First Spaceship on Venus (1960)

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When an alien artifact discovered on Earth is found to have come from Venus, an international team of astronauts embarks to investigate its origins.

First_Spaceship_on_Venus_poster.jpgTaken from IMDB: (U.S. Version) A mysterious magnetic spool found during a construction project is discovered to have originated from Venus. A rocket expedition to Venus is launched to discover the origin of the spool and the race that created it.

 

Director: Kurt Maetzig
Producer: Hans Mahlich
Production Company: Deutsche Film (DEFA)
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Keywords: Sci-Fi


Creative Commons license: Public Domain

A much-shortened 1962 Crown International Pictures English dubbed release in the USA used the name First Spaceship on Venus where it was double billed with Varan the Unbelievable.

Lem was extremely critical about the movie.

First Spaceship on Venus was featured in episodes of both Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Cinema Insomnia.

Plot

The film begins in 1985, when engineers involved in an industrial project to irrigate the Gobi Desert accidentally unearth a mysterious and apparently artificial "spool." When found to be made of a material unknown on Earth, the spool is circumstantially linked to the Tunguska explosion of 1908. The "spool" is seized on as evidence that the explosion, originally blamed on a meteor, was actually caused by a spaceship. Professor Harringway deduces the alien craft must have come from Venus. The spool itself is determined to be a flight recorder, and partially decoded by an international team of scientists led by Professor Sikarna and Dr. Tchen Yu. When radio greetings sent to Venus go unanswered, Harringway announces that a journey to Venus is Earth's only alternative. The recently completed Soviet spaceship Cosmostrator I (Kosmokrator in the original), intended to voyage to Mars, is redirected to Venus, a 30–31 day trip. During the voyage, Sikarna works furiously to translate the alien message on the disc using the ship's computer.

 When the ship nears Venus, radio interference from that planet cuts the crew off from Earth. By then, Sikarna's efforts lead to a stunning discovery—the spool describes a Venusian plan to irradiate the Earth's surface, with the extermination of mankind being the prelude to an invasion. Rather than a "cosmic document" as had been expected, the spool bears a cold-blooded message of destruction. Harringway convinces the crew to press on towards Venus rather than return to Earth with news that would cause panic.

With the ship's robot Omega, American astronaut Brinkman pilots a one-man landing craft. On the ground, he encounters an industrial complex and finds small recording devices that look like insects. The rest of the crew follow when Cosmostrator lands, but find no Venusian life forms. Journeying across the planet, they find the remains of a deserted and blasted city centered around a huge crater—signs of a catastrophic explosion so intense, shadowy forms of humanoid Venusians are permanently burned into the walls of surviving buildings.

 While the Venusians are gone, their machines remain functioning, including the radiation-bombardment machine intended for Earth. One of the scientists accidentally triggers the radiation weapon leading to a frantic effort by the Earthmen to disarm it. Tchen Yu lowers Talua—the ship's communication officer—into the Venusian command center. When Tchen Yu's suit is punctured, Brinkman goes out to save him. Before he can reach Yu, Talua succeeds in reversing the radiation weapon. Unfortunately, this reverses the planet's gravitational field, flinging Cosmostrator into space. Brinkman is also repelled off the planet, beyond reach by Cosmostrator, while Talua and Tchen Yu remain marooned on Venus. The surviving crew members return home, where they warn the people of Earth about the danger of atomic weapons.