Red Planet Mars (1952) Movie Script

(menacing music)
[Voiceover] This is
a story not yet told.
It begins on a warm
evening some years hence.
When high on a mountaintop
in Southern California,
a giant telescope searches the heavens
for the secrets there contained.
You can't see it with a naked eye.
But, the Palomar shows it clearly.
There's no question of
the change in altitude.
Dr. Mitchell.
- Hello, Chris.
- [Chris] Hello, Mitchell.
[Linda] Hello, Doctor.
Sorry to have kept you waiting.
They certainly tuck you in up here.
They wouldn't even let
us into the viewing room.
They've classified
the sky top secret now.
Ask Stella to develop these
as quickly as possible.
Yes, sir.
Oh, Boulting, this is
Chris Cronyn, Mrs. Cronyn.
My assistant, Dr. Boulting.
- Hello, how do you do?
- [Linda] How do you do?
It's nice meeting you.
Come in.
I hope you don't mind my tagging along.
Oh, not in the least.
We're very happy to have you.
May I take your coat?
You know, I expected you to be older.
You are the radioman.
If you think of yourself as
they guy with the spy glass.
I really walked right into that.
I didn't mean it quite as it sounded.
But, do you seriously believe that you've
established contact with Mars?
Well, you take pictures of it,
why shouldn't I talk to it?
- Boulting.
- [Boulting] Yes.
There's no question they
have diminished in size.
There's no knowing what
tonight's pictures may show.
We may learn more about Mars
in the next few minutes.
So, that's the baby in person?
[Linda] It's so clear,
it's unbelievable.
[Mitchell] This is the first picture.
We took it a week ago tonight.
See, here are the
indentations I told you about.
They couldn't be plainer.
And, all going from North to South.
[Linda] What are they?
[Chris] Canals, what else?
Traversing the entire planet.
[Linda] And, these big shadows?
Here and here.
Now you know how New York or Chicago
would look if photographed from Mars.
Now, look at those mountains at the pole.
They must be as high as the Rockies.
How do you tell they're mountains?
They have to be.
What else would throw such deep shadows?
Dr. Mitchell, what puzzles me is that
you've had the giant telescope for years.
Why are you just getting
these pictures now?
Mars's journey around the
sun is an elliptical curve.
Let me show you.
It's now at perihelion, about
35 million miles from Earth
instead of the usual 63.
What's this one?
Same angle, same
exposure five nights ago.
See any difference?
Should I?
Well, what've you got?
I don't know, I can't believe it.
[Linda] The mountains are gone.
And, the poles are level.
You can't wipe out mountains taller
than the Rockies in the space of a week.
Look at the canals.
[Linda] They're different.
Now, they reflect light like mirrors.
Water reflects light.
Well, so does any other.
Are you saying you think
those pole formations are ice?
And, that in a week, these Martians have
melted ice caps thousands of feet high
and use the water to irrigate the planet?
Isn't that what the picture says?
But, that's impossible.
There's no way to.
Oh, there has to be.
Why they've done it.
If we could just once ask them how.
I thought you'd already
established contact.
Oh, it's Mars I'm getting
my signal from right enough
but how do I give that signal meaning?
How do I find a means of communication?
Come on, Lin, let's get going.
There's still time to send a signal.
You're going to broadcast tonight?
After seeing these,
what do you think?
One man who takes pictures.
Another who believes he can
talk over 35 million miles.
It's like having a grand stand seat
for the creation of the world.
Or, it's death.
(mellow music)
Where you going, Lin?
I just wanna have a
look at the kids first.
Everything looks peaceful.
Hi, son.
Well, we'll be over at the lab.
Don't stay up too late.
Don't send a message tonight.
What's got into you, Linda?
Ever since you saw those
pictures, you've been...
Fear, Chris.
Always eating fear.
The whole world's scared.
Why shouldn't I be?
Every woman in the world,
we all live in fear,
it's become our natural state.
Fear our sons will have
to fight another war.
Or, fear they'll face worse.
We've lived on the edge of
a volcano all our lives.
One day, it has to boil over.
Me talking to Mars won't
affect this dubious, Lin.
How can you be so sure?
Don't you understand?
Science has made the
volcano we're sitting on.
Nobel invented dynamite
to ease man's life.
It's eased a good many into annihilation.
Einstein split the atom to create energy.
Is terror energy?
Well, that's rubbish, Lin.
Scientifically, we've advanced further in
the past 60 years than we
have in the previous 2,000.
Radio, television, automobile, airplane,
atomic fission, jet propulsion.
And then, now, well you...
You saw those pictures tonight
and heard what Mitchell said.
If we can once talk to Mars,
we may be talking to
brains as far ahead of ours
as ours are ahead of monkeys.
In one moment, we may be able to
leap ahead another 2,000 years.
And, you'll have done it.
You'll be the next to advance science
and maybe us.
Right into oblivion!
I'm sorry, Chris.
But, when I saw those pictures tonight,
it all seemed too eminent.
Well, sure it's eminent.
It's what we worked for, isn't it?
Why we built this lab.
Assembled the transmitter.
That's why we've worked
together all these years.
They've been good years, Chris.
Well, they've been great years.
What do you want me to do now?
Get a crummy research job in some plant?
Maybe in 20 years, get a paper published
in some scientific magazine?
Now, when we're on the
verge of accomplishing
everything we've worked for?
Alright, Chris.
I'm ready.
What do I say that...
That if I thought anything would boomerang
against you or the kids,
I'd blow up the whole works.
You know that.
But, it can't hurt anyone.
Whatever's been done,
we've done together, Linda.
I don't believe harm
can come from anything
those hands have had
a part in, that's all.
Alright, Chris, let's go.
Who am I to stand in the way of science?
(suspenseful music)
Turn it on.
(exciting music)
(foreboding music)
What do you want?
How did you get here?
How did you track me down?
Get out!
Stop acting like a fool.
Get out of here!
I told you not to follow me.
You were supposed to keep in
touch with me by short wave.
