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Showing 1-10 of 33 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 67 reviews
on May 17, 2014
Great Americanized, English-dubbed version of a European film called The Silent Star. A bunch of scientists (all from different countries) decipher some kind of message from space and deduce that it comes from Venus from a long time back. Realizing that there is intelligent life on the second planet they gather an expedition of these same scientists and decide to schlepp up there to meet their interplanetary brethren. Once they arrive they find a dead ruined world blasted by a nuclear holocaust that was intended for Earth. The Venusians are long gone but their machinery is still active and still a threat to the third planet. Beautiful spaceship and the nuclear blasted Venusian landscape is eerie and properly alien looking. I bought the Image Entertainment DVD-R widescreen version and the quality and color are excellent. Of the American versions this is the one to get. Highly recommended.
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on December 26, 2014
An unusual film with a sad history of crummy public domain (PD) releases finally gets a decent quality treatment from the Wade Williams collection. PLEASE BE ADVISED... if you have a Blu-ray player, the picture will only take up the middle 2/3 of your screen, as it is an older release. Even so, the picture & sound are quite good, especially compared to the washed out garbage copies we were all forced to live with prior to this release. This edition features vivid colors, solid blacks, a fairly sharp focus, and a pretty clean sound mix from the old mono US dub.

Hopefully one day all of these WW Collection films will be remastered onto Hi-Def Blu-ray for an even more improved picture (and one the actually fills up the whole screen). Until then, even "small" the film is watchable and pretty entertaining if you're an old school sci-fi aficionado like me. For foreign space thrills, I much prefer Voyage To The Prehistoric Planet over First Spaceship On Venus, but 1SOV is still fun. 4 stars.
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on March 1, 2003
If only I could ever find the original: the dubbed version is just too much. I had to turn the sound off at times. Otherwise it's a sci-fi of surprising quality proving that East Germany has managed some pretty decent films in its 50's and 60's cinematic heyday. I love the genuine PC (not our fake one!) detail: the spaceship crew include an African and a Chinese scientist something unimaginable in Hollywood not only back in its 50's sci-fi schlok era. However, this film is not all peaches and cream: it drags a bit, and at times feels chopped up. I don't know how much of the original was edited out but it feels as if it needs a longer time frame. Overall, fun to watch and compare to other sci-fi films from the same period.
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on August 1, 2002
As evidenced by the extremely mixed reviews here, this East German/Polish co-production (filmed in 1959, released here in 1962) seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it affair. Personally, I'm in the lovers' camp, although if you've never seen First Spaceship on Venus you deserve some fair warning. According to IMDb, the East German version of this runs 130 minutes, the Polish (?) version 93. If either figure is reliable there's anywhere from 15 to 52 minutes missing from the 78-minute U.S. version, so there are definitely continuity problems. The English script is somewhat muddled and seems to repeat or contradict itself at times, several subplots have obviously been trimmed or junked entirely, and the English dubbing is particularly bad, with virtually no attempt to match dialogue with people's mouth movements. Also somewhat distracting is the heavy use of stock music cues (particularly the familiar Universal "Wolf Man" theme), although a few almost dissonant passages sound like they might be snippets of the original score. Between the heavy editing, rewriting, and dubbing it's really impossible to evaluate the original screenplay, but even with only the skeleton of SF legend Stanislaw Lem's original novel that's left, it's still more conceptually challenging than the average 1950s space opera (compare the roughly contemporary War of the Satellites, Missile to the Moon, or even a "classic" such as This Island Earth). In brief, a Venus mission is launched to determine the source of an ominous message encoded into a metallic spool unearthed by archaeologists. As noted by others, there are a number of ideas that presage later, more famous SF productions, including Star Trek (the racially and sexually diverse flight crew and Moon base personnel), 2001: A Space Odyssey (the robot chess game; the EVA repair mission; the buried artifact that's actually a communications device), and Star Wars (the `cute' R2D2-like robot), as well as a few bits more typical of cheap 50s sci-fi (the meteor shower, the shipboard romance). If you can bear with the roughness of the script and dialogue you will be rewarded with some very creative and generally superior (for the time) production design, optical and sound effects, and miniature/model work. The Earth laboratories, Moon base, and spaceship all look cool enough, and that artifact makes some crazy sounds, but when they get to Venus, things really kick into gear. There are strange sponge-like trees, lots of swirling smoke and fog, and wispy neon-colored gelatinous clouds flying around. The astronauts discover some high-tech Venusian "ruins," are attacked by black-and-red lava-like blob creatures, and ultimately discover the extinct Venusians' forbidding secret. The absence of big Hollywood bucks does show at times (the metal "bugs" are laughably cheesy, even for 1959), but First Spaceship on Venus makes up in imagination what it lacks in budget, much like Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires. If you dig the general atmosphere of that movie, this is probably up your alley as well. If you can't get past the problems with the script and dubbing, or are expecting slick modern special effects, this is probably not your cup of tea. If only someone could release the German version, competently dubbed or subtitled, FSOV would probably be ranked right up there with the Golden Age "classics"-Forbidden Planet, Destination Moon, Rocketship X-M, etc. As it is, "serious" SF fans will probably be intrigued, if not completely satisfied, while the casual viewer may find it rough sledding.
Fortunately for fans of FSOV, Wade Williams and Image have unearthed a virtually pristine print for this DVD transfer. It's letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the color saturation, color balance, black level, sharpness, and shadow/highlight detail are generally excellent. (There is a little blocking-up in the shadows at times.) Physical damage is limited to some very light speckling/blemishing, that does get a bit heavier around a couple of reel changes, and the occasional damaged frame. After years of watching cropped, faded, dupey TV prints it's a revelation to actually see the whole frame, and especially in such terrific shape. Until someone lays their hands on the original European cut this is probably as good as this film will ever look. (Be sure to avoid the awful full-frame Diamond DVD edition that's paired with Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet; and I haven't seen the Platinum DVD but it's a safe bet it's just as bad if not worse than Diamond's.) The trailer for FSOV is matted to about 1.85:1 and doesn't look nearly as nice as the feature, suffering from mediocre color, scratching, and a soft, dupey look. Five trailers for other Wade Williams/Image releases are also included. A can't-miss buy for admirers of this underappreciated Eastern European gem.
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on May 25, 2016
First space ship to Venus has everything a SI-FI movie needs. It has a international team, monsters no one can see, and inter fighting among the crew. Will they make it back to earth? Or be killed by the space monsters or each other? This is a must see film.
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on June 14, 2009
This version is so chopped up that it's difficult to tell what's going on. I can't help thinking that there might have been an interesting movie in there, but between the awkward dubbing into English and the abrupt jumps in scenes, it's just too difficult to follow to be really fun.

