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ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS 1964 LONELY SPACEMAN AND PET MONKEY WIDESCREEN DVD-R!

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Robinson Crusoe on Mars is a 1964 American science fiction film directed by Byron Haskin and produced by Aubrey Schenck that stars Paul ManteeVictor Lundin, and Adam West. It is a science fiction retelling of the classic 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. The film was distributed by Paramount Pictures and filmed in Technicolor and Techniscope. Exterior locations were shot mostly at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National ParkCalifornia.

Special effects by Lawrence Butler and Academy Award-winning matte artist Albert Whitlock gave the film the benefit of “big-studio resources usually lacking in movies about outer space”. Whitlock provided the matte paintings used in Robinson Crusoe on Mars, as he commented that “some scenes of spacecraft in motion were created with the kind of flat animation seen in official NASA promotional films”. For the alien spacecraft, designer Albert Nozaki constructed three miniatures closely resembling the “Martian war machines” he had made previously for Haskin for The War of the Worlds (1953).

Byron Haskin told interviewer Joe Adamson:

Robinson Crusoe on Mars was so obviously a director’s tour de force, that there was nobody to interfere and tell me how to shoot … I can’t think of any other film I’ve made, unless it was The War of the Worlds, where I had such complete autonomy … that I had as much genuine pleasure and fulfillment from as Robinson Crusoe on Mars. It was as fulfilling as cinematography had ever been. Everything I set out to do, I accomplished as well as one possibly could … We made exploratory trips into Death Valley, and I conceived a key to credible verisimilitude … I would abandon shots from the valleys, make them from up on the ridges. Death Valley had been seen in hundreds of westerns, but they were all shot from the bottoms of the canyons, because that’s where horses could gallop through. On the top of these weird looking ridges of marshmallow sands, the vista was something else. It looked like another planet—certainly not Death Valley. Additionally, I conceived making the blue skies red … It was wintertime, and the skies were deep blue. They formed a perfect traveling matte

With past experience producing special effects, Haskin even hand animated photos of the slave ships that terrorize the protagonist which were patterned after Japanese visual effects designer Albert Nozaki’s Martian ships’ design in Haskin’s earlier film, War of the Worlds.

Ib Melchior was the original screenwriter, but had to drop out to work on other projects. He later complained about the changes made to his screenplay. According to producer Aubrey Schenck, the original script featured a variety of monsters and alien beings, which were jettisoned in the name of plausibility, the medium-sized budget, and because those ideas detracted from the premise of an astronaut being stranded and alone on Mars; Melchior, however, denied this. Instead of Mona the Monkey, the original screenplay featured a Martian creature that would have been a costumed armadillo, but a monkey was deemed more believable and easier to train.

Paul Mantee was chosen out of approximately 70 actors (including Vic Lundin) based on his being an experienced unknown, and by Haskin, because he resembled Alan Shepard, the first American in space. The film was originally to be titled Gravity Probe One: Mars, but Paramount’s sales manager Charles Boasberg thought that title sounded too much like a documentary.

According to Mantee, because Barney the monkey was a male playing Mona, a female, he had to wear a fur-covered diaper.

At the time of production, it was still plausible to depict Mars as having an atmosphere and water. Scientific discoveries shortly thereafter confirmed neither was the case.

 

color, mono, widescreen, DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case, wrapped in plastic!

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