The seal isn't even broken.
I had nothing to report.
What are you doing here?
Answer me.
You said you would
establish contact with Mars.
That was your commitment.
I'm trying.
We are not paying
you to try, Mr. Calder.
We expect results.
And, you might have had results.
If you had done as I asked.
Conduct your experiments
at our laboratories
at the Rasovo.
Where we could have supplied
you with skilled assistance.
Instead of which you buried
yourself here in the Andes.
Alone, no one to assist you.
You mean, no one to watch over me.
Thank you.
I've had one taste of jail.
I don't know why you complain.
We extricated you, we helped you.
We want scientists of
your caliber, Mr. Calder.
We treat them well when they serve us.
Are you talking to me?
I don't owe you anything.
You owe us your freedom.
It was the Americans
who threw you into jail
and our men who helped you to escape.
Not to mention, all this
equipment which you have piled up.
This was an investment.
Now we demand an accounting.
I'm not a bookkeeper.
We don't make investments
with no returns.
You know our policy.
Are you trying to frighten me?
We had an agreement.
And, it's my responsibility
to see that it is carried out.
You're threatening me
with extermination, huh?
Is that the policy you refer to?
You find the idea amusing?
You won't harm me, you need me.
Think they have humbled me, huh?
Bringing me, Franz Calder,
to this.
Cringing, hiding.
Just another rat in his hole.
But, all this won't last.
A rat will come out and
then the world will listen.
You want a report?
I'll give you one.
You can tell your masters
that I have failed
in my experiments.
I have not been able to
establish contact with Mars.
Their money's been wasted.
It is not a report they will appreciate.
Still, they won't exterminate me.
Of that I wouldn't be too sure of.
Because you can also tell
them that the Americans,
who stole my valve, have succeeded.
They have established
contact with the red planet.
Wait outside.
Are you serious?
Newspapers will tell
you as much in a few days.
It's not in the American character
to keep silent about success.
But, that's incredible
that they should actually...
Why, you expected it from me.
But, you said that your equipment
was the best in the world.
That no one could duplicate
your developments.
I forgot the seven year
start the American had on me.
Seven years while I was in jail.
Seven years.
Don't let start that again.
What should I report?
What can you report?
That the Americans also want the secrets
of a wiser civilization?
So, that they can turn them
into new methods of destruction?
How do you know all this?
Because I'm the one other
person with a hydrogen valve.
I, alone, can pick up their signals.
And, their replies.
Then you can give us the
questions they put to Mars?
And, the answers they receive.
Yes, exactly.
And, that's why I can
laugh at your threats.
Do you still want to kill me?
Oh, don't talk like that.
Nobody is threatening you.
You're invaluable to us.
It's not who gets the information first.
But, who first puts it to use.
Oh, my dear friend.
You must let me send you
a less monotonous diet.
My diet's already taken care of.
I did not spend all
your money on equipment.
Is there anything else you need?
Yes, one thing.
Let's drink to it.
But, by all means, my dear fellow.
What is it?
Your absence.
(suspenseful music)
Thank you very much, comrade.
Considerate of you,
leading us to his lair.
Clever of you dragging him down
all on the strength of a single phrase.
He though himself so clever with his,
"You can find me only
through finding Christ."
(baby crying)
You dropped your bunny rabbit.
What was that outburst?
He woke up and couldn't find his rabbit.
(pleasant music)
I guess I better get the...
Here's your Caboma.
Oh, how'd you know we'd need this?
Did you two ever start
a project and not need it?
She's pretty smart, huh?
Hey, Mom, I got a TL for you.
Yeah, I could use one.
Remember when the parents
came to visit our class?
One of my grimmest memories.
All the fellas decided that you were
the youngest looking mother there.
Isn't that nice.
Boy, you should've
seen those other crows.
Oh, that did it.
Now, clean away this mess and get...
Started on your homework.
Gosh, I only got my math to do
and you know I don't wanna fuss over that.
Well, before you pin
any medals on yourself,
an extra hour in history wouldn't hurt.
At that, you're no genius.
Well, you can't have everything.
Oh, heavens, who's coming?
Probably Mitchell to find out if Mars
had anything intelligible to say.
I'll get it.
Is Mr. Cronyn in?
I'm Cronyn.
I'm Bill Carey.
This is no time to barge
in on you like this
but your reports didn't reach
my desk until this morning.
I flew right out.
My reports brought you out?
Oh, we grasp at any straw to get out
of Washington for 24 hours.
- Please come in, Admiral.
- [Bill] Thank you.
I'm Linda Cronyn.
How do you do, Ms. Cronyn.
Forgive the mess but all
major mechanical projects
seem to get started in the living room.
This is our son, Stewart.
Hiya, fella.
Sit down, Admiral.
Get some more ice, will ya, son.
You will have a drink, won't ya?
Well, at this hour, I can't claim
the sun's not over the yardarm.
Are you the Admiral Carey
who broke the Japanese code?
My one claim to fame.
But, confidentially, it
wasn't a very good code.
[Linda] Come on, Stew.
You don't know how glad I am to see you.
We didn't know if you'd even
bother with our show here.
Rose to it like a marlin.
What beats me, if you are
getting messages from Mars,
how have you kept it out of the paper?
Oh, we're not getting
any messages, not yet.
Darn close to it, if
your reports stand up.
Oh, if we ever do get messages,
understandable ones that
is, they'll be given out.
Four years at Navy gave me
my belly full of hush hush.
I can understand that.
So far, all we're
getting are repetitions
of our own signals coming back at us.
And, all these answers you get.
Please, sit down.
These answers ya get,
couldn't they be your own
signals bouncing off some
object in outer space?
Some other planet booming back at ya?
I'm no authority on electronics, but.
I am.
No, this is no bounce back.
As I told you, we
transformed sound into light.
And, the speed of light
is 186,000 miles a second.
So, you divide the distance to Mars
by the speed of light and
you get the length of time
it takes our light wave to reach Mars.
