Rocketship X-M

( 3 )

Overview

In tandem with Destination Moon, Kurt Neumann's Rocketship X-M introduced the science fiction genre to postwar American cinema. And as an independently made feature, Rocketship X-M came to television very early, which helped it become one of the most familiar and popular of all science fiction films among baby boomers. It appeared on laserdisc in the late-'80s in a mediocre transfer. The DVD features a crystalline transfer of a very sharp 35 mm print and an even cleaner audio track, all the better with which to ...
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DVD (Black & White / Mono)
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Overview

In tandem with Destination Moon, Kurt Neumann's Rocketship X-M introduced the science fiction genre to postwar American cinema. And as an independently made feature, Rocketship X-M came to television very early, which helped it become one of the most familiar and popular of all science fiction films among baby boomers. It appeared on laserdisc in the late-'80s in a mediocre transfer. The DVD features a crystalline transfer of a very sharp 35 mm print and an even cleaner audio track, all the better with which to appreciate the best moments of the soundtrack by composer/arranger Ferde Grofe. The disc opens automatically to an easy-to-navigate menu, offering chapter breaks and the original trailer. The latter is fascinating in its attempt to present the story of an expedition to the moon that ends up on Mars as something potentially real and immediate circa 1950, rather than as pure fantasy. The trailer is also notable for the presence of the original take-off shots from the film, depicting a German V-2, which have been replaced with updated material in the film itself; and for the fact that it doesn't reveal much of the film's second half, so that audiences were truly surprised by what they saw. The presence of legitimate actors, including John Emery, Noah Beery Jr., Osa Massen, and Lloyd Bridges, in a science fiction movie, years before it was an established genre, must also have been beguiling at the time. In view of its status as a 50th anniversary edition, there's surprisingly little that's special in this release beyond the clean transfer and the presence of the trailer. Indeed, in contrast to some of the decidedly lesser films in the very same group of movies (The Wade Williams Collection) -- including Missile to the Moon and Frankenstein's Daughter -- this title, one of the prizes of the collection, gets rather unimpressive annotation compared to the packaging of those throwaway features. Additionally, the dozen chapters into which the movie is broken down are the minimum effective number in terms of dividing the key sections of the film. Overall, it's a decent disc and an improvement over other editions of the movie, but otherwise relatively unexceptional.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
In the opening scene of this cautionary early science fiction thriller, a crew about to enter outer space is leisurely taking a press conference while a stentorian voice counts down the minutes until departure: "X minus 11 minutes," etc. No one seems hurried and, with six minutes to spare, they all calmly file into what appears to be a nice family sized station wagon that will take them the final 200 meters or so to a matte-painting rocket ship. All this, of course, is only amusing in hindsight; back in 1950, no one knew what proper behavior -- or attire, for that matter -- should be for someone about to break the barrier of the final frontier. The crew, English-accented John Emery, Danish-accented Osa Massen, faux Texas-accented Noah Beery Jr. and Hollywood B-movie-accented Lloyd Bridges and Hugh O'Brian, all go about their business with a seriousness and dedication that almost make the ensuing space flight believable. But not quite. There is a lot of mumbo-jumbo about velocity and weightlessness, but only certain articles actually do become weightless -- Beery's harmonica, for example -- while Massen's coiffure stays stubbornly in place for the duration. When the rocket ship takes a detour to Mars, that planet is tinted red, as it should be, but appears remarkably similar to California's Death Valley, which, of course, is where Kurt Neumann and crew filmed the climactic scenes (and filmed them fast, apparently). Hoping to capitalize on the excitement generated by George Pal's superior Destination Moon (1950), producer Robert L. Lippert and his team rushed Rocketship X-M through in mere weeks. With that in mind, the film is admirably well acted and produced.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/6/2000
  • UPC: 014381869323
  • Original Release: 1950
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Black & White / Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:17:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 23,313

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lloyd Bridges Floyd Oldham
Osa Massen Lisa Van Horn
John Emery Karl Eckstrom
Noah Beery Jr. Maj. William Corrigan
Hugh O'Brian Harry Chamberlin
Morris Ankrum Dr. Fleming
Patrick Aherne Reporter
Judd Holdren
Kathryn Marlowe Reporter
Sherry Moreland Martian Girl
Technical Credits
Kurt Neumann Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Irving A. Block Special Effects
Don L. Cash Makeup
Harry Gerstad Editor
Ferde Grofé Sr. Score Composer
Theobold Holsopple Art Director
Murray Lerner Executive Producer
Jack R. Rabin Special Effects
Betty Sinclair Production Manager
Clarence I. Steensen Set Decoration/Design
Don Steward Special Effects
Karl Struss Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Select The Chapter
0. Select The Chapter
1. Main Title; The Press Conference [10:36]
2. Takeoff [9:45]
3. Escape Velocity [2:35]
4. Eternal Night [8:32]
5. Suspended in Space [6:26]
6. Off Couse [3:16]
7. Approaching Mars [5:21]
8. Touchdown [4:17]
9. A Civilization in Ruins [8:07]
10. "Atomic Age to Stone Age." [8:37]
11. The Long Voyage Home [8:12]
12. Towrard the Future [1:46]
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Menu

Main
Start The Movie
   Menu Group #1 with 13 chapter(s) covering 01:19:38
Watch The Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This movie is anti-nuclear war, not one to be dissected by some

    This movie is anti-nuclear war, not one to be dissected by some "A reviewer" who has a classic "Coke bottle up his...." This movie makes Destination Moon look like Military-Industrial-Complex propaganda. THEM and IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE are indeed excellent for their time, but should not be given as ones to watch instead. STAR TREK and STAR WARS are ones to label as ridiculous Hollywood trash with nothing but special effects and no reasonable message for mankind. To criticize the lack of Science in RXM is to forget when it was made. No '60's teen can possibly know what RXM looked like or meant when it came out. Hey, learn some manners and quit saying junk like "They pass out for some reason I forget." How childish! Reviewers like that need to first learn some mental science before they let their wit out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I love old sci-fi movies a teen in 1966 when Star Trek first saw the light of day, I grew up with Rocky Jones, space ranger & Superman, also, reading the greats, loving the golden age of Science Fiction "ie.1930-1950" so I have a lot of patience with both the great & the perfectly awful in the genre. This movie is an embarrassment to Science Fiction and to B-movies. Example : They blast off - and then take a left "that isn't how physics works, guys!" They stand up during most of the movie...They pass out for some reason I forget and though they were aimed at the moon they don't recover until they reach Mars. Mars is inhabited - but then it becomes silly 1950's preachy - the Martians had a world war & destroyed the civilization. I would ignore this movie. Watch a good B movie : 'Them' or 'It came from outer space.' ! We forget HOW starved we were for real science fiction - the kind we were reading - when Star Trek, 2001 and finally, Star Wars showed up.. watch this only if you want to remember the bad old movies that made us blush, refusing to admit our love of Science Fiction even to our friends back then.. This movie is a perfect example of how ridiculous Hollywood can be when it tries to be profound without first learning some science.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews