Blog visitors are leaping off to Mars …
… at least that’s what the stats say! I happen to hope that Andrew Stanton, Michael Chabon, etc. etc. connect with the public in their vision of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Planet Barsoom. This little caption follows the video above on YouTube: This John Carter Fan Trailer is offered in the spirit of “we want to help”. It’s made from elements available online as of Feb 5, 2012. We’re doing our best to help this film along.
A Century of John Carter and Dejah Thoris
The original serial, Under the Moons of Mars ran in All-Story Magazine from 1911 to 1912. Burroughs wrote three Mars sequels by 1914, and also The Outlaw of Torn 1911; Tarzan of the Apes 1911; The Return of Tarzan 1912; At the Earth’s Core 1913; The Cave Girl 1913; The Monster Men 1913; The Mucker 1913; The Mad King 1913; The Eternal Lover 1913; The Beasts of Tarzan 1914; The Lad and the Lion 1914, and The Girl from Farris’s 1914.
1914 is important because A.C. McClurg published Tarzan of the Apes as a hardbound book that year. I’ve mentioned that the public enjoyed Tarzan more than any other creation by Burroughs — McClurg printed The Return of Tarzan in 1915, Beasts of Tarzan in 1916, and Son of Tarzan in 1917. The silent movie Tarzan of the Apes, starring Elmo Lincoln, was a huge hit in 1917 as well.
A Princess of Mars was the fifth hardbound book by Edgar Rice Burroughs — Frank Scoonover, usually known for Western Art, illustrated McClurg’s first edition in the autumn of the year when Tarzan became a Hollywood franchise.
Below are Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins as John Carter and Dejah Thoris in 2012’s movie — Not Bad! Carter‘s hair is a little longer, and Dejah looks pretty assertive, which is an improvement:
Here’s Kitsch and Collins as themselves at the premiere of Andrew Stanton’s film John Carter in late February 2012:
Walt Disney Inc. invited the family of Edgar Rice Burroughs to the premiere too! Thanks to ERBzine , we have the following snapshot:
I guess this term has many meanings. One can be tales of action with life-changing consequences, which would include most of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ writings, as well as Pulp Literature in general. Hollywood movies dabble in this genre too, and I’ve watched a number of examples on the treadmill at the gym lately.
I saw Carl Forman’s Guns of Navarone on a big screen when it was new, and even read the book first, because Mitch Miller’s ballad was all over the radio and made me interested in the story. The constant action was just what I enjoyed as a 6th Grader, but in retrospect the total ridiculousness of EVERYTHING in Alistair MacLean’s novel and Forman’s even more manipulative script makes them middle-brow Kitsch (sorry Taylor …) — unredeemable by rambunctious Fantasy, unlike preposterous fiction by Burroughs, London, Sabatini, et al. In Junior High School, I read Mad Magazine’s satire by Mort Drucker and nodded in agreement. No knocks are intended on fabulous actors Gregory Peck, David Niven, Irene Pappas, and Anthony Quinn — their work really distracted the audience enough to create a cinematic spell.
In the context of the XXI Century, John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King has elements of Kitsch too, but there are undercurrents of historical awareness that make it better than that on several levels. The film was shot in Afghanistan, before the Soviet invasion of 1980 led to the madness my country is involved with today. The acting by Sean Connery and Michael Caine is absolutely first-rate, despite their characters being near-soulless mercenaries. What souls they may still possess are interesting, though, as they ALMOST atone for their myriad crimes.
Tora Tora Tora is not usually lumped with High Adventure genre films, but it isn’t EXACTLY history either, and WWII was the stage for many a fictional exercise, like the aforementioned Guns Of Navarone, which an adult would have to be HIGH to believe.
American director Richard Fleischer did an amazing job with the battle scenes, and the preparation of this film was and is awe – inspiring. The Japanese raid on this major U.S. base required total surprise, and the movie achieves some real suspense by dramatizing a number of incidents that could have warned Pearl Harbor, or better prepared that place for the deadly attack.
The main flaw is characterization, but I’m laying that at the feet of the producers in America and Japan rather than the actors. Admiral Yamamoto is too sanguine, and the script makes him seem overly pro-American, (The real Admiral knew our ways so well that we targeted him on a special mission later in the war.) Staff Officer Genda is too animated for being such a calculating killing machine. (He survived WWII, but made waves when he visited Hawaii during the filming, because of how much they STILL hated him there.) Admiral Nagumo is fairly convincing, but his part seems restricted to saying NO. The Americans seem to be either overly strident or dumb, at least before the war begins.
How about a SLUG of present time?
One more mention of a High Adventure movie that touches on historical facts, but fictionalizes surrounding events, like conversations and things like that — The Right Stuff (1983). I thought that they told the basic story of the USA’s early Project Mercury fairly well, and was impressed by how little they duplicated material in Tom Wolfe’s book. It seems like Wolfe was rather angry about THAT! Wolfe’s sadistic comedy about the test-flight of “Ham” the Chimpanze, as projected from the monkey’s point of view, made me laugh when I first read it — Anything to avoid those shocks to my feet!
Before the book came out in 1979, I knew nothing about Chuck Yeager, the pilot who first broke the sound barrier before I was even born. What little overlap there is between the book and the movie mostly concerns his career, although I doubt that Yeager flew any new experimental jets beyond the atmosphere without authorization. No matter WHO you happen to be, a damn airplane will still fall when there’s no air to plane, and it did happen to Yeager.
Despite the obvious pun, Space is still High Adventure, but it will always require 18,000 miles an hour to get into orbit around Earth — no craft has flown anywhere near that speed without rocket propulsion.
Before SLUG, when RIGHT STUFF was NEW …
… I regularly listened to my friends Michael Hatsis and Myron Fairbanks playing Reggae on KRCL-FM’s Smile Jamaica every Saturday afternoon. Salt Lake Area Music interviewed Myron for their fourth issue in 1984.
As Planet Mars rapidly gets as close to Planet Earth as it possibly can, there are astronomical viewing parties planned for the deserts of Utah, Arizona, and California — Check ’em out !
Online Versions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom Novels:
A Princess of Mars ; The Gods of Mars ; Warlord of Mars ;
( 1911 to 1913 — John Carter’s initial blood-soaked de facto trilogy);
Thuvia, Maid of Mars — 1914 ; The Chessmen of Mars — 1921
(Adventures of Dejah & John’s offspring);
Mastermind of Mars — 1925
(A WWI officer, unrelated to Carter’s family, wakes up on Barsoom);
A Fighting Man of Mars — 1929
(An intrepid private soldier from Carter’s armed forces);
Swords of Mars — 1933
(ONE MORE TIME! John Carter, Dejah Thoris, plus an inhabited Martian Moon);
Synthetic Men of Mars — 1938
(Sequel to Mastermind);
Llana of Gathol — 1940
(Interlocking short stories featuring Carter and his granddaughter);
… and a posthumous collection called John Carter of Mars (1964) containing:
Skeleton Men of Jupiter — (1943) A magazine story by the old man himself;
John Carter and the Giant of Mars — (1941) Ghost-written by John Coleman Burroughs for a Whitman Better Little Book entitled John Carter of Mars — the title of Jack’s syndicated Comic Strip.
If you think it is high time, and that THAT is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out … (You’re quoting Elizabethan Theatre.)
Shaunna Hall’s Elecrofunkadelica — just let it play while you read!
Johnny Melville and Jango Edwards continue to fool around the cinema.
Check out Parade of Fools for the latest on their movie!
Check Out the Dance Histories Section !