Double that and you get the time
it takes our messages to come back.
Now, that could all be mechanical.
But, they don't come back in
that exact number of minutes.
It never takes less time, always more.
20 seconds, 40 seconds.
Sometimes, as much as a minute and a half.
Sometimes, like tonight for
instance, we get no answer.
An echo will always sound.
But, sometimes the human brain sleeps.
But, why always the same signal back?
Why never anything you can hang onto?
Because I'm too stupid
to give them a lead.
That's why I yelled for help.
Well, this is not
picnic you've asked me on.
You don't even know what
language they speak, if any.
It's like working out a
system of communication
with golliwogs.
How the devil to find a point of contact.
How bout pi?
That's hardly the way to offer it, Stew.
And, by the size of that slice,
I'd doubt if there's anything left.
I mean pi.
[Chris] Now, what are you talking about?
Well, if we're getting answers,
they have to have a transmitter
as powerful as ours.
Go on, what are you driving at?
Well, they can't
build anything like that
unless they know how to make a wheel.
That means a circle.
And, you can't make a
circle without knowing
the ratio of the diameter
to the circumference, pi.
I still don't understand
what that has to do with...
Your sons ahead of you, Cronyn.
What is pi?
3.1416 as I remember.
- Roughly.
- [Bill] That's it, roughly.
Actually, it's 3.1415926 and so on.
An infinite number of decimals.
Well, so what?
We broadcast 3.1416 to Mars
and what can they answer?
Nothing, but they must be trying as hard
to talk to you as you're
straining to talk to them.
All they're looking for is an opening.
You don't broadcast 31416.
You broadcast 31415.
And, if they understand,
they continue the equation.
[Bill] Right.
Hey, where'd you get that idea, son?
Biting into this.
Come on, let's get over to the lab
and try it on right now.
(exciting music)
Aren't you coming?
Oh, don't mind me, I'm just
a babysitter around here.
If this comes off, I'll
wake you when we come in.
What makes you think I'll be asleep?
Shut it off.
What do we do now?
The black waiting is
always the worst part.
How long?
For three minutes,
eight seconds each way.
Six minutes, 16 seconds all tolled.
Plus, the time it takes them
to answer, if they answer.
You know, this is gonna be the longest
six and a quarter minutes I ever spent.
You light that pipe, Admiral,
and if Chris's hydrogen
doesn't blow you up, he will.
Always the danger of a leak
and no way of telling it.
Hydrogen's odorless.
I told you I was no
authority on electronics.
What's the hydrogen for?
Well, hydrogen sufficiently pressurized
can be brought down to a temperature
of about 451 degrees below zero.
And, nobody knows why but the sound waves
can be picked up at that temperature
or it would be, otherwise,
completely inaudible.
And now, certain minerals also have
incredible acoustic properties.
Quartz, for instance.
That's what this valve is made of.
And, we warp it with a
pressurized hydrogen.
It gives us the energy
for a power transmission
a thousand times greater
than any sound transmitter
ever conceived.
There it is.
The red planet, Mars.
For over 2,000 years, the symbol for war.
And, we dare to fly in
the face of Providence
and try to bring it closer to us.
Sometimes, my wife is
less than enthusiastic about this project.
I'm sorry.
Darling, if nothing happens tonight,
don't be too disappointed.
It's got to happen.
It's just got to happen.
We've waited so blasted long.
I know but if it doesn't.
Poor Linda with all her silly fears.
And, you hope it doesn't happen really.
You know what beats me.
I just can't believe
that you people really
assembled all this yourselves.
Oh, we got a slight assist from.
The Carnegie Foundation.
You realize, if this comes off,
by this time tomorrow, you'll be the most
famous man in the world.
Funny, none of the credit's mine.
Actually, it all belongs
to a German scientist.
A criminal, a brilliant criminal.
With nothing but hate in his heart.
What do you mean?
Did you ever hear of Franz Calder?
Calder? Calder?
Do you remember the famous quotation,
"The human being is the best guinea pig."
High voltage experiments
on the human nervous system.
A Nazi criminal.
He invented the valve.
I found the blueprints at Nuremberg.
It's taken us all a year since then
to build a transmitter capable
of spanning the enormous distance.
And, we've been broadcasting
for eight months.
First, without success and now...
The last three weeks.
We've been getting answers.
Well, you're not gonna give
Calder any of the credit.
Why not? It's his valve.
The devil's entitled to his due.
Two minutes to go.
I wonder what kind of a world
we're opening the door on.
You'd wonder even more if you saw
the pictures of Mars
that we saw last night.
Ice caps, thousands of feet high,
melted away in a few days.
Oh, those people must use
atomic power as we use water.
If we had that power,
why, the largest liner
would cross the ocean
on the energy contained
in one lump of coal.
Then, what would happen to the people
who own and work coal mines?
What happened to the people who owned
or worked on canals when
the railroads started?
Still, Mr. Calder, will have
had his effect on the world.
[Bill] Wonder where he is now.
Where are all good
scientists we don't hear of?
In Russia, I suppose.
10 seconds to go.
Switch out the light, will ya, darling.
Our own signal back.
The same blasted story.
Chris, look!
(suspenseful music)
Linda, we've done it.
Dear Lord, don't make us sorry.
(exciting music)
(people talking)
(people talking)
So far, Cronyn is sticking
to the establishment
of mathematical and chemical formulas.
Very ingenious.
A way but to frame a few questions.
[Argenian] I read
all that in the papers.
What about you?
Have you contacted Mars yourself?
You're a fool, Argenian.
If I can read their
messages, they can read mine.
Why should I let them know that
they have competition, huh?
And so, not only two weeks
ago is a secluded laboratory
in the San Diego Mountains has become
the new center of the world.
Scientists, code experts, newsmen,
all concentrated on only one thing.
The first concrete word from Mars.
Ladies and gentlemen,
step right up closer.
I want to introduce you
to the Keyhole of Mars.
Now, I have the only
authentic, genuine picture
of the planet Mars.
