Just Imagine


John Garrick
Maureen O'Sullivan
Kenneth Thompson
Wilfred Lucas
El Brendel
Frank Albertson
Hobart Bosworth

Directed by David Butler

Just Imagine ( 20th Century Fox 1930 ) was a lavish extravaganza of New York in 1980, a time when people have numbers instead of names, and food comes out of machines in the form of pills. Directed by David Butler, who also collaborated on the script with the three composers, the story line concerns J-21 ( John Garrick ) , a young transatlantic pilot, and his sweetheart, LN-18 ( Maureen O'Sullivan ) , who want to get married ; but such things are now decided by a marriage tribunal, and LN-18 is pledged to a weathy publisher, MT-3 ( Kenneth Thompson ). However, J-21 is given a probationary period to prove his worthiness. He meets a scientist, X-10 ( Wilfred Lucas ) , who has just revived a man from 1930 who was supposedly killed by lightning, but instead has been unconscious for 50 years. The sleeper El Brendel is assigned the name "Single-0", and J-21 and his pal MT-42 ( Frank Albertson ) , proceed to show him the sights of this brave new world. After some amusing reactions from Single-0 , they meet another scientist, Z-4 ( Hobart Bosworth ) , who has perfected an interplanetary rocket. J-21 agrees to fly the rocket to mars to prove himself worthy of LN-18 and does so, accompanied by RT-42 and Single-0 . On Mars, they find a primitive civilization of humans ruled over by a queen named Loo-Loo, who has an evil double named Boo-Boo ( both played by Joyzelle )--- in fact, all the Martians have doubles, one good, one bad. After a great deal of silly running around, Single-0 rescues his buddies from jail, where they have been tossed by the queen. They escape back to rocket, bringing a Martian with them to prove they made the journey, andJ-21 is a hero. The court rules in his favor and he gets to marry LN-18 in the best tradition of Hollywood musical hokum.

Even though this is a silly musical romp the picture remains worth seeing (once), for the Sci-Fi buff, because of the impressive but too brief scenes of the Metropolis like city of 1980 from the air. As the two lovers talk to each other from air-cars hovering over the 200-storey skyscrapers of tomorrow's New York, great expectations are raised in the viewer which are all too soon dispelled. The revival scene in the laboratory of X-10 is well done, and the rocket ship, which served as the prototype for the Flash Gordon's ship six years later, the rest is sadly lacking in imagination. Footage from this film, especially shots of the futuristic city, have often been used in other films, as in the 1939 Universal serial, Buck Rogers. So even though this a silly musical do try and see this flick even if its for a laugh .......