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Just Imagine (23-Nov-1930)

Director: David Butler

Writers: Buddy G. DeSylva; Lew Brown; Ray Henderson

Keywords: Sci-Fi

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Frank Albertson
2-Feb-1909 29-Feb-1964 American character actor
Mischa Auer
17-Nov-1905 5-Mar-1967 My Man Godfrey
El Brendel
25-Mar-1890 9-Apr-1964 Former vaudevillian, Wings
Maureen O'Sullivan
17-May-1911 28-Jun-1998 A Day at the Races


Review by anonymous (posted on 15-May-2006)

This was the strangest film we have ever seen. Think of a Fritz Lang Metropolis as a musical comedy with slapstick and elements of Vaudeville. We were trying to find a copy for years and finally tracked down a videotape of a very bad film with lots of glitches. We alternately were staring in fascination, howling with laughter (at things that were unintentionally very funny) and looking at each other saying, "This is SO weird!" How to begin to describe its quirks? It is a boy-gets-girl film set in the year 1980, as imagined in the year 1930 (everyone has personal mini-airplanes). The songs made us cringe. It is a rather totalitarian state: to marry the girl he loves, the hero agrees to go to Mars in a spark-spitting Buck-Rogers type rocketship, (with his best friend and a stowaway) and things only get weirder when they arrive. Mars is populated by hissing, scary-looking and scantily- clad Mars girls, and a big guy dressed in clattering seashells (or something similar) who takes a fancy to one of the male protagonists, a Swedish dialect character comedy actor who was apparently very popular in the year 1930, who adds a lot of the Vaudeville flavor to the film. The frenzied but meticulously choreographed Busby-Berkeley like tribal dance of the Mars girls before their idol, had us howling with laughter. It has a happy ending, of course. I cannot recommend this highly enough if you like strange, quirky movies. It has many flaws, and the pace slows to a crawl (I almost nodded off a few times, but it had been a long day at work, too) but if you can find a copy, invite all your buddies and get some brewskies and have fun! I am sure it was quite the groundbreaking flick in its day, but nowadays it seems almost impossible to find. This is the only reason I can think that Mystery Science Theater never gave it their treatment!

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