HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Visit to a Small Planet I Always Wanted You To Go Into Space, Man
Year: 1960
Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Joan Blackman, Earl Holliman, Fred Clark, John Williams, Jerome Cowan, Gale Gordon, Lee Patrick, Milton Frome, Ellen Corby, Barbara Lawson, Buddy Rich, Titus Moede, Joe Turkel, June Foray
Genre: Comedy, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Kreton (Jerry Lewis) is not from Planet Earth, he hails from somewhere across the galaxy where he is a student at an alien university, though often he drives his tutor Mr Delton up the wall with his goofy antics. Such as taking a flying saucer and piloting towards the Earth, which he is engrossed by, with a view to meeting some famous military men of the American Civil War, in full costume so he will fit in though being an alien he still has powers undreamt of by human terms. However, one of those powers is not good navigation, and he winds up in the United States of 1960 where the inhabitants of the mansion he lands by are convinced he is there for a fancy dress party...

When Gore Vidal wrote his play Visit to a Small Planet, it was a state of the nation tract in science fiction format, a scathing satire on where the land of his birth was going wrong as far as he saw it. This was broadcast on television in the mid-fifties before transferring to a highly successful run on Broadway where Cyril Ritchard won plaudits for the central role of Kreton, so obviously Hollywood wanted in on the action and Paramount secured the rights. However, to Vidal's dismay, his finely honed barbs were thrown out of the window in favour of retooling the material as a vehicle for megastar comedian Jerry Lewis, about as far from urbane and biting observations as you could get.

Lewis was known for his physical comedy and verbal absurdity rather than any great wit, in his familiar screen persona anyway, hero to a generation of children who had little to no interest in tackling the political situation of the day, so the studio were not about to have him change his act now, nor did he feel comfortable in straying too far from his formula (though he often garnered encouraging notices when he did). His work in this film was not as downright weird as what he did with another singular talent when Kurt Vonnegut was on his radar in Slapstick of Another Kind, but if you were seasoned in the aggressively critical work of Vidal, you would wonder what they were thinking.

This could be any kid-friendly science fiction comedy really, and the source material was so far from what they ended up with in the movie that it was a mystery what they thought they were improving by adapting it this way, other than blanding out the opprobrium in favour of the usual Lewis mugging and physical hijinks. Here Kreton (a name that makes you link to the word "cretin" in this context, though Lewis is not a complete idiot here) falls in with a political commentator (Fred Clark), whose daughter (Joan Blackman) is considering whether to attend college, get married (to Earl Holliman in his usual amiable lunk role), or do both, and in what order. Kreton somewhat out of the blue is quite taken with the woman, and a love triangle is created, with the spaceman impressing her with his tricks.

Said tricks suited Lewis in that he could use props and effects to comic effect, he was often content to implement a fantastical edge to his humour though this was more usually down to the world his characters existing in being pretty crazy to begin with, no matter how many middle-aged men he was able to exasperate with his behaviour. So there was an invisible barrier between Kreton and everyone else (though he could touch others if he wanted), anyone who tried to tell someone else that they had just met an alien would find themselves reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb", he could float, he could broadcast others' thoughts, and so forth. To mix things up a tad, Mr Delton started to play havoc with his pupil to teach him a lesson that Earthlings were not worth hanging around with, not because of wars or anything like that, more out of an authoritarian sadism which rendered the previously lighthearted tone offputting in the last act. There were scattered laughs, but this was nobody's best work. Music by Leigh Harline - and drummer Buddy Rich in the beatnik sequence.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 994 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: