“Our economic system is a shambles — industrial production shot to blazes — our entire civilization collapsing about our heads like a house of cards, and the whole western world going down with us.”
When a radio broadcaster (Peter Graves) and his wife (Andrea King) make contact with Martians, they begin to spread the planet’s messages of hope to humanity — but could an embittered ex-Nazi (Franz Calder) working for the Communists be interfering with the signals in some way?
- Cold War
- Media Spectacle
- Religious Faith
- Science Fiction
This Cold War morality tale about intergalactic communication in the midst of earthly ideological conflicts is amusingly earnest, filled with plenty of laughably ripe dialogue played straight:
Graves: “Are you saying you think those polar formation are ice? And that in a week, these Martians have melted ice caps thousand of feet high and used the water to irrigate the planet?
Scientist: “Isn’t that what the picture says?!!?”
King: “Every woman in the world — we all live in fear. It’s become our natural state.”
Unfortunately, while its title promises vibrant color, the only “red” in this black-and-white flick is Communism, personified as villainous bad guys with an unwilling hostage (Calder) in their hands.
When the primary theme of the film is revealed:
… we’re meant to believe that if only all humans were free to practice Christianity, we would be lovingly at peace with one another. Naturally, nothing is ever this simple, though it’s fascinating to see what audiences once-upon-a-time may have been wishing for.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Effective cinematography and sets
No, but it’s recommended for one-time viewing as an unusual relic of its time.