What a film.
(people talking)
Come home, folks, to planet Mars.
They're educational and constructive.
(people talking)
Hi, Mr. Cronyn, been to town?
Yeah, I'm just down to see how
the press camp's coming along.
And, they've got to put
up two more buildings.
Stewart wanted to see Admiral
Carey and his staff at work.
(people talking)
(speaking foreign language)
(truck engine running)
(suspenseful music)
(curious music)
And so, the weeks of
preparatory work are over.
Communication with Mars is now a reality.
Tonight has brought us
the first real information
about life on that distant planet.
They were asked the
average lifespan on Mars.
Their answer, 300 Earth years.
300 years.
I hope not your mother.
(exciting music)
Pensions for 235 years.
Who's gonna pay them?
(thrilling music)
The future of the livestock
industry is at stake.
Is the government going
to continue to support
the price of potatoes?
Just a minute, how
about the price of wheat?
The hysteria which has
greeted the Martians claims
has become a national peril.
All this after the release
of only three messages.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I cannot too strongly
stress the necessity for calmness.
Do not allow yourselves to
be emotionally disturbed
by those messages.
This time you'd better get
your masters on the phone.
Cronyn's just received a message from Mars
that's a sensation.
The Martians have now announced that for
the past three centuries,
they haven't used coal,
oil, electricity, any form
of power on which we rely.
Theirs has all been
provided by cosmic energy,
to which, they have made
hundreds of elements fissionable.
If this is true, no miner in America,
no miner in the world will have a job.
Our interests are identical.
We owners represent an
investment of $5,000,000,000.
It took Mars to make you recognize
that identity of interest.
Well, the oil men are
in the same boat with us.
I oughta let them bail it out.
Oil is no concern of ours.
(suspenseful music)
(people talking)
You're the cause of it all.
We should send you to Mars.
What are you gonna do about
getting our jobs back, huh?
This business keeps up, you'll
need the army to help you.
Christ, get going, damn it.
(people yelling)
(suspenseful music)
Hi, Dad.
You're just in time for the news.
I've had enough news for one day.
[Voiceover] Meanwhile, this morning,
every American bank had long lines
of depositers waiting
to withdraw their funds.
Owing to the difference in time,
the latest bulletin from Mars
had created its effect on Europe
before we Americans had
finished our breakfasts.
In London, the Prime
Minister called a special
meeting of the cabinet at
Number 10 Downing Street.
But, this did not prevent pandemonium
on the London Stock Exchange.
The value of British industrials has
decreased nearly 10 billion pounds
in the last two weeks.
In Paris, the third
government in two weeks
failed of a vote of confidence.
And, President Romyre hopeless in forming
a fourth government
suspended the Constitution
and called upon the army
to establish martial law.
This, however, did not
prevent wide disorders
in Mayeux, Marseilles
and other French cities.
Meanwhile, in Rome, the Holy Father
urged a policy of patience and of faith.
Turn that blasted thing off.
Just on another minute, Dad.
[Voiceover] But, in Milan and Geneva,
there was widespread rioting.
Turn it off, I said.
They gotta hand it to ya, Pop.
When you blow the lid off,
you really blow it off.
Well, that crowd out
there is mad enough...
I thought I told you to
stay out of the street.
I just wanted to take a look.
Haven't you anything better to do than
lollygag around where
you haven't any business?
There's enough work for
you to do around here.
Gosh, I did the whole
lawn this afternoon.
Yeah, and left the mower where everybody
could stumble over it, as usual.
Trick or treat.
Tricks or treat.
What's he made up for?
Halloween, remember?
And, children like to go
out and play trick or treat.
That is children who can
get out of the house do.
And, little boys who can't,
they still like the fun
of getting dressed up.
You look scrumptious, son.
See, bottle tops.
Trick or treat.
Next year, we'll go trick or treat.
How'll that be?
On your way boys.
And, hands washed.
Stew, will you see that he's polished up?
Oh, Mom, again?
Please, be a good boy.
I'll be in in a minute, dear.
I'm sorry, Lin.
You don't have to take
it out on the kids, Chris.
Is that what I'm doing?
I'm sorry.
Where are you going?
The lab.
Carey's ordered some new gadget installed.
[Stewart] Mom, come here quick.
Roger's splashing water all over.
(crickets chirping)
How's it going?
Oh, evening, sir.
Quite an installation you're getting here.
What is it?
That's the latest thing.
We've only installed one other like it.
That was in the Pentagon.
It's an improvement on the
cathode-ray oscillograph.
As soon as we get it wired up
then we're putting it
outside in a cement vault.
It'll take down your messages
right off the transmitter.
It records them on film.
Go ahead, light it.
Be interesting to see if the place
really would blow up.
(wing blowing)
You'll recall, Mr. Secretary,
that the joint chiefs
advised immediate control when
the first message was received.
Yes, I recall quite well, General.
I also recalled that the
President overruled us.
[Voiceover] Admiral Carey, sir.
Have him come in.
Mr. Secretary, General Burdette.
[Burdette] Hello, Bill.
Sit down, Carey, sit down.
Have you decoded any other messages?
No, sir.
We've been sweating over a
batch for nearly a week now
but no success.
Thank heaven for that.
We're closing down that
decoding room out in California.
But, messages are still coming in, sir.
Hell, they've been microwaved here
as fast as they've come in.
And, they're not getting
outside this building.
Your whole staff's coming back today.
Nothing is to be released to the public.
Nothing, you understand, gentlemen?
Is there anything else, sir?
Our economic system, a shambles.
Industrial production shot to blazes.
Our entire civilization
collapsing about our heads
like a house of cards.
And, the whole Western
world going down with it.
This Cronyn has done more to smash
the Democratic world
in the last four weeks
than the Russians have been
able to do in 11 years.
I can hear the laughter in Moscow now.
No, Admiral, no.
There is nothing more.
Calling 2BLM, calling 2BLM.
[Voiceover] 2BLM here, go ahead.
Where's Argenian?
