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Battle Beyond the Stars (Roger Corman's Cult Classics) (30th Anniversary Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (1980)

Richard Thomas , Robert Vaughn , Jimmy T. Murakami  |  PG |  Blu-ray
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)

List Price: $26.97
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Blu-ray Roger Corman's Cult Classics $20.93  
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Region 26925 encoding (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Battle Beyond the Stars (Roger Corman's Cult Classics) (30th Anniversary Special Edition) [Blu-ray] + StarCrash (Roger Corman's Cult Classics) [Blu-ray] (1978)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, George Peppard, Sybil Danning
  • Directors: Jimmy T. Murakami
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: July 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004VT9JJE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,017 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Battle Beyond the Stars (Roger Corman's Cult Classics) (30th Anniversary Special Edition) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Shad (Richard Thomas) must scour the cosmos to recruit mercenaries from different planets and cultures in order to save his peaceful home planet from the threat of the evil tyrant Sador (John Saxon), who’s bent on dominating and enslaving the entire universe. Joining this magnificant seven of mercenaries are the deadly Gelt (Robert Vaughn), carefree Cowboy (George Peppard) and the sexy Valkyrie Saint-Exmin (Sybil Danning).

The film brought together some extremely talented people behind the scenes who went on to bigger and better things: Academy Award winning director James Cameron as the art director, Academy Award winning composer James Horner (Titanic, Avatar), screenwriter John Sayles (Lone Star, Piranha) and producer Gale Ann Hurd (Aliens, The Incredible Hulk) as an assistant production manager.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Star Wars on a budget! February 13, 2001
Would you believe a spaceship with breasts? There's one in this 1980 Roger Corman space opera! The spaceship has a female computer personality named Nell and a decidedly feminine shape, which includes two enormous breast-like mounds on its underside. Since there is no nudity in this movie, which is unusual in a Corman film, he had to get the breasts in somewhere, so model designer/builder/art director James Cameron put them on the space craft! Very amusing indeed! Cameron went on to design bigger and better things, like the Titanic.
Battle Beyond the Stars was the biggest-budgeted movie Corman had ever made up to that time, about 2 million dollars, and his money is up there on the screen, with good sets, good props, good special effects, and a good cast. In typical Corman fashion everything except the cast was used over and over again in other space sagas he made. Waste not, want not! is his credo, and he boasts that he's never lost a dime on any of his movies. I believe it.
The plot of this movie was stolen shamelessly from Akira Kurosawa's classic Seven Samurai, so if you liked that Japanese epic and its American remake, The Magnificent Seven, you should like Battle Beyond the Stars, too. It just goes to show that if you have to steal a story, you might as well steal a great one!
The cast includes Richard Thomas, just out of his John-Boy of The Waltons role, as a poor man's Luke Skywalker recruiting mercenaries George Peppard, Robert Vaughn, Marta Kristen, and Sybil Danning, among others, to fight the evil conqueror Sador, played by John Saxon, always a good villain.
Never one to miss a trend, or start one, Corman cashed in on the phenomenal success of Star Wars with Battle Beyond the Stars. It's a fun film and I recommend this DVD widescreen edition. There's interesting commentaries by Gale Anne Hurd, John Sayles and Roger Corman, movie trailers, biographies, trivia game, scene index -- but the usual Corman filmography booklet is absent here.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Roger Corman is known for being the low budget king of B-Movies. Although I am not much a fan of Corman's flash in the pan micro-budget movies this one has a certain charm that can only be brought together through some talented people behind him. Mind you this is still a low budget B-movie and it shows. Still the young at heart will appreciate enough of this film to put a smile on their face.

First off, as mentioned before, the plot is nothing new. While a lot of people would say he is ripping off Star Wars that is really not the case (although he probably is banking on the popularity of the space opera). As a matter of fact Corman, in his infinite desire to copy successful themes based Battle Beyond the Stars on the The Magnificent Seven. Which of course was copied by John Sturges in his western classic from Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece The Seven Samurai. So technically Corman didn't copy anything that wasn't already copied. Still a good plot is a good plot no matter where it came from and putting it in a science fiction setting only makes the movie that much more interesting.

