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Mars Attacks the World

Mars Attacks the World(1938)

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Mars Attacks the World was a compilation of the serials Flash Gordon (1936) and Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938). Various modern sources credit Flash Gordon as the source for another feature-length film Rocket Ship (see below), however, Universal legal files reveal that Rocket Ship was the feature-length version made from the serial Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars. An April 18, 1938 credit sheet for Mars Attacks the World contained in copyright records indicates that it was originally titled Rocket Ship. According to the Variety review, Universal hurried the release of Mars Attacks the World in order to cash in on the publicity received by Orson Welles' October 29, 1938 Halloween radio broadcast of H. G. Wells's story "War of the Worlds," which caused some panic among listeners who thought it was an actual news broadcast. Modern sources add the following information about the production of the two serials: Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars was made for a cost of about $175,000, a sum considered high for a serial, but half the budget of Flash Gordon. Eddie Parker doubled for Buster Crabbe in some of the stunt scenes. Many of the costumes, including those of Flash, Ming and Barin, were exact reproductions of those created for the comic strip. A re-edited feature version of the serial Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars was released in the 1960s as The Deadly Ray from Mars for television broadcast. For additional information on the Flash Gordon films, consult the entry below for Rocket Ship.