Where's Argenian?
[Voiceover] You will call
him on another wavelength.
9434 kilocycles,
broadcast band E.
Use scrambler number five.
The call number is
Your call will be relayed.
He's waiting for you.
Calling 9KBLM, calling 9KBLM.
(speaking foreign language)
Go ahead, Calder, this is Argenian.
Are you alright?
Ah, don't worry about me.
How 'bout you?
How are you, Argenian?
Oh, that's foolish of you
to go where those monsters
can lay hands on you.
Shut up, you fool.
(speaking foreign language)
Are there anymore messages?
Mars seems to have run out
of messages for the moment.
(speaking foreign language)
What are the Americans asking, Calder?
If you can tell us that.
[Franz] As nearly as I can understand,
they want to know how the Martians,
if they use cosmic power for everything,
are kept from blowing each other to bits.
Send us the messages
as soon as you get them.
There must be no slip ups.
Is that understood?
[Franz] Haven't you got
your money's worth yet?
(speaking foreign language)
Is this dog, Calder, reliable?
(speaking foreign language)
In English.
If I want them to understand
me, I'd speak Russian.
Why didn't you insist on
him coming here to work?
I couldn't insist.
He would've destroyed his valve.
He's a mad man, a lunatic.
The world is full of lunatics.
They want to start a war now.
Now, when there is no need.
Stalin did not dare precipitate one
because he could not defeat
the free economy of the West.
Now, the economy is shattered.
The strength of the Western world fades
like a dream in the night.
Their civilization perishes.
Lenin dreamnt of the world in his hands.
Stalin tried to get it in his.
Our Premier will succeed.
We will build our new world
on the ruins of the West.
Dr. Stokes.
Yours is identical with
Robert's translation.
It can't mean anything else.
How do you explain it?
I don't even try.
All the other messages
deal with such obtuse
scientific data that we
can't make any headway.
Then, out of the blue, this.
Why it...
It's inspiring,
Admiral, if nothing else.
Get me the Secretary of Defense.
He's at The White House, sir.
Prepare a memorandum to him.
Aye aye, sir.
Eyes only.
Eyes only.
We can't risk the Russians
decoding those messages.
I certainly don't want war.
But, Moscow, Leningrad, every nerve center
in the Soviet Union must be wiped out.
I cannot fly in the face of 180 years
of American history.
I cannot start a war.
A month from now we may not have
the strength to fight one.
And, the Russians may have,
in their hands, the power.
This country will not launch a war.
Mr. President.
You still know my first name, George.
We've served a great
many years together.
And, there's never been
a day when I couldn't
happily go along with
any decision of yours.
But, I have a responsibility
to this country, too.
And, I can't stand by
and see it destroyed.
Our difference is that I don't believe
it can be destroyed by 13 slips of paper
covered with obscure symbols.
A Japanese empire was
destroyed by a slip of paper
covered with obscure symbols.
Once those symbols were
translated into power.
Excuse me, sir.
[President] Yes.
You said to interrupt the
minute they arrive, sir.
Oh, yes.
Have them come in please.
Won't you come in, please.
How do you do, Mrs. Cronyn.
How do you do, Mr. President.
Mr. Cronyn.
Mr. President.
It was very good of you to come.
I'm only sorry you didn't
bring your boy with you.
I wanted to meet the culprit
who started this whole business.
Mr. and Mrs Cronyn, Secretary
of Defense, Mr. Sparks.
- How do you do?
- [Sparks] Mrs. Cronyn.
- Mr. Sparks.
- [Sparks] Mr. Cronyn.
And, General Burdette.
- How do you do?
- [Chris] General Burdette.
Won't you sit down, please.
I'm not gonna drag this out, Cronyn.
I'm afraid I've got to break your heart.
You made a pretty fair
start on that, Mr. President,
when you pulled Carey back to Washington,
clamped the censorship on us.
Have any further messages been decoded?
Or, aren't we allowed to know?
There have been no further decodings.
And now, there will be no
further messages to decode.
You must shut down your transmitter.
Shut it down, you're not serious.
I've got to clamp the
lid on this business.
Stop these communications.
Well, I suppose that
lies within your power,
Mr. President, you can
declare a national emergency.
I don't have to declare it.
It's here.
And, not nearly national.
You've shattered the economy
of the civilized world.
I'm not interested in
economics, Mr. Secretary.
Who makes or who loses money doesn't seem
as important to me as the
chance to advance civilization
a thousand years in one jump.
Our job isn't the
advancement of civilization.
It's to preserve the
country handed down to us.
If we believe that, every scientists
from Franklin to Edison
would've been suppressed.
Gentlemen, gentlemen.
I'm sorry, Mr. President.
If you order it, sir, of course I'll have
to shut my transmitter down.
But, I'll never do it of my own volition.
Even though it threatens
national security?
Does it threaten national security
to know that man can look
forward to a longer life span?
That he has, at his disposal, the power
to eliminate 90% of the world's work?
We've learned that from the
poor messages we've decoded.
There are 13 others that
we haven't translated.
[Secretary] Plus the
one we received today.
So long as they're not decoded,
they can't threaten anything.
I said that we haven't translate it.
Carey released the bulletin on
a cosmic power at 11:22pm
Pacific Coast Time
the night of the 27th.
The same bulletin was released in Moscow
at 9:30am the morning of the 28th.
What of it?
We broadcast everything on
the voice of America anyway.
But, there's an eleven hour differential
between Moscow and San Diego, Cronyn.
9:30am in Moscow
is 52 minutes earlier
than 11:22 the night before in San Diego.
You mean the Russians are
intercepting and decoding?
Well, is any other explanation possible?
- Calder.
- [President] Who?
The man who invented the hydrogen valve.
It's the very heart of the transmission.
Now you see how important it is to stop
your communication with this other planet?
I see now why they can't be stopped.
What do you mean?
If Calder can pick up our messages,
he can also pick up messages of his own.
We may stop but he won't.
And then, our national
security really is threatened.
