The 1950's were an era that produced a lot of low budget sci-fi movies that have become sort of cult classics. Watching this from the perspective of similar movies produced in the era, I have to say that "The Angry Red Planet" stands up pretty well. It's the story of 4 American astronauts (3 men and the requisite - for the time - pretty woman) who become the first humans to land on Mars. It's told as a flashback from the perspective of Iris (Nora Hayden) after the rocket ship makes its way back to earth with only 2 survivors (one who is seriously infected with - well - something) after it had been presumed lost.
I thought the story was pretty good. It's scientifically ridiculous, of course, and the Mars depicted bears no resemblance to the Mars we now knows exists, but it is, after all, science fiction, with an emphasis on fiction. The performances from the 4 main actors were fine, and I appreciated the fact that Hayden turned out to be more than just a pretty addition to the cast. Her character of Iris was a serious scientist who had real things to do - even if she was depicted now and then as overly emotional and easily frightened (again, it was the 1950's.) I thought that the photography effects were pretty good - especially the red tint that the picture was put in to film scenes that took place on the surface of Mars. It certainly made the point that this was another world. On the other hand, the "monsters" were cheesy (to be expected) and the special effects were virtually non-existent - but, again, keep in mind when this was made. The biggest criticism I'd make of it is that the last 15 minutes or so seem rather rushed - almost as if the producers ran out of money after offering a decent enough story to that point and then said, "OK. Let's get this over with as fast as we can."
The movie makes the requisite point about human nature and our violent tendencies toward the end.
All in all, it's an enjoyable enough movie that may not be at the upper echelon of the 1950's sci-fi genre, but still represents the genre reasonably well. (6/10)
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