What makes this story work so well is that Corman "gets" what Magnificent Seven (and Seven Samurai for that matter) were doing... at least to a point. These movies were less about the brave warriors protecting a community from evil raiders and more about the various personalities of said warriors. Battle Beyond the stars takes that to different level with the different warriors coming from different planets and cultures. While most of the character development is a little more than two dimensional the amount of various characters really make up for it. From there you have a usual space opera fare. Spaceships roaring and blowing each other up to majestic music. Villains wearing black and acting ruthless.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I hate to disagree, but... May 11, 2001
Actually, I don't disagree with most of the comments. The extras are great (especially the commentary, although Gale Anne Hurd has a tendency, at least in the beginning, to drop little nuggets of information without any context), and it's great to have this film in widescreen HOWEVER, whomever was raving about the transfer need to wipe the dust off of their TV! It's not that it's bad, it's too good. So good that you can see every scratch and fleck of dust on whatever lousy 21-year-old print they used to master this puppy. If they were going to put in the time to make this disc, at least they could have struck a new print for the transfer.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zowie, the fun of Star Wars on a small budget February 19, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great memories accompany this movie for me, thankfully the producers of this DVD have honored this production with a jam-packed feature full of special features. I was not even a teenager when this movie was released back in 1980 yet a group of friends and I made the pilgrimage to a local cinema to see it. With an interesting set of diverse characters the movie plays as a science fiction version of the Seven Samurai. A "Magnificent Seven in Space" as it were, it even features Robert Vaughn of that 60s gem. The real pleasure of the DVD however is the wealth of special features. We not only have one optional audio commentary, but two very informative pieces. There are preview trailers for other Corman productions such as "Piranha". We even get a trivia game. I certainly recommend this movie.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the STAR WARS imitators July 15, 2011
In 1980, legendary low budget producer Roger Corman produced the most expensive film ($2M) of his career, a special-effects-heavy space opera in the vein of STAR WARS. That sci-fi epic, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, has just been re-released in a 30th Anniversary Special Edition (actually, shouldn't that be 31st Anniversary?) by Shout! Factory on both DVD and Blu-ray disc.

The planet of Akir is a desert world "with one green spot." Its inhabitants are peaceful farmers, who live by the nonviolent code of The Varda. Unfortunately, this makes them a tempting target for intergalactic despot Sador (John Saxon, ENTER THE DRAGON, QUEEN OF BLOOD), who strives for immortality by replacing his worn-out limbs and organs with transplanted replacements culled from beings like the humanoid Akira. He gives them an ultimatum - submit to his rule or be destroyed - then gives them time to ponder his "offer" while he scoots off to destroy a planet that has chosen to defy him. Desperate, the people of Akir send farmboy Shad (Richard Thomas, THE WALTONS, STEPHEN KING'S "IT") off in their only functioning starship, the sentient - and decidedly female - Nell, to buy weapons and recruit mercenaries to help them stand against Sador and his mutant armies. Shad scours the star system and ultimately returns with seven (give or take) alien defenders, but even with these valiant souls, the odds are not in their favor...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A good cast with a predicable story. Good effects. Overall silly but watchable
Published 14 days ago by Rw Scolari
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good movie.
Published 23 days ago by Charles Cain
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy Space movie from the 70's
I remembered this movie from when I was a kid. It was better then. Mildly entertaining with some big name TV actors back in the 70's.
Published 1 month ago by Diggs
3.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent seven in space
An OK movie to just sit back and watch and kill an hour and a half. No surprises, the Magnificient Seven theme has been done to death. But there are worse movies.
Published 1 month ago by Pete N. Austira
3.0 out of 5 stars I have watched this movie about three times.
Each viewing was several years apart.
I learnt a lot how movies made in the late 80s that were great to convey a complex story plot. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Peter Taylor
1.0 out of 5 stars the worest #$%^&# I have seen
this is the #$%^&# I have seen in a long time what a waist of time any thing to jump on the star wars band wagan
Published 2 months ago by joseph c.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Cheesy Classic
It's a classic. Worth seeing just because it was one of Cameron's early efforts. Very cheesy sci-fi, if you like that stuff (and I do).
Published 2 months ago by Teamchaos
2.0 out of 5 stars Looks like it may have been fun to make.
It was a weak attempt supported by a confused script with John Boy Walton and U.N.C.L.E. Robert doing their best to do... something. Read more
Published 2 months ago by MBrosch
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible adaptation of the Magnificent Seven
I watched the movie with low expectations but was intrigued due to the cast. Even for the period, the special effects were bad and the acting even worse.
Published 4 months ago by Michael Owens
4.0 out of 5 stars "Let's Go Get 'Em!"...
In BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS a young Akirian man (Richard Thomas) sets out to find mercenaries to defeat the Malmorians and their nefarious leader Sador (John Saxon- BLACK CHRISTMAS,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein
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According to other sites it's Region A LOCKED.
Aug 13, 2011 by Stephen Macdonald |  See all 2 posts
Blu-ray details?
Yes, Yes, don't know, and Maybe
Apr 14, 2011 by P. R. Blay |  See all 4 posts
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