For the Secretary, Mr.
President, eyes only.
It's a note from Admiral Carey.
They've decoded another message today.
Carey's outside now, Mr. President.
Have him come in, please.
Admiral Carey.
Come in, Admiral, come in.
You'll forgive me, Mr.
President, but the Secretary
left orders that no
matter where you are...
Have you got another message?
Yes, we've got one.
Oh, may I, sir?
I think he's entitled to that.
Well, this is nonsense, it's impossible.
What is it, Cronyn.
Well, you remember, sir, we asked them
how their free use of cosmic energy,
they were prevented from blowing
each other off the face of the map.
If they have an answer
to that, I'll welcome it.
Well, according to this, they submitted
the question to their supreme leader.
You say spiritual, Bill.
I'm not sure it shouldn't
be something even stronger.
God-like was Dr. Stoke's translation.
What is the message, Chris?
You have been given knowledge
and have used it for destruction
seven lifetimes ago.
You were told to love
goodness and hate evil.
Why have you denied the truth?
The sermon on the mountain.
On Mars.
Well, don't talk nonsense, Linda.
Love goodness and hate evil.
What else would you call it?
Well, I... I don't understand it.
I don't either, Chris.
But, I'm glad we
installed the oscillograph
because once the messages
are recorded on film,
no one can accuse us of garbling them.
Well, Mr. President, I said I'd never
voluntarily suppress a message
but I was wrong.
This one can't go out.
Why not?
Well, it doesn't make sense.
It's not scientific.
Well, maybe it's the
one scientific truth
we've forgotten.
You mean, you take
this message seriously.
We took the others seriously, didn't we?
If we were right to release one message.
We must release this, too.
Mr. President, you know the panic
those other messages have caused.
Loose a wave of religious
hysteria on top of it
and every crack pot and his brother
will be lecturing on street corners.
Mr. President.
You're worried about national security.
Is there one word in that message
that threatens our security?
Or, anyone else's?
And, solution, there was none.
Saving the rule of Christ alone.
My father was very fond of Emerson.
May I see that message, please.
You're not going to release it?
Your arguments in defense
of scientific freedom
have convinced me.
Well, this time Cronyn
is right, Mr. President.
We can't hitch our wagon to that star.
We've switched stars, Mr. Secretary.
Now, we're following
the Star of Bethlehem.
That message is to be
broadcast all over the world.
In all languages.
Exactly as decoded.
(exciting music)
(people talking)
(speaking foreign language)
Yes, yes, Calder, I heard you.
But, what does it mean?
Why ask me?
I'm an expert on electronics
not religious movements.
Are there any other messages?
Questions by the thousands.
But, no answers.
Are there any other messages?
Questions by the thousands.
But, no answers.
Bother the questions, let
us know when they answer.
I know I am not alone in being struck
by the phrase with which
the message begins.
'Seven lifetimes ago' are the words.
But, we know that the
Martians' life is 300 years.
So, seven lifetimes is about 2,100 years.
Or, as near as one could ask,
to the era in which the
carpenter of Nazareth
went forth to preach his message.
Is it only coincidence that the message
he broadcast 2,000 years ago, should again
be broadcast from the
supreme being on Mars?
If so, then how explain
that this authority
should know what we on Earth were told
20 centuries ago?
Or, is it possible that
the man of Nazareth
and the man of Mars are the same?
Get them curlers out of your hair.
What for?
We're going to church, that's what for.
Do you feel alright?
Now look, don't argue with me.
Get the curlers outta your hair,
let's get dressed and get outta here, I...
This ain't no time to take chances.
(church bell ringing)
(somber music)
It has brought hope when
we have lost all hope.
It has brought light
into a world of darkness.
All over the world,
regardless of their religious beliefs,
men have found a new faith
by which to live.
No, not a new faith.
But, an old one.
Many of us have allowed ourselves to lose.
A faith that is universal
in men of all faiths.
For, while to us, the words from Mars
seem the very essence of
the Christian doctrine,
let us not forget that
they are also the essence
of all other religions.
All are heeding the call to prayer.
Kneeling humbly in the
search for divine guidance.
I pray, particularly, that
behind the iron curtain,
where our eyes are not permitted to see,
men will open their hearts
to the message of peace
and the promise that their
rulers have so long denied them.
Today's message reads,
Ye have denied.
God's word
and worshiped
false Gods.
Thy torment
is the price of thine own sin.
(speaking foreign language)
(somber music)
(grand music)
(speaking foreign language)
(guns firing)
These messages are spreading
all over the country.
Poland, Romania, Bulgaria
and no one knows how.
Villages that have never
even seen the radio
suddenly erupt.
[Franz] Have you heard
the latest message?
Is there another?
The Americans released it an hour ago.
(speaking foreign language)
He who follows the tyrant's banner
shall wear the tyrant's chains.
He who carries God's banner,
shall know everlasting life.
Do you expect me to tell them that?
What you tell them
is no concern of mine.
Everlasting life.
Hello, Calder, are you there?
Calder, are you there?
(speaking foreign language)
Come in, Calder.
He doesn't answer.
Comrade General, I would not suggest.
Suggest what?
These uprisings, is it possible that.
It is possible that
another mass transplantation
of population may be necessary.
We had fostered that plan 30 years ago,
we shall foster another.
Let 20 or 30 millions of this should die
and see how long the
religious faith lives.
But, if the message is continued?
We have found the
religious revival necessary
to get them to fight the Germans.
We'll have another and
they will fight the West.
Are you sure the valve's working?
I've checked it a dozen times.
There must be some reason
for their silence up there.
Oh, there can be a thousand.
We've got two atmospheres to get through.
Ours may be clear and theirs
may be impenetrable or
maybe their transmitter's out of wack.
Maybe the operator's got the measels
or maybe he's finished his
allotted 300 years or maybe...
They've said everything
they have to say.
Maybe the rest is up to us.
Calling 2B7XK.
He won't answer, come on.
There is no need for me in there.
