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SYNOPSIS | REVIEW | PRODUCTION NOTES | TRIVIA | PRESS | QUOTES | KIM NEWMAN ARCHIVE | MEDIA

Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953)

Country of Origin: USA
Year of Production: 1953
Running Times: 77m
Length: 6850 ft/2088 metres
Format: 35mm
Colour Format: black and white
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Sound: mono


DIRECTION

Directed by: Charles Lamont


CREW

PRODUCTION
Copyright: MCMLIII [1953] by Universal Pictures Company. Inc.
Production Company: Universal-International presents
Produced by: Howard Christie

SCRIPT
Screenplay by: D.D. Beauchamp and John Grant
Story by: Howard Christie and D.D. Beauchamp

DIRECTION
Assistant Director: William Holland

PHOTOGRAPHY
Director of Photography: Clifford Stine

EDITING AND POSTPRODUCTION
Film Editor: Russell Schoengarth

MUSIC
Musical Direction: Joseph Gershenson
Music: Henry Mancini; Milton Rosen; Frank Skinner; Herman Stein [all uncredited]

SOUND
Sound: Leslie I. Carey, Robert Pritchard
Western Electric Recording

COSTUMES AND MAKE-UP
Costumes: Leah Rhodes
Make-up: Bud Westmore
Hair Stylist: Joan St. Oegger

SPECIAL EFFECTS
Special Photography: David S. Horsley

DESIGN AND SET CONSTRUCTION
Art Direction: Alexander Golitzen, Robert Boyle
Set Decorations: Russell A. Gausman, Julia Heron


CAST

[credited as Abbott and Costello as part of the title]
Bud Abbott (Lester)
Lou Costello (Orville)

With
Mari Blanchard (Allura)

and
Robert Paige (Dr Wilson)
Horace McMahon (Mugsy)
Martha Hyer (Janie)
Jack Kruschen (Harry)
Joe Kirk (Dr Orvilla)
Jean Willes (captain)
Anita Ekberg (guard)
James Flavin (first policeman in bank)

and the Miss Universe Beauties
Jackie Loughery, Miss U.S.A. (guard)
Ruth Hampton, Miss New Jersey (handmaiden)
Valerie Jackson, Miss Montana (handmaiden)
Renate Huy, Miss Germany (handmaiden)
Jeanne Thompson, Miss Louisiana (handmaiden)
Jeri Miller, Miss Welcome to Long Beach (guard)
Judy Hatula, Miss Michigan (guard)
Elza Edsman, Miss Hawaii (handmaiden)


UNCREDITED CAST


Jack Tesler (Dr Holtz)
Harold Goodwin (Dr Coleman)
Hal Forrest (Dr Nedring)
Russ Conway (policemen in bank)
Syd Saylor (man at fountain)
Patti McKay (Venusian guard)
Paul Newlan (traffic cop)
Tim Graham (cashier)
Ken Christy (police officer)
Grace Lenard (French girl in restaurant)
William Newell (drunk)
Harry Lang (French waiter)
Helen Noyes (Miss Pliny (Patty?))
Robert Forrest (observer)
Dudley Dickerson (porter)
Rex Lease (police sergeant)
Lester Dorr (customer)
Scott Lee, Dale Van Sickel (policemen)
Gloria Paul (tall girl)
Frank Marlowe (bartender)
Barry Curtis (boy)
Helen Strohm (girl)
Harold De Garro (tall cop)
Jack Shutta (guard)
Jane Easton (javelin thrower)
Rickey Van Dusen (girl)
Betty Yeaton (contortionist)
Harry Shearer (boy)
Stanley Blystone
Carl Sklover
Bobby Barber
Sally Yarnell
Juanita Close
Cora Shannon
Milt Bronson (announcer)
Douglas Henderson (announcer)
Saul Martell
Stanley Waxman (second announcer)


PLOT SUMMARY

Fooling about in a space rocket, Lester and Orville accidentally manage to launch the ship and crash land in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras, mistaking the costumed revelers for Martians. Forced by criminals to set the rocket off on its voyages again, they land on Venus and find an all-female subterranean society ruled over by Queen Allura.


