Icarus XB 1 [1963]


  AKA Ikarie XB-1 A Czechoslovakian pre-Star Trek and Pre-2001: A Space Odyssey science fiction film based on a novel by Stanislaw Lem, the author of Solyaris. And not a comedy! I was lead to believe by my mother and Jirí Menzel that Czechs made only comedies. Even more, it’s supposed to feature no monsters from outer space and other trashy stuff most science fiction films of the era were made of, at least American and Japanese.

I was always a sucker for these end of the hall shots.

  In 22nd century men and women are on their way to the mysterious White Planet in the Centaurus constellation, orbiting Alpha Centauri. On their way they deal with adapting to life in a spaceship, health and mental problems of the crew and encountering a mysterious spaceship and a dark star which might or might not have effect on the crew.

Space station.

  I really don’t want to say anything more about the plot in fear of spoiling it, and that would be a shame because it’s a really good movie. All these plot element I brought up are smoothly put together, avoiding the feeling of chapters but still having the classic narrative structure. The mysterious ship and the dark star give the movie, which starts on a lighter note, a feeling of dread and uncertainty of the unknown, with adaptation, health and mental issues letting us know the characters, making us sympathize with them and finally giving a fuck about them as a whole.

It’s hard to put funny or witty comment on quality movies.

  As I brilliantly predicted it’s a serious science fiction movie, serious not meaning hard science fiction nor irritating grave tone most modern serious science fiction have, simply a smart movie. Though some nitpicks might complain how are they supposed to reach a planet near Alpha Centauri distanced approximately four light years from here in twenty eight months, traveling at near light speed, the screenwriters payed attention to some non-plot device details like heightened gravity at the lift off, causing people to sweat, or the twin paradox, which concerns the wife of an astronaut.

An old 21st century robot.

  The actors all did a really good job, and their parents did a really good job too, since all the men are charismatic and all the woman are good looking. The special effects, set design, suit design, everything is pretty impressive for that era movie, especially coming from Czechoslovakia, where they probably didn’t have Hollywood budgets. The music, though scarce, was pretty interesting, some kind of early sixties electronic music which I wouldn’t know hot to classify. The movie is shot in beautiful Techniscope widescreen, in black and white, despite what you might find on the Internet, coming from some old books.

Spaceship gym.

  All in all, I would heartedly recommend this to anyone, especially to science fiction fan. Just a warning. When obtaining the movie, be sure to get the original Czech version, since the American version imported by the kind infamous Samuel Z. Arkoff’s American International Pictures is not only dubbed but also heavily cut. Just look at that awful trailer completely misrepresenting the otherwise sophisticated and smart science fiction film.

She’s beautiful.

It’s really beautifully shot also.

The design is pretty sixties sci-fi, but more refined.

Beautiful space suits.

I always take some close up screenshots, but theres more to it.

There’s some space “action” too.

My mom never wanted to buy me those sneakers which light up when you walk.

Ship plating.

Space food is not only pills.

The bridge. Though, there was no report to the bridge line.

You can see she’s troubled, but there’s no Hollywood melodrama. Gotta find more movies with her.

Just for those who saw the movie. AIP import trailer where they fucked up the movie with dubbing and huge cuts. And even then, it completely misrepresents the movie.


3 Responses to “Icarus XB 1 [1963]”

  1. Anonymous Says:


  2. jadre likes.
    doduše ne bih gledo jer dizajn izgleda ružno nekako. ovaj robot mi je sjebo sve. :(

  3. Kozmička drama :O

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