McReady

Technical Credits
Byron Haskin Director
Bud Bashaw Makeup
Lawrence W. Butler Special Effects
John C. Higgins Screenwriter
Winton Hoch Cinematographer
Arthur Jacobson Asst. Director
Harold Lewis Sound/Sound Designer
Arthur Lonergan Art Director
Ib Melchior Screenwriter
Terrell O. Morse Editor
Hal Pereira Art Director
Aubrey Schenck Producer
Aubrey Schenk Producer
Fred Steiner Score Composer
Nathan VanCleave Score Composer
Wally Westmore Makeup
John K. Wilkinson Sound/Sound Designer

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Robinson Crusoe on Mars 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first watched this movie on TV way back in 1970. I thought this was on of the best movies I had ever seen and it is still one of my all-time favorites.
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DebbiHB More than 1 year ago
Strange but good movie !!!!!! This is one of the strangest movie I have seen. It had a very strange story line that I was interested in watching till the end to see how it unravels. The movie is about a guy who finds a portal to John Malco...Read MoreStrange but good movie This is one of the strangest movie I have seen. It had a very strange story line that I was interested in watching till the end to see how it unravels. The movie is about a guy who finds a portal to John Malcovich's brain. Anyone who goes into the portal can watch what John Malcovich is doing and ''be'' John Malcovich for 15 miutes.