Queen of Outer Space

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Queen of Outer Space
Queen of Outer Space.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Edward Bernds
Produced by Ben Schwalb
Screenplay by Charles Beaumont
Story by Ben Hecht
Starring
Music by Marlin Skiles
Cinematography William P. Whitley
Edited by William Austin
Distributed by Allied Artists Pictures Corporation
Release date
  • September 7, 1958 (1958-09-07)
Running time
80 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Queen of Outer Space is a 1958 American color science fiction feature film in CinemaScope, produced by Ben Schwalb, directed by Edward Bernds, that stars Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eric Fleming, and Laurie Mitchell. The screenplay by Charles Beaumont, about a revolt against a cruel Venusian queen, was based on an idea supplied by Ben Hecht, originally titled Queen of the Universe. The film was released theatrically in some markets on a double feature with the Boris Karloff film Frankenstein 1970.

Plot[edit]

Captain Patterson (Eric Fleming) and his space crew (Dave Willock, Patrick Waltz and Paul Birch) take a rocket to a space station near Earth. En route, however, the space station is destroyed by an intersellar energy beam which also affects their rocketship. The space crew crash land on Venus and are captured. They learn the planet is under the dictatorship of the cruel Queen Yllana (Laurie Mitchell), a masked woman who has most men, keeping only mathematicians and scientists on a prison colony moon which orbits Venus. In the palace, the astronauts are aided by a beautiful courtier named Talleah (Zsa Zsa Gabor) and her friends (Lisa Davis, Barbara Darrow and Marilyn Buferd). The women long for the love of men again and plot to overthrow the evil queen. When Patterson has the opportunity to remove the Queen's mask, he discovers she has been horribly disfigured by radiation burns caused by men and their wars. In a fury, the Queen decides to destroy Earth and its warlike peoples but she dies in the attempt. The Venusians are free again to enjoy the love of men.

Cast[edit]

Cast includes Guy Prescott as Colonel Ramsey (uncredited), Gerry Gaylor as base commander, Ralph Gamble as officer in anteroom (uncredited) and Joi Lansing as an astronaut's girlfriend (uncredited). Venusians are played by Tania Velia, Norma Young, Marjorie Durant, Brandy Bryan, Ruth Lewis and June McCall. Cast member Marilyn Buferd was crowned Miss America 1946.

Production[edit]

The Three Stooges and the Bowery Boys director Edward Bernds recalled that, after famed producer Walter Wanger was released from prison for shooting agent Jennings Lang in the groin for having an affair with his wife Joan Bennett, Wanger could only find work at the low-rent Allied Artists (formerly Monogram Pictures). In 1952, Wanger brought a ten-page idea for a screenplay by Ben Hecht called Queen of the Universe that was a satirical look at a planet run by women. Several years later, with the idea of science fiction films being more common, Allied Artists revived the project with Wanger replaced on the film by Ben Schwalb, who was then producing The Bowery Boys films. Screenwriter Charles Beaumont did not think there was much in the Hecht screenplay, but Schwalb suggested spoofing the idea and had former Three Stooges screenwriter Ellwood Ullman touch up Beaumont's screenplay.[1] Allied Artists retitled the film Queen of Outer Space as they thought the original title sounded more like a beauty pageant.[1]

The film recycled many ideas, such as a planet ruled by women, from other science fiction films of the era, such as Abbott and Costello Go to Mars, Cat-Women of the Moon (both 1953) and the British Fire Maidens from Outer Space (1955). Queen of Outer Space also recycled many props and costumes, most prominently the C-57D crewmen's uniforms and Altaira's wardrobe from Forbidden Planet (1956),[2] models, sets, and special effects from Bernds' World Without End (1956), the usual stock footage of an Atlas rocket taking off and a rocketship model (and stock footage) built for the film Flight to Mars (1951).[3] The model was eventually used by the Bowery Boys in Paris Playboys (1954), which was co-written by Bernds and Ullman. The Queen's guards wore uniforms that foreshadow (and may have influenced)[original research?] those worn on the later Star Trek television series, coming in the same three Starfleet colors; red, blue, and gold.

Reception[edit]

Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 18% of 11 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 4.2/10.[4] Variety called it "a good-natured attempt to put some honest sex into science-fiction".[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Weaver, Tom (2000). Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes. McFarland & Company. p. 55. ISBN 978-0786407552. 
  2. ^ Warren, Bill (1982). Keep Watching the Skies: Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, Vol. II, 1958-1962. McFarland & Company. p. 169. ISBN 978-1476666181. 
  3. ^ Thompson, Nathaniel. "Queen of Outer Space". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 19 December 2016. 
  4. ^ "Queen of Outer Space (1958)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Review: 'Queen of Outer Space'". Variety. 1958. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]