You can have the honor
of telling the Premier
that your communication had broke down.
I don't want to answer his questions.
(speaking foreign language)
Talk English, you fool.
Anything is preferable
to that atrocious accent.
I'm sorry Comrade Premier.
Perhaps, if I tried again.
Has the Patriarch arrived yet.
(speaking foreign language)
Call the airport.
There is no answer.
(speaking foreign language)
Comrade Premier.
If I may suggest, the transmitter,
we could contact the airport with it.
(speaking foreign language)
(speaking foreign language)
We're trying.
(speaking foreign language)
Look, the lights are still on out there.
(speaking foreign language)
It was one of the favorite
anthems of the cathedrals.
(gun firing)
That will silence their hymns.
What do the superstitious peasants think?
They cannot compete against our guns.
Oh, yes, Dr. Mitchell.
No, she and Stewart went to
town, haven't got back yet.
Baby had the sniffles and I.
Are you serious?
Well, yes, yes, right away.
What that?
Come on, son.
[Voiceover] The first program ever
to be televised to the
Western world from Russia.
Ladies and gentlemen, the
British ambassador to Moscow.
And, I have been appointed to speak
for my fellow members
of the Diplomatic call.
In days to come, thousands of volumes
will be written about the miracles
of these last 12 days.
The miracle of a nation finding its soul.
As the messages from Mars
spread throughout the country,
the heart of the Russian people began
to swell with an old faith.
And, spontaneous demonstrations
of that faith took place.
From the churches, they
moved on the jails.
The fortresses.
And, here in Moscow, the arrival yesterday
of the Patriarch of the
Russian Orthodox Church
provided the tinder that
burned down the Soviet edifice.
Thousands of the residents
of this city are now dead.
They died in the creation
of a new government.
The Patriarch as its provisional head.
As the new leader of a new Russia,
he will speak to you himself.
(serene music)
This morning, our armies, in occupation
of other lands, have been recalled
to our own soil.
We have thrown off our chain
of 40 years of bondage.
We now free our neighbors of theirs.
This is the first act
of our new government.
The second is the
reopening of our churches
so that our people
may worship God
in freedom and in accord
with their own passions.
The perils of those churches
now speak for us.
They speak only
what is in our hearts.
The prayer
that all man can, henceforth, live
in peace.
I wish you were a little older, son.
I wish you could remember this.
Now I have to go again.
You play with it.
We're famous people,
son, your mother and I.
Names in the papers,
decorations, scientific awards.
You know what's really important.
You're our immortality.
You and your brother.
Kids you'll have and
the lives you'll lead.
You're the blessed generation.
Have you heard the news?
Mitchell called me,
I couldn't believe it.
I heard it on the car radio.
Chris, you should see that crowd.
You should see their faces.
And, I didn't want the
religious messages released.
Dad, the Russians' on the radio.
Sovereign cow.
Maybe you've reformed the Russians, Pop,
but not young hopeful.
Suppose it's over.
Communications I mean.
Suppose we never make it again.
There's nothing wrong
with the transmitter.
Atmospheric conditions
won't explain it either.
No matter how bad they are,
we'd pick up something.
Would it really matter?
We talk of their older civilization
and what have they given us?
Nothing we couldn't have had all along.
Prayers were given us
long before wireless.
[Franz] Good evening, Mr. Cronyn.
Who are you?
How'd you get in here?
My credentials.
The hydrogen valve.
The original specifications.
Where did you get these?
I drew them.
Franz Calder.
Where have you come from?
This afternoon, you
parked your station wagon
in front of the post office.
Didn't look in the back
when you drove home.
Neither did the guards
that surround your place.
This is the most stupendous
joke I've ever heard.
We thought you were in Russia.
And, here you were in this
country, all the time.
Only since yesterday, Mr. Cronyn.
Wasn't exactly a triumphant entry.
Mr. Cronyn, did you ever have to crawl
through the mud beneath
a barbed wire fence?
Hide like a hunted animal to
avoid the boarder inspectors?
In heavens name, why?
I developed a dislike of jails.
Are you out of your mind, man?
Have you heard nothing of
what's happened in the world?
In spite of your record, there'd have been
an open door for the inventor
of the hydrogen valve.
Which you stole.
Well, don't talk nonsense.
Your specifications became
government property.
Anyone had a right to use them.
That's a matter of opinion.
Don't worry, Mr. Calder.
Chris has given you credit for everything
that belongs to you.
Every scientific journal
has given you full credit.
If you'll forgive me, where I've been,
the latest scientific
journals were not attained.
I lived in a hut at
11,000 feet in the Andes.
An avalanche finished them.
But, I dug myself out.
Nine days ago.
Well, I'm glad you got out anyway.
We're just about to broadcast.
You might be interested in seeing...
You are right, sir, it will amuse me.
All set, Lin?
It's a shame you didn't get a chance
to carry on your work yourself.
In a small way, I did.
You built a transmitter?
Then you might have picked up Mars.
I tried, I never succeeded.
Alright, Lin, shut it off.
Well, with your knowledge and the valve,
you should've succeeded.
Unless, of course,
atmospherics played tricks
at that altitude.
On some people, Mr. Cronyn.
You won't mind if I take my coat off, huh?
On some people.
What do you mean by that?
Of course, I only
got out with what I had
in my pockets but I think
this will interest you.
There our messages and
the replies, all of them.
The ones that weren't decoded, too.
Then you did pick up Mars.
How else could you get these?
When did you hear from Mars last?
Nine days ago, wasn't it?
A little after eight o'clock.
Now, you figure the difference in time
and you'll find it was about half an hour
before my set was smashed.
I don't believe it.
How slow you were in
thinking up that pi formula.
And, the creation of a vocabulary.
Aren't you grateful that
I made it so easy for you?
Here you were, the whole mobilized science
of the world behind you.
And, there was I, alone,
giving you answers.
You sent the messages.
The whole thing was a fraud.
That credit I will share with you.
Why? What were you after?
Shall we say
You thought you'd created a new Earth.