CAPSULE REVIEW

Actually, they go to Venus by way of New Orleans and never get to Mars at all, but either way, this is just another crock from cinema's most painfully unfunny duo. Absolutely the worst of a particularly awful series of films, Abbott and Costello Go To Mars is irredeemably shoddy in just about every department and makes even their other films look impressive. Tacky settings, self-conscious posturing from the wooden Miss Universe contestants and a limp, second hand plot (there's even an escapade with an escaped criminal, a staple of this kind of low budget slapstick) simply conspire to make a truly painful viewing experience. It may not be the duo's worst film (that singular honour surely belongs to the execrable Lost in Alaska (1952)) but it's certainly a long way from their very best work.


AVAILABILITY

Portugal
Theatrical Distributor: Doperfilme

UK
Theatrical Distributors: General Film Distributors
16mm Distributors: Rank Film Distributors (c.1965); Derran Film Services

USA
Theatrical Distributor: Universal International Pictures
Video Distributor: MCA


CENSORSHIP HISTORY

Finland
Rating: S

Sweden
Rating: Btl

UK
National Registration Number: F 17812

USA
MPAA: 16239


TIMELINE

1953
August

3: Sweden - theatrical release

September
11: Finland - theatrical release

December
14: Denmark - theatrical release

1955
July

11: Portugal - theatrical release

1974
February

28: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Thames Television))

August
11: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Grampian Television))

December
11: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Southern Television))

1975
June

3: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Border))
21: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Tyne Tees Television))

October
2: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Thames Television))

December
4: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (ATV))

1976
March

11: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Westward TV))

May
1: UK - television broadcast (on (Scottish TV))

December
10: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Ulster TV))

1977
May

26: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Thames Television))

1978
August

17: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Scottish TV))
31: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Southern Television))

September
28: UK - television broadcast (on ITV (Tyne Tees Television))


POSTER TAGS

They're too wild for one world!


ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Abbott e Costello Vo para Marte - Portugese title
Abbott en Costello gaan naar Mars
- Dutch title
Abbott ja Costello matkalla Marsiin - Finnish title
Abbott y Costello en Venus
- Chilean title
On To Mars
Rocket and Roll
Viaggio al pianeta Venere
- Italian title


LINKS

SEE ALSO
Cat Women of the Moon (1953)
Fire Maidens from Outer Space (1956)

FOOTAGE INCLUDED IN
World of Abbott and Costello, The (1965)


REFERENCES

PERIODICALS

Film Daily, The vol.103 no.66 (7 April 1953) p.6 (USA)
review

Filmfax no.47 (October/November 1994) pp.49-56 (USA)
illustrated (This island mirth part 1 by Ron Palumbo)

Filmfax no.48 (January/February 1995) pp.56-65, 82 (USA)
illustrated article (This island mirth part 2 by Ron Palumbo)

Kinematograph Weekly no.2393 (7 May 1953) p.18 (UK)
review

Monthly Film Bulletin vol.20 no.233 (June 1953) p.87 (UK)
credits, review

Motion Picture Herald vol.188 no.6 (9 August 1952) p.26 (USA)
note

Motion Picture Herald vol.190 no.4 (24 January 1953) p.1694 (USA)
note

Motion Picture Herald vol.190 no.12 (21 March 1953) p.1766 (USA)
review

Sight and Sound vol.11 no.8 (August 2001) p.58 (UK)
review (Homemovies: reviews by Geoffrey Macnab)

Today's Cinema vol.80 no.6747 (29 April 1953) p.10 (UK)
review

Variety 25 March 1953 (USA)
review

BOOKS

Aurum Film Encyclopaedia: Science Fiction p.136
credits, review

Creature Features Strikes Again p.10
credits, review

Cult Flicks and Trash Pics p.1
credits, review

The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film p.1
credits

Hoffman's Guide to Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Movies p.14
credits, review

Horror and Science Fiction Films I pp.13-14
credits

Reference Guide to Fantastic Films p.1
credits

Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook p.10
credits, review

Science Fiction Film Source Book p.20
credits, review

Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film and Television Credits II p.731
credits

OTHER SOURCES

screen
credits


KEYWORDS

space travel, venus, aliens, spaceships

 


Last Updated: 28 November, 2009

 


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