Here’s a Mexican take on the story of Santa Claus. It was released in 1959 and then dubbed into English for a 1960 release. It was directed by René Cardona. The story has Santa working in space and relying on his assistant, Merlin the Wizard, to battle with the Devil’s minion who is sent to ruin Christmas. Even though it won several awards and was featured on television stations during the 60s and 70s, it is widely considered to be one of the worst movies ever made! But I enjoy the Mexican flavor that permeates all the typical North Pole settings.
In the 1950s, while the US army was intentionally blasting soldiers with radiation in order to study them as they melted and died, this film was made to minimize public worry about nuclear radiation. Governments always lie about nuclear radiation. They never tell the truth. So, as President Obama stands before the nation assuring us that no dangerous radiation will reach our shores from the sudden nuclear Armageddon of Japan, watch this reassuring little film and wonder.
This 1954 RKO Radio Pictures film was based on Engelbert Humperdink’s opera and directed by Michael Myerberg. Be warned: the actress who plays Gretel gives what is possibly the single worst vocal performance in the history of animated films!
Because he is 100% truthful, he drives the show’s host a little bit crazy.
Excerpt 1 – First Men in Space:
The film is in Russian but you absolutely do not need to know Russian to enjoy it! Unfortunately, I can’t find the entire film, only these three excerpts.
Pavel Klushantsev’s 1957 film, Road to the Stars, features astoundingly realistic special effects that were an inspiration and obvious blueprint for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey ten years later. The film is an extended form of science education, building upon existing 1950s technology to predict space exploration of the future. The sequences with astronauts in zero gravity are incredibly realistic. The second excerpt from the film features the construction of and life aboard a space station in earth orbit that is not only convincing but also beautiful. There are several scenes with space station dwellers using videophones that anticipate the famous Kubrick videophone scene.
Excerpt 2 – Space Station:
Excerpt 3 – Moon Landing: