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First Spaceship on Venus (1960)

Der schweigende Stern (original title)
Unrated | | Sci-Fi | 31 October 1962 (USA)
When an alien artifact discovered on Earth is found to have come from Venus, an international team of astronauts embarks to investigate its origins.

Director:

Kurt Maetzig

Writers:

Stanislaw Lem (novel), Jan Fethke (adaptation) (as J. Fethke) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Yôko Tani ... Die japanische Ärztin / Sumiko Ogimura MD
Oldrich Lukes Oldrich Lukes ... Amerikanischer Atomphysiker / Prof. Harringway Hawling
Ignacy Machowski ... Polnischer Chefingenieur / Prof. Saltyk / Prof. Durand
Julius Ongewe Julius Ongewe ... Afrikanischer Fernsehtechniker / Talua
Mikhail N. Postnikov Mikhail N. Postnikov ... Sowjetischer Astronaut / Prof. Arsenew / Prof. Orloff (as Michail N. Postnikow)
Kurt Rackelmann Kurt Rackelmann ... Indischer Mathematiker / Prof. Sikarna
Günther Simon Günther Simon ... Deutscher Pilot / Robert / Raimund Brinkmann
Hua-Ta Tang Hua-Ta Tang ... Chinesischer Linguist / Dr. Tchen Yu / Lao Tsu
Lucyna Winnicka ... Fernsehreporterin / Joan Moran (as Lucina Winnicka)
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Storyline

(U.S. Version) A mysterious magnetic spool found during a construction project is discovered to have originated from Venus. A rocket expedition to Venus is launched to discover the origin of the spool and the race that created it. Written by Leo L. Schwab <ewhac@best.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You are there... on man's most incredible journey!

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

East Germany | Poland

Language:

German

Release Date:

31 October 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

First Spaceship on Venus See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (short)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (Agfacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was meant to be a high-profile release by DEFA for the 10th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). See more »

Goofs

The US release has English dialogue translated from the German. Some of the translation isn't quite right. They keep referring to the power lines as being "high tension" from the German "Spannung" but for electrical lines this would usually be better translated as "High Voltage".

(Technical note: In 1960, the term "High Tension" was commonly used as opposed to "High Voltage". "Voltage" in French is "Tension". When designing High-Voltage transmission lines, the utility companies didn't want to alarm people, so they decided to use the term "Tension" instead of Voltage (which is also somewhat appropriate, since high-tension lines also have high tension!))

Also they translate the German word "Automaten" as "automats" which may be better translated as "machines" or "equipment". See more »

Alternate Versions

This film was released in the United States as _First Spaceship on Venus (1962)_. This version was edited down to 80 minutes, dubbed into English, and had Andrzej Markowski's score replaced by a stock score prepared by Gordon Zahler of the General Music Corporation. See more »

Connections

Featured in Galaxina (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Kubrickesque
8 December 2003 | by Mort-31See all my reviews

Recently shown at the Viennale Filmfestival, this movie (one of only five East German sci-fi films) was spoken of rather than of a trashy museal antique stuffed with communist ideology. I had thought it would be about the quality of Plan 9 from Outer Space, so I was surprised to discover that First Spaceship on Venus is not at all trashy! A lot of money seems to have been invested in the design of the mysterious landscape on venus and the spacecraft. The technical effects look highly professional!

As regards ideology, one can't make out more than a slightly pathetic call for peace in the world (which is perfectly agreeable, really) and a casual remark on how well Soviet astronomy is developed. The crew of the spaceship, though, includes an American and a Japanese as well, so it is openly international.

The moment the spacecraft starts, however, the science-fiction story stands in the foreground. It was written by Stanislaw Lem and is therefore quite interesting, shocking and full of suspense - another aspect I wouldn't have expected to get in a film like that. Of course, the acting is stiff, dialogues are reduced to a necessary minimum and the romantic element in the plot is too weak to be convincing. Probably, the screenwriters have removed most of the depth of Lem's original novel. Nevertheless, the whole film manages to evoke Kubrickesque feelings at times (note that it was made before 2001: A Space Odyssey!) and serves as an interesting historical document but also as good sci-fi fun on a Sunday afternoon.


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