Sunday, September 15, 2013

'Just Imagine' A Prelude to Flash Gordon on Film- Pt 3 Conclusion

In this, the final part of our look at the first talkie sci-fi movie 'Just Imagine' the hero, J-21, decides to prove himself by being the first person to fly to Mars.

When his girlfriend, LN-18, learns of this she rushes off to meet the rocket

Our first on-screen glimpse of the full-sized rocket that would later become an icon of sci-fi on the screen.

In this view you can clearly see how the rocket is pointed skyward by being raised on struts. This convention would not be used for the Flash Gordon serials.

LN-18 wings her way to the launch site

The scientist Z-4 talks to the crew, J-21 and RT-42 prior to take off

LN-18 spies the rocket from overhead

The crowd anxiously awaits

LN-18 lands and attempts to stop the ship from taking off.


You can just see LN-18 running towards the ship

Back then one could stand just feet away from a rocket blast and still remain standing!

The first interior shots of Z-4s rocket ship. The interior would change dramatically for the Flash Gordon serials

Single-O is a stowaway

Another interior shot

Our heroes leave planet Earth behind...

 ...and reach Mars in only one month!

Coming in for a landing

Notice they have to stand on the cargo hold to look out of the port

The first look at Mars as imagined on the big screen

An alien creature (a dog in make-up)

A successful landing. No helmets, no spacesuits. Mars must be a nice place.

Turning the ship around for take-off later. Another series of events not repeated in the Flash Gordon serials... was pushing the forward wing back in! 

As the crew prepare the ladder for entry into the craft later, the struts are slowly raising the ship to take-off configuration

The strange hand weapons seen here being held by JR-21 and RT-42 would re-appear in the first Flash Gordon serial


The greeting 'committee'...

...shows them to the Martian city

...where they meet Queen LooLoo...

 ...and King Loko

A Martian opera

Queen Looloo and King Loko's evil twins King Boko and Queen BooBoo plot to kidnap the Earthings


...and brought to the evil Martian city

Queen BooBoo is not a friendly person!

...nor is King Boko

The footage from these scenes would be re-used in the first Flash Gordon serial

Our heroes escape in a madcap way taking with them as a hostage the evil King Boko

Escape from Mars

Spotters on Earth locate the ship

Our heroes triumphant return

They bring Boko to the marriage tribunal where JR-21 proves he's been to Mars and shows the judges how to control a Martian...

Simply pinch his earlobe...

...and he's down for the count LOL

JR-21, having proven himself, gets permission to marry his sweetheart LN-18...

...and Single-O meets the son he hasn't seen in 50 years!

Happy Ending!