Robinson Crusoe on Mars Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 4, 2014
an entertaining, cheesy, dated, and stellar (or should i say inter-stellar) film. it's hard not to laugh at the effects, but as survival films go, it's quite fun.
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2011
Wonderful film. It's nice to see science fiction treated seriously for a change in the era that it was made. At the time, B movies were ruling the drive-in screens and something like this was just not commonly done. It makes for an entertaining character film that doesn't require a lot of exposition - mostly just the visuals to tell its story. And for that, I am grateful. One of my very favorite sci-fi movies and thanks must be given to Criterion for their wonderful Blu-ray presentation of this classic film.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
The beginning and ending of this movie are horrible, for one thing, West's character dies in the first scene! Putting the story of Crusoe in space was probably their first mistake.
Super Reviewer
½ September 13, 2010
Special effects wunderkind and genre master Bryon Haskin(who is mostly known for his work in the 1953 science-fiction classic War Of The Worlds and for the 1960's television series The Outer Limits among others)won a place in the hearts of fantasy film lovers everywhere with this gorgeously designed journey into the unknown in this innovative retelling of Daniel Defoe's classic story. The story involves when a intrepid adventurer aboard a spaceship crashes on the barren wastelands of Mars. United States astronaut commander "Kit" Draper(Paul Mantee) must fight for survival with a pet monkey in tow as his only companion and a runaway slave from an exotic planet. Is he alone? All three survivers must use their ingenuity and resources in order to stay alive on a hostile planet. Released in 1964,this imaginative and dazzling beloved techni-marvel of classic science fiction was Oscar nominated in 1964 for Best Special Effects. Presented in astounding widescreen Techniscope and Technicolor this classic also stars Adam West(the former TV's Batman),and Victor Lundin(as Friday). Running Time of 106 minutes.
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2010
It's nothing special and completely ridiculous, but there's something really interesting about the idea of a man surviving on mars. I think since it was released in the early 60s, things like physics didn't really have to play into sci-fi movies (just give them a pill and they can breath). The acting is pretty terrible, especially since it's not played for camp and is supposed to be taken 100% seriously. Mars hot dogs, alien slaves with tans, glowing rocks, etc. it's worth seeing just for how outlandish it gets.
Super Reviewer
November 29, 2008
This is an odd choice for the Criterion Collection to make available. It does contain some beautiful vistas of Death Valley with a red sky matte. A documentary (made a couple years before we landed a rover on the red planet) is included. The talking heads in the doc about Earth's exploration of Mars say that this movie was more scientifically authentic than most sci-fi. However, it was the year after this movie was released that our assumption about Mars' atmosphere being similar to Earth's was proven wrong. So the hero of our story can breath for a time without his helmet and only needs to take bursts of oxygen from a tank at regular intervals. The discovery of an oasis and pastel colored rocks are equally fictional though they lend themselves to technicolor. Commander Kit is our Robinson Crusoe. He has a pet monkey and must learn to be quite resourceful to survive. I love stories like Robinson Crusoe, but there is something too far fetched about being stranded on a planet, especially from the point of view of a 1960s understanding of outer space. The effects of the attacking space ships and Friday's loincloth costume are laughable as well. There are moments that offer worthwhile glimpses of a future, which are really a look at the past, but they are not sustained overall.
Super Reviewer
March 10, 2011
While many of the effects are showing their age, the films elements of survival and humanity remain timeless. The acting is good and the sense of isolation is essentially there from beginning to end. Even when finding Mona or discovering "Friday" there are language barriers that must be overcome. Survival is hard and the going is treacherous throughout the film but as most older films do, it has a happy ending. Recommended!
½ February 15, 2010

"This movie has the biggest collection of the most annoying sounds ever." - Josh Fuesting (Flatmate)

Just watch the original trailer for this picture, it pretty much tells you everything that happens. (As bad as this movie is, the music video is worse.)

"God not forget."

