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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Conquest of Space (1 Viewer)

Scott Kimball

May 8, 2000

Conquest of Space

Studio: Paramount

Year: 1955

Rated: NR

Length: 80 minutes

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, anamorphically enhanced

Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

Subtitled in English, and Closed Captioned in English

Special Features: None

S.R.P. $14.99 USD

Release Date: October 19, 2004

George Pal’s production of Conquest of Space, based on the book by Chesley Bonestell and Willy Ley, is a wonderful trip down memory lane for those who enjoy old-style 50’s sci-fi films. The film is complete with cheesy, retro sets and stolid acting - just the way we like our old sci-fi flicks...

Here, the commander of a rushed flight to Mars endangers his crew as he cracks under the pressure. Delirious, he sabotages the spacecraft, threatening to leave the crew stranded on the red planet. It is up to the remaining crew to find a way to repair the damage in time to make their launch window to rendezvous with Earth.

Produced by George Pal (The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine) and directed by Byron Haskin (Treasure Island, Desperate Journey), the film illustrates that, all too often, it is human weakness that is the weak link in our technological and scientific advancement.

The film isn’t for everyone... and some find it a bit “preachy” at times - and it is. But that is part of its charm. Sci-fi fans will appreciate this far more than non-fans.

The Transfer
The film is displayed in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and is anamorphically enhanced.

The image displays a good level of detail. Grain is generally mild. color is well saturated, but some scenes display a slowly pulsating hue shift, which is mildly distracting.

Dust on the print is also a bit of a distraction, occurring with a fairly regular frequency - though I have seen worse.

The only audio option is a 2 channel Dolby Digital Monaural track. A mild hiss can be heard beneath the dialog and music, but it isn’t to the point of distraction at normal listening levels. Frequency response is acceptable for a source of this age, delivering fairly solid mid and high frequencies. Bass response is acceptable, though not strong.

Final Thoughts
Conquest of Space is a decent space disaster film from 1955 - but only sci-fi fans need apply... the transfer is okay for a film of its age.

Dave Scarpa

Senior HTF Member
Apr 8, 1999
Real Name
David Scarpa
This is on it's way to me I think I paid about $8 for it so I won't be complaining over a few dirt specks I'm just glad it's in OAR. Now if we could just get the Collassal Man series and the Shrinking Man.

John Sparks

Senior HTF Member
Sep 12, 2001
Menifee, CA
Real Name
John Sparks
Great review!

I always wanted to get it on LD, but it was only issued in Japan (I wonder why?) and they wanted alot for it.

Bert Greene

Apr 1, 2004
I'll be glad to see this film again. The last time I saw it was on an old "Dialing for Dollars" afternoon-movie, back in the mid-70s, when I was a kid. I'd just been thinking about it a few weeks ago, and how it had continued to elude me during all these intervening years.

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