An attempt at scientific accuracy (for what was known in 1959) seems to have been attempted in the first few minutes of the movie, but as it goes on it gets increasingly wacky; losing any pretense of being hard science fiction. It's visually interesting at points; that's about all it has going for it. It does get points for the interracial crew and a decent spaceship. But it's hard to recommend this one, overall.
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on May 31, 2016
I love this Dvd, It held my attention and had great plot line and dialogue. I recommend this film especially for people just getting started in the scifi genre.
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on January 28, 2009
the movie is a great movie, but this version was not good. the vocals start talking 5 seconds before there lips move. this movie was not meant for wide screen. alot of it was caught off on top & bottom. thank you! JESUS LOVES YOU!
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on May 10, 2006
I was surprised at how good this movie really was. The writing, acting and directing was above average for this type of movie. The special effects were also quite good on Venus, although the "wire work" on the ship was clearly visible. The voice over dubbing was also done very well. What surprised me was the ethnic balance of the crew. Besides the four white Russian men, there was a black man serving as communications officer, an asian man as an astrobiologist, and an asian woman as the ships' Doctor! This was 1962, when most women on spaceships worked in the galley to serve the men sandwiches and coffee. There was also an American Astronaut aboard, working alongside the Russians!


The bad part, however, was I just knew the black man wasn't going to make it back alive, and I was right. For some reason they also had to kill off the Asian man and the American, though they allowed the Asian woman to survive. I guess the Russians weren't all bad. I'm not black, but I can understand how they can be frustrated that they are always killed off in the movies, or at least they used to be.
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on August 16, 2014
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