Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Brief Thoughts - FIRST MAN INTO SPACE (1959)

The other night I pulled out my DVD of FIRST MAN INTO SPACE(1959) because I couldn't remember if I had watched it yet. When I first purchased the four movie Criterion set it is a part of I know I watched the two Karloff films and I vaguely remember THE ATOMIC SUBMARINE (1959)  but FMIS was not bringing back any images linked to the title. Now that I have watched (rewatched ?) it I can say that the reason it might not have stuck with me is that it is pretty much a remake of Hammer's THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT (1955). The plot of both films are almost identical with only a few character's relationships slightly changed to differentiate things. I wonder if Hammer or Nigel Kneale ever thought about taking legal action. Adding to my amusement in comparing the two films is that both were made in Britain but FIRST MAN INTO SPACE tries (and fails) to maintain the idea that it takes place in New Mexico. Sorry, but New Mexico is just not that cold in the middle of the day, folks. Seeing Marshall Thompson bundled up in a parka and everyone's breath steaming around was quite funny.

Of the two THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT is much better but it's unofficial remake isn't terrible. 

1 comment:

Nick Rentz said...

I had The Atomic Submarine on tape and it had the trailer for First Man into Space. The trailer makes it look like a pretty cool monster movie. I bought the same set you did and was slightly disappointed with FMiS. The pacing was a little slow. I liked the ending though. When I watched FMiS I was reminded heavily of The Incredible Melting Man. You are right about The Quatermass Experiment though. Now the only thing I liked about The Incredible Melting Man was the excellent makeup.