Robinson Crusoe on Mars [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] product details page

Robinson Crusoe on Mars [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray]

Robinson Crusoe on Mars [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray]
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Reviewer:Craig Butler, Although its title suggests that this is a film to avoid, Robinson Crusoe on Mars is actually surprisingly good. Although a considerable financial failure at the time (despite general critical approval), Crusoe has gained quite a cult reputation over the years and is deservedly beloved by science fiction aficionados. Remarkably faithful in spirit to the Daniel Defoe novel, Crusoe benefits from an intelligent screenplay that celebrates the human spirit and its resilience without becoming arch or preachy. It also tells an exciting story, with carefully drawn characters (even when one of those characters talks very little). Director Byron Haskin does an excellent job of conveying the loneliness, isolation, and desperation that the Robinson Crusoe character (actually one Commander Chris Draper), feels, as well as the pride and pleasure at his accomplishments in surviving. Haskin also sensitively handles the relationship between Commander Draper and runaway slave Friday, so that it develops into a friendship rather than a master-servant arrangement. Winton Hoch's excellent cinematography is a decided plus, giving a low budget film a very believable look and making Death Valley resemble a very credible Mars. And Paul Mantee turns in very solid work as Crusoe, anchoring the film in a crucial way. A delightful and uplifting film, Robinson Crusoe on Mars deserves a much wider audience. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi