The Phantom Planet (1961)

Unrated   |    |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi


The Phantom Planet (1961) Poster

After an invisible asteroid draws an astronaut and his ship to its surface, he is miniaturized by the phantom planet's exotic atmosphere.


3.7/10
2,659

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14 April 2006 | bkoganbing
3
| Astronaut on the Planet Lilliput
Thirty comments on this film and no one so far has mentioned the obvious inspiration for The Phantom Planet. This is a science fiction update of Gulliver among the Lilliputians. Too bad that Jonathan Swift's classic didn't inspire a better film.

And that's a pity because the idea is intriguing. But this was low budget film, very low budget, so the production values and special effects were kept to a minimum. Also too bad that Jonathan Swift's gift for satire in late Stuart Great Britain didn't bring forth a better script.

The film is set in what the writer's mind would be 1980 and we are on the moon and using it as a base to explore the solar system. Two ships have been lost in the asteroid region between Mars and Jupiter have already disappeared. A ship commanded by Dean Fredericks has been sent out to find out what happened and it crashes on an asteroid.

It's really a small planet with people about half a foot tall led by a leader Sesom played by Francis X. Bushman. The movie is about Fredericks' adventures on the planet and his attempts to leave. Like in Gulliver's Travels he helps the people fight off some nasty alien enemies called Solarites who live in a world between Mercury and the sun. With all that heat to contend with, small wonder they're such nasty tempered folk.

And if you want to know how the story ends before seeing the film, I won't say, but read Gulliver's Travels.

Phantom Planet is great example of a lousy film becoming a cult classic. Players like Francis X. Bushman, Coleen Gray, and Anthony Dexter have all done so much better stuff.

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