The Silent Star

(Der schweigende Stern)

GDR/Poland, 1960, 95 min, Color
In German; English subtitles
Credits:
Director
Script
Dramaturg
Editor
Camera
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Cast
Production Company

Synopsis

The first science-fiction film brought out in East Germany, The Silent Star is based on Stanislaw Lem's mysterious novel, The Astronauts (1951). In it, an international expedition is sent to Venus to decipher a message found in the Gobi desert – and discovers it is a declaration of war on Earth.

 

This original and unedited version of the film is here available for the first time with English subtitles.

Commentary

The Silent Star has its own unique Cold War history. When it hit theaters during the US / USSR space race set off by the Sputnik launch, the movie was praised as a technical masterpiece. An altered version of the Polish/East German co-production then appeared in the US in 1962, under the title First Spaceship on Venus; dubbed and 15 minutes shorter, this version introduced new names, changed the dialogue and deleted important scenes and characters.

Awards

1964

Golden Spaceship, Triest Utopian Film Festival

Press comments

Listed in The New York Times feature, “Hailing the DVD Distributors: The Best Vault Raiders of 2005”

 

"The first influential post-war space opera from Eastern Europe."
Aurum Film Encyclopedia

 

"A critically acclaimed serious space film with good special effects ... Try and imagine a 1960 American movie with a black astronaut."
Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film

 

"A critically acclaimed science fiction film with a clear anti-nuclear statement and superb special effects."
Motion Pictures Guide

Availability

Special features:
  • Turn Subtitles On/Off
  • Historical Essay: "Socialists in Outer Space"
  • Biography of Director, Set Designer, and Special Effects Artist
  • Newsreels about the Film
  • East German Sci-Fi Trailers
  • Gallery of Set Designs

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