Monday, April 4, 2011

1950's Republic film serial: Flying Disc Man from Mars

Here's a nice blast from the past for aging Baby Boomers. The first chapter of Flying Disc Man from Mars, a mediocre but influential twelve-part flying saucer film serial produced by Republic Pictures and released in late 1950.

Set in the years just after World War II, the plot revolves around a Martian named Mota, who attempts to conquer Earth as the red planet has become worried about the development of atomic technologies on the blue planet.

Starring actor Walter Reed as American pilot Kent Fowler, the lovely Lois Collier as the token female Helen Hall, Gregory Gaye as Mota the Martian, and James Craven as Dr. Bryant, a scientist and former Nazi.

According to Westerns Women: Interviews with 50 Leading Ladies of Movie and Television Westerns from the 1930s to the 1960s (McFarland, 2004), Lois Collier didn’t “recall doing much on Flying Disc Man from Mars. It just seems I was always sitting at a desk. Walter Reed is a very, very nice man. A real gentleman.” 

Wikipedia mentions several interesting production and special effects notes, including a list of early working titles: Atom Man from Mars, Disc Man from Mars, Disc Men of the Skies, Flying Planet Men and Jet Man from Mars.

Thanks to Dave Tackett of QuasarDragon, who has provided easy links to all 12 parts of Flying Disc Man from Mars!

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