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File:JustImagine still e524a 2385.jpg


 Buildings 250 stories high!…traffic on nine levels…rockets that shoot from star to star…airplanes that land on the roofs of buildings…a whole meal in a capsule that can be swallowed in one gulp… No -- this isn't a Jules Verne dream induced by a Welsh rarebit. It's New York in 1980, as foretold in the new Fox picture, "Just Imagine!"

 -- '"Photoplay", November 1930

A big budget Science Fiction musical comedy, featuring the most impressive special effects seen up to that time. The animated model of New York was large enough to fill a zeppelin hanger and cost a quarter million dollars to build -- and this during the Great Depression!

Unfortunately it was a complete flop.

In the distant future of 1980 marriages must be approved by the courts, based on ones' value to society. J-21 can't get permission to wed the beautiful LN-18 as his rival, the wealthy and arrogant MT-3, is more socially prominent. J-21 appeals the decision and is given six months to distinguish himself. As scientist Z-4 has just invented a Rocket Plane (e.g. spacecraft) J-21 volunteers to be the first man to fly it to Mars. His anachronistic friend Single-0 stows away on the Interplanetary Voyage in order to provide Comic Relief.

The film has the following tropes:

  • Aliens Speaking English: Averted, as communication with the Martians is done via pantomime and body language.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Likely why the film flopped. Yes it's a musical, but Just Imagine is let down by its tendency to stop for songs and vaudeville routines that have nothing to do with the plot. This might be excusable if there were some nice toe-tapping tunes among them, but none of the songs are that good.
  • Camp Gay: The Martian king.

 "She's not the Queen -- he is!"

 "The Martian costumes could start new fashion trends if this got widely shown. Lightning bolts, spikes and metallic print bikinis mixed with ridiculous wigs and eye make-up are part of the wackiest outfits in film history." (Michael Weldon).

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