Phantom Planet (1961)

“The Phantom Planet” is well worth watching: not because it’s a great movie, but because it’s not a great movie. Unlike the great movies, it never steps out of its box, and as such it’s an amazing piece of social, cultural and cinematic history.

Watching the movie is like watching an undiscovered episode of the original “Star Trek.” We have a rocket being pulled off course by a strange phenomenon; we have special effects of the most functional and basic kind; we have a strange planet populated by earthlike (albeit small) people, whose strengths and weaknesses are allegories of human strengths and weaknesses; we have a series of curvaceous women, a brash young man and an elderly wise leader in the alien society; we have a brawny hero who alternates between fighting, courting and moralizing.

Readers Comments (3)

  1. I agree 100 percent with your synopsis: this is just like an original Star Trek episode. Just as good. Which to me, is pretty darn good – having grown up watching the original on t.v. (and no, it was not cable).

  2. Say, I am getting a little confused!! I’ve been watching movies on your site for years using windows and linux without a problem. Here in the recent months I’ve started experiencing a strange phenomenon where at some random stage in the movie the video will freeze!! Audio is unaffected, but the picture stays on the same frame until the end of the movie. I have tried to change os’s with no change of behavior. Do you have any ideas??

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