And, I destroy it.
A new heaven.
And, that I shall destroy.
Once my story is told.
You can't do it.
You can see the possibilities
for entertainment, huh?
Listen to me, Mr. Calder.
I've two children over there in that house
and I'm just one of millions.
Millions of women that,
for the first time,
know their children are secure.
You can't destroy that!
Paradise lost, Mrs.
Cronyn, paradise lost.
That's my present to the world.
He's lying, Linda.
Those messages were from Mars.
They came from outside the atmosphere.
You take me for an amateur, huh?
But, I shot my signals up
to hit the heavy side layer.
They deflected down at any angle.
Naturally, they seem to come
from outside the atmosphere.
Once I detected your
signals, the rest was easy.
I could accomplish much more
making you believe I was Mars
than ever getting past myself.
- Chris.
- [Chris] What is it?
He did not send the religious messages.
Of course I didn't, you know that.
What do you mean?
Here are his messages.
The very first few as we received them.
But, when we asked how
they've kept themselves
from blowing each other
to bits, his answer was
one tribe must hold the power.
It had nothing to do with
the sermon on the mountain.
It was the prophet talking to us.
The prophet.
Clever of you to create him.
You played right into my hands.
I smashed your economic
system with a power panic.
But, that still left my friends in Moscow.
I had to smash them, too.
From my hut, I could see
the statue of Christ.
I never thought of using him against them.
Thank you for that idea.
They must have been desperate.
Carey, Sparks, all of them.
They must have done this in Washington.
Darling, you were there.
You spoke with Sparks and the President.
Did you think they were play acting?
I don't know, I don 't know.
Who did it was immaterial.
When I saw the effect on Moscow,
I knew you had created my weapon for me.
That's why I let you raise the world up
with all that muck.
Right up to the sky.
So, I can dash it down to
hell when I tell my story.
You can't do it, Calder.
Who's to stop me?
He had his chance nine days ago.
If I hadn't dug myself out.
You'd have gotten away with your fraud.
It was no fraud.
You'd have won.
It was no fraud.
You don't expect me to believe
those messages were not faked.
We expect you to believe the truth.
Just the way the rest
of the world believes.
Just the way we believe.
But, here is my proof.
There have been no messages
since my transmitter was shattered.
How will you explain that
to the world, Mr. Cronyn.
Sermon on the mountain.
Peace on Earth.
No, Mrs. Cronyn.
You are not dealing with
a superstitious peasant.
If those first messages were
faked, the last were, too.
The world will believe me.
Just as your husband believes me.
And then, you'll all be at
each other's throats again.
All of you.
And, I'll have done it.
Better to reign in hell
than serve in heaven.
My favorite poem, Mrs. Cronyn.
The Unconquerable Will.
And, Study of Revenge.
Immortal hate
and courage never to submit or yield.
That's my God, Mrs. Cronyn.
Lucifer's my hero.
God beat him.
But, I'll have beaten God.
And, nothing will convince you?
It's 8:26 according to your clock.
I sent a telegram with your name.
Inviting the press to be here at 8:30.
I wanted to wait a few minutes
before they hear my story.
Why didn't you tell it right away?
Why did you come here to torture us?
Suppose someone had stolen
the fruits of your genius,
wouldn't you want to see
them humbled in the dust?
It doesn't matter.
You go back to the house.
Do you remember what you said to me
the night of the first message?
Nothing I was connected
with could produce evil.
It won't, Chris.
We'll finish it together.
I want you with the boys.
It'll only take a minute.
Is that what you really want?
I love you, darling.
You do think me a fool.
You think I let you walk out of here
to call those timered guards of yours?
What's the matter, man, cheer up.
The reporters will be
here in a few minutes.
You like publicity don't you?
Two minutes before they get here.
(somber music)
Give me a cigarette, Chris.
I can't go through
with it, Lin, not now.
The boys are safe, this is their chance.
Give me the cigarette.
In all the years, I've
never seen you smoke.
You're not going to smoke in here.
God gave us free will, Mr. Calder.
It's what distinguishes
us from the animals.
We can choose between good and evil.
But, if we choose evil now.
That's the end of the human story.
Can't let you do it.
Stay where you are.
It's a simple problem,
isn't it, Mr. Calder?
To let you tell your story
and risk setting mankind at
each other's throats again.
Or, to see that you keep
silent and save mankind.
The valve.
Give me a light.
Don't, don't.
The room's alive with hydrogen.
A spark now would...
Stop, stop, you wouldn't kill your wife.
Chris, look.
(suspenseful music)
Now, will you believe?
Your set's destroyed.
But, there's a message coming in.
There's your proof.
No, not now.
He won't
beat me now.
(gun fires)
We do not know, and never shall,
what caused the destruction
of that laboratory
in California?
We only know that Chris
and Linda Cronyn are gone.
And, that in our time, there
will be no more messages
from Mars.
For God and his infinite wisdom
has decreed that the revelations
which came through them, his servants,
were sufficient to fulfill his purpose.
At the very moment when
they were snatched up
in that chariot of fire,
into the bosom of truth everlasting,
a final message was being received.
Only the first few words of
that message were recorded
before the explosion cut it short.
Those words were, "Ye have
done well, my good...".
The rest is silence.
No, for as I speak, the
bells of a million churches
in every far corner of the earth
ring out in salutation to
the earth's new day of hope.
The voices of the joyful
rise in a thousand hymns.
not of grief
but of thanksgiving.
And, mankind, kneeling in
gratitude for its redemption,
praise the spirit of
this man and this woman.
Of them, as of no mortals before them,
it may be said,
the whole Earth is their sepulcher.
And so, the message does
not remain unfinished.
The miracle we have beheld
has cleansed our souls
and wiped the scales from our eyes.
With the new vision given us,
we, who are left,
can complete that message.
"Ye have done well,"
"good and faithful servants."
Enter ye
into the joy of your lord.
Thy monument
is a world of peace.
You're lucky boys.
You're their sons.