Film (1913). UK Films. Dir J. Wallett Waller, starring Charles Hawtrey, E. Holman Clark, Chrissie Bell. Scenario Waller, based on the play A Message from Mars (1899) by Richard Ganthony. 60 mins, cut to 54 mins. B/w.
   This moral fable about a messenger sent from Mars to help bring humans - especially the selfish Horace Parlan - to their senses was based on a remarkably successful and long-running play, and the film version was actually made in the theatre with the same actors. The story is very similar to that of Scrooge being redeemed by the ghosts in Charles DICKENS's A Christmas Carol (1843); very little is made of the aliennature of the Martian, who is more like an angel. An earlier film version of the same play was made in 1909 in New Zealand, probably much shorter; the details and the film itself have been lost. A later (1921) US version (Metro, 69 mins, cut to 63 mins), dir Maxwell Karger, gives the events ofthe story a dream framework. A novelized version of the play is A Message from Mars * (1912) by Lester LURGAN, the 2nd edn of which was illustrated by stills from the film.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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