Monday, April 6, 2015

Movie Review - Just Imagine (1930)

It's 1980, as envisioned by the 1930 movie "Just Imagine". I watched this on the science fiction website, but you can watch it here.

It's an hour and 48 minutes long but it you skip the horrible musical numbers, it's a bearable length. Honestly, except for the music, I had a good time watching it.

Here's what 1980 looks like from 1930.

  • People don't have names, they have numbers.
  • If two guys want to marry the same girl, they have to settle it in court. The girl doesn't seem to have much say in the matter.
  • Nobody drives cars, instead they fly little one-seater airplanes.
  • They have video-screen, wall-mounted telephones.
  • Women can, by tugging at a few zippers, convert their daytime dress to evening wear
  • Scientists can bring a man who was dead for 50 years back to life
  • Food comes in little pills
  • Alcohol also comes in little pills and Prohibition is expected to be repealed any year now
The main story concerns poor J-21 who is in love with the lovely LN-18 (played by a 19-year-old Maureen O'Sullivan). Unfortunately, J-21's application to marry LN-18 has been turned down in favor of the smarmy MT-3, who the judge deems to be a better match for LN-18.  J-21 appeals and has 4 months to show he is the more distinguished man.

Then the movie veers into total insanity as J-21, who is an accomplished airline pilot, is given the opportunity to pilot a spaceship to Mars built by the famous inventor X-4. His best friend, RT-42 goes along for the ride. The guy who was dead for 50 years, whom J-21 and RT-42 had befriended,  stows away on the rocket ship.

Mars is populated mainly by scantily clad women, each of which has an evil twin (J-21 figures this out in an intuitive leap almost as long as the trip to Mars). They are welcomed by Queen Loo-Loo but then captured by her evil twin Queen Boo-Boo (I am not making this up).

Suffice it to say, they get away and arrive back on earth just in time for J-21 to get to the hearing for his appeal, which he, of course, wins.

Perhaps my favorite scene is when J-21 and LN-18 fly by each other over New York City. The planes have props in the front and wing mounted props so they can hover. They both pull over and hover together. Based on the apparent depth, I'd guess they are several hundred feet up. J-21 climbs out of his plane, walks across his wing, jumps over the LN-18's wing and they have a little chap. Eventually, a policeman, in what appears to be a flying cup, blows his whistle and yells that they're only allowed to park for 3 minutes.

By the way, Maureen O'Sullivan is as cute as a bug in this.

Maureen O'Sullivan is not Maureen O'Hara, which is who I was thinking of while I was watching the movie. She is probably most known for playing Jane in 6 Tarzan movies. She's also Mia Farrow's mother.

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