Saturday, February 26, 2011

Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962)

Journey to the Seventh Planet was a 1962 science fiction film. It was directed by Sid Pink, written by Pink and Ib Melchior, and shot in Denmark with a budget of only US$75,000. The seventh planet is, of course, Uranus, and a crew is being dispatched there by the United Nations on a mission of space exploration. The film's ideas of astronauts exploring outer space only to confront their inner mindscapes and memories precede the similar-themed Solaris by a full decade (Although the novel Solaris precedes this film by a year). It is also reminiscent of Ray Bradbury's 1948 short story Mars is Heaven! that appeared in the 1950 book The Martian Chronicles.

During their journey to the planet an alien presence briefly assumes control of the crew's minds. They awaken safely but notice that an unexplained long period of time has passed by. Upon landing on Uranus, they find a forested land oddly like our own (rather than the cold, bleak world they were expecting.) This forest is surrounded by a mysterious barrier. One of the crew pushes his arm through the barrier, only to have it frozen. New features and forms begin to appear each time they are imagined by the crew. Soon, however, the crew discover that they have been the victims of mind control by a one-eyed brain living in a cave. The brain plans to possess the astronauts' bodies and have them take it back to Earth where it will implement a plan for global domination. The crew finally outwits the supposedly mind-reading creature From Wikipedia


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