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The best Soviet film about space: "Star Wars" wasn't even there then!

1961 was the year of special interest of Soviet science in the topic of space. That year saw the first human spaceflight, and a year later, Pavel Klushantsev's first science fiction film, Planet of Storms, was released. So how did the crew of Soviet-American astronauts explore Venus? It's about time we found out.

"Pavel Klushantsev's Planet of Storms: A Space Soviet Film

The topic of space has always been of concern to humanity. To this day, the best minds of our time are still debating whether it is possible to encounter life on planets scattered throughout the Milky Way. About how sci-fi movie The Soviet Union was a pioneer in the genre of catastrophe films long before Stanley Kubrick, read our article.

About Klushantsev's Planet of Storms 

Masha Ivanova is a member of the Sirius crew
Masha Ivanova is a member of the Sirius crew

"Planet of Storms." was the first Soviet film dedicated to the space theme. It was produced in 1961 and premiered a year after the first man flew into space. That man was, as everyone knows, a Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alexeyevich GagarinThe film was made on April 12, 1961 by the Vostok rocket launcher. And on April 14, 1962, the film was shown.

The film used the method of combination photographywhich was far ahead of Soviet technology at the time. Absolutely everything depicted in the film, from dinosaur-like creatures to spaceships in space, was made exactly on the editor's desk using the technology developed by Klushantsev's group.

Originally directed by Pavel Klushantsev in 1957 directed the film "The Road to the Stars," but since the space boom was not yet here, the director had to create his own missile models based on the drawings of the scientist Tsiolkovsky. After the success of "The Road to the Stars," the Soviet filmmaker decided to combine in his next film Fiction and new discoveries of Soviet cosmonautics. Thus began the film Planet of Storms, based on Alexander Kazantsev's novel Grandsons of Mars or "Planet of Storms.".

A little about the plot

Sirius crew on Venus
Sirius on Venus crew

At the beginning of the film there is a touching inset that informs about the possible unreliability of the collected material for the film, but in this explanatory shot it is expressed hope for a feat Soviet people who will one day see a planet of storms.

According to the story, on the planet Venus a joint Soviet-American expedition is sent. There are a total of three spacecraft in space, one of which, the Capella, fails to survive a meteor collision; three ships are required to complete the mission, but waiting for another takes a long time, so the crews of the Sirius and Vega decide about planting on Venus.

The glider needed to land Sirius puts up a landing marker, but loses contact and makes an emergency landing. The Sirius crew, meanwhile, investigates the planet, where they find dinosaursas well as the earth-like ocean. The astronauts constantly hear a strange howl, similar to that of humans, and are at a loss as to how anything on Venus is possible. Their reasoning is accompanied by speculation about space and life other than humans inhabiting the cosmos.

After a series of mishaps, crew member Masha, who is left alone in orbit and has lost contact with the crew, is faced with a difficult choice: to follow instructions or her heart. The girl's decision depends on crew fate.

What is the difference from the story

The crew is climbing over the lava flow on the Robot
The crew is climbing over the lava flow on the Robot

As previously stated, the film was made by Based on the novel by Alexander Kazantsev. It is worth mentioning that the director had to beg the author to change the plot a little so that the film could be released without problems. The book has three different editions; it was first published in "Komsomolskaya Pravda" 1959.

The film and the novella have some differences, such as:

  1. Presence in the narrative on the ship cats and dogs named Murka and Pulka. The offspring of the first appeared directly in space.
  2. Also in the book, the Americans have a separate shuttle and explore Venus separately from the Soviet crew, whereas in the movie only the Americans Allan Kern, and Robot Johnwhich go on an exploration with a Soviet cosmonaut.
  3. In the film, unlike in the story, the story has no obstacles for the crew to dive to the bottom of the ocean, whereas as first revised The crew's book was caught in a storm, the cause of which turned out to be a huge dragonHe was later killed.

Facts about the film

Crew with Robot John in a cave
Crew with Robot John in a cave

As with all films that become groundbreaking in any genre, Planet of Storms is characterized by some interesting data.

One of them has already been mentioned above: the innovations of cinematography were used for this film - combination photography. This approach to filmmaking was, at the time, ahead of even the Western film industry.

Robot John was played by a Soviet athlete Boris Prutkovsky. It turned out that an ordinary actor could not lift a heavy metal suit, so a sambist and a wrestler were brought in for the role, but the athlete also moved long in this couldn't.

Klushantsev's film had a powerful effect on the country's film industry and was recognized as important step in world cinema.

Six years after the premiere of Planet of the Storms in the U.S., the film "Journey to the Planet of Prehistoric Women" - a remounted version of Klushantsev's film. Pitre Bogdanovich, under the pseudonym Derek Thomas, directed this version.

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