November 29, 2009
This is a good example of not judging a movie by it's title. It is surprisingly good, and the job they did with the budget they had is remarkable. It's not a well known film, which is a shame, because it's an excellent story, a twist on the classic Robinson Crusoe novel. It has depth, good acting and excellent direction. The screenplay is very well done. Always interesting.
½ March 18, 2009
A fine example of sci-fi adventure from the 60's. Sure some of the effects are campy and a little bit of the survival tactics are too convenient. But the ability of the film maker to give us an approximation of what life on Mars might be like (based on the available information at the time) is fairly ground breaking.
½ January 22, 2009
this started out boring, got a little more interesting, and then didn't end so well. It was just so-so.
½ December 4, 2008
I commend the makers of this movie for doing a film with mostly a single actor (except for his pet monkey) and very little dialogue. I would have been happy if the movie ended with an old sad man and his monkey having spent their life stuck on this planet, but instead it gets kind of cheesball when he rescues a martian slave. The alien spacecrafts and their ray guns get very annoying.
January 5, 2008
Cornball as hell, but not that bad. I also have to say that it is envigorating that Adam West has a movie that is in the Criterion Collection. Too bad that he's only in the movie for a total of five minutes.

Apparently, Byron Haskin is one of the minds behind The Outer Limits. I can't say I ever watched The Outer Limits. If anything (and that is very little), I was a bigger fan of The Twilight Zone. I couldn't tell you which blatently plagiarized from one another, but I can't give my thoughts behind the show. But this really was entertaining, if not totally goofy.

I am happy that Criterion released the special feature regarding the science behind this movie. Apparently, 1964 was a extremely "what" era for science because no one had any clue what was going on in terms of space. Or just science in general for that matter. But that made it all the more enjoyable. (Admittedly, there's some stuff that directors should have figured out. Really, a planet is farther away from the sun and you think it's covered in fire, guys? I guess it IS red...)

This story really is the Robinson Crusoe story just moved somewhere else, which leads to one of the film's major problems. Apparently, in this world, the astronaut has read the novel which parallels his own predicament and references that. I kind of have qualms with that. It's bad enough that the film references the source and that an audience already has that information, but the allegory is spoonfed to us throughout. Sorry, just not a fan of that decision.

I have to mention the special effects as well. I'm going to put this out there. I kind of like them. Yes, there's a lot stolen from War of the Worlds (Not the Tom Cruise version, silly bear), but it looks really nifty and stylized. The effects, by no means, are good. Rather, drawings represent flying saucers and planetary landers, but they're "World's Fair-esque", so I totally dig them. Now this is more of a minor point, but I wish they used the special effects more sparingly. Those blaster ships always in groups of three? Really? We couldn't get the idea earlier? But the colors were cool throughout, so I thought "pretty."

I have to leave with this. I'm not usually a fan when Criterion does cornball stuff. Equinox bored me to tears and the "Monsters and Madmen" set was a wild disappointment. But Robinson Crusoe has a little bit of merit, so go them. Give this one a chance and try not to overthink it.
½ June 18, 2015
Distinctly early 60's space age attempt at retelling Dafoe's book in a slow paced Martian setting. Special effects are very dated. Has elements of John Carter of Mars as well. Still, there is an attempt at some realistic hard science fiction--finding oxygen, water and food, etc.
½ November 19, 2014
Really good for its time period, with interesting sets. Holds up well.
October 25, 2014
I remember seeing this as a child in the 70's and the effect of the alien spaceships moving so fast and aggressively really scared me! I see it today and still find the movement impossible, threatening and otherworldly. Very well done.
July 1, 2014
So campy and dated, but surprisingly enjoyable
½ July 15, 2012
Um astronauta fica náufrago em Marte e precisa descobrir como sobreviver. Interessante a forma como ele vai aos poucos explorando as possibilidades de utilizar le recursos naturais do planeta. Os cenários são fantásticos para a época e a profundidade psicológica é grande.
½ May 28, 2014
I saw this on the late show when I was in high school. I thought, "What a stupid title." But, I sat for it anyway. I was pleasantly surprised. Later, I met a friend who saw it as well. He said the same thing. And RT gave it a 93%? Vindication!
May 27, 2014
One of the best, original sci-fi movies ever made. And for the era, great effects, story-line, and great actors.
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