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Aelita - Queen of Mars [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Yuliya Solntseva, Igor Ilyinsky, Nikolai Tsereteli, Nikolai Batalov, Vera Orlova
  • Directors: Yakov Protazanov
  • Writers: Aleksei Fajko, Aleksei Tolstoy, Fyodor Otsep
  • Format: Black & White, Silent, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • VHS Release Date: November 11, 1998
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000006PE3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,767 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

I've read the book by Alexey Tolstoy, but I have not seen the movie until today.
John Woods
The story is slightly weak, attempting to cover too much ground and too many genres for the amount of time presented.
KNO2skull
A message is sent to radio stations on Earth and somehow, everyone knows it is from Mars.
Nate Goyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Sterling on August 29, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
It's a work of totally visionary science fiction from an utterly vanished revolutionary Soviet Constructivist world. Which is weirder: royal life on Mars, or the fact that this film somehow got produced and distributed?
The sets and costumes are utterly mindboggling. This is my favorite work of science fiction cinema.
Bruce Sterling
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Gattuso on April 26, 2012
Format: DVD
Of all the editions of this film available in the world this one (the USA Image Edition DVD) has the worst image quality. It is extremely blurry and out of focus. Better is the Ruscico edition, but it has a very high contrast boost, losing much detail into the blacks. Best is the French Bach DVD, having excellent grayscale detail but only has the original French intertitles and no English subtitles.

There is a custom DVD to be found free online which uses the Bach image and has new English intertitles, a soundtrack of Philip Glass music, and subtitles in eight languages. Search for: Aelita Oyarsa-Q.

It is a very interesting film. Most people seem to miss the fact that all the scenes on Mars take place in an escapist fantasy in the mind of Los, who is prone to flights of fancy and daydreaming.In the final scene there is the message that the problems on Earth should be solved before governments spend large sums on space exploration.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Mitchell on February 21, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Surprisingly watchable, for a silent film, and very well preserved. The Constructivist sets and costumes are amazing, a revolutionary art style before the later supression of expression and innovation in the Soviet Union (this film was later banned by Stalinist critics). Even the images of life on Earth, in the early days of that nation, are quite interesting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Gomez Pardo HALL OF FAME on April 9, 2007
Format: DVD
After leaving the hall of cinema, I asked to myself how could this movie to surmount the ideological prejudices and brutal censure, if presumably didn't count with a kind overlook by part of adverse enemies of the regime. Because the whole contain of the underneath message was terribly mordacious.

An engineer decides to design a spaceship to try to find in Mars the woman of his dreams. Until now everything s works; but when he arrives to the red planet he finds a Proletarian upraising. This film not only inspired the genial mind of Fritz Lang but since its release has been an portentous document in the history of cinema.

This smart collection of elements: danger, humor and love were the primordial factors that could stand the inquisitive scrutiny of the Big Russian Brother; the iron fist ruler, and certainly the most bloody tyrant in the XX Century.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Annie Van Auken TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 17, 2008
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
MAIN PLOT POINTS--
The story opens at a radio monitoring station which receives a mysterious message from outer space. In a cubist-like Martian palace, Queen Aelita watches with fascination the alien activities of Earth. She sees the struggling masses and becomes fixated upon a scientist named Los who dreams of building an interplanetary spacecraft.

The Russian portion of this movie has a few subplots that weave loosely around the main issue of Los's suspicions of his wife Natasha's infidelities with an unctuous boarder. His seething anger compels Los to shoot his spouse. He then dons a disguise and builds the rocket (the interior of which looks like a boiler room-- we never do see the outside). Los lifts off for Mars along with a bored ex-cavalryman volunteer (Gusev) and a stowaway wannabe detective (Kravtsov), the movie's bumbling comic relief.

The three Earthlings land safely, and for Los and Aelita, it's love at first sight. While they dally, the amateur sleuth petitions for the seizure of Los, who is now Aelita's consort. There's a coup against Los and Aelita, who in an effort to save herself, exhorts the many Martian slaves to revolt. With chaos rampant, the military swears fealty to the queen, and she betrays the rebels by ordering the army to run them off.

In a deus ex machina twist, the entire Martian scenario was an invention of Los's vivid imagination-- the indecipherable space message is only an ad for a brand of tire. Los returns home to accept his fate but discovers the shots fired at Natasha missed her; the couple have a tearful reunion. The scientist burns his spaceship blueprints and vows to daydream no longer.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KNO2skull on January 10, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Aelita, Queen of Mars is certainly a gem of a movie. Made in 1924, it is a look at how Communist philosophy plays out in speculative fiction during the silent era. Purportedly, it was made on a fantastic budget, and the sets on Mars show it. The costuming for the Martian aristocrats concerns styles that were non-existent at the time, and seem to have arrived out of the 50's American Sci-Fi films. The Martian sets were indeed, outlandish and worth getting the DVD just to see.
The story is slightly weak, attempting to cover too much ground and too many genres for the amount of time presented. However, it does not detract from the important historic value of the picture and the simple enjoyment of watching the tale unfold.
The film displays the humorous exploits of the Bourgeoise Zie, and the stark poverty the Proletariat suffered in 1924 Russia.
In a way, this film could be an equal criticism of both. It takes an inordinately long time for the main character to reach Mars, although Mars is shown throughout the film, following Aelita, queen of Mars as she goes about.
The DVD has no special features worthy of note. The average scene selection and nothing else, but the restoration work is excellent, keeping true to even the few parts of the film that were intended to be poor quality. It is truly a film worthy of being presented on DVD.
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