Skip to content

Star Trek : The Motion Picture (1979)

Do I consider myself a Trekkie?

Not really but yet…….. if I am it would only be in the universe of the original cast of Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley and company.

1979 --- Cast members on set of the 1979 film Star Trek: The Motion Picture include from left: George Takei, Stephen Collins, Persis Khambatta, Majel Barrett (in back), William Shatner, Grace Lee Whitney (in back), James Doohan, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Walter Koenig, and Nichelle Nichols. --- Image by © Steve Schapiro/Corbis

After a good twenty years I revisited the film that the fans demanded and falls under the category of an “odd number” in the series. For many fans the odds were never as good as the evens. Numbers 2,4 and 6 are generally regarded as better films then 1,3 and 5.

I do think there is some truth to that statement.

With the weight of director Robert Wise behind the camera, our disassembled crew reunites over the first half hour of a plot that could easily have fitted into a 50 minute episode in the original sixties series. That’s probably one of the biggest beefs many had with this film upon it’s original release. That and it goes for a philosophical story as opposed to an action story. I don’t believe I saw a phaser set on stun let alone kill the entire film. As a matter of fact I don’t think I even saw a phaser!

star-trek-the-motion-picture

If we stick to the banter of the crew as they take the enterprise out of dry dock you’ll be sure to smile. Especially when DeForest Kelley makes his entrance as the cantankerous ship’s doctor “Bones” McCoy. And let’s not forget James Doohan as Scotty and his never ending problems with trying to keep the Enterprise sea worthy. Behind William Shatner, the crew on board are leading the starship towards an entity large in scope that is absorbing everything in it’s path. Earth appears to be next.

william-shatner-as-admiral-james-t-kirk-in

I must admit to liking the mystery of the film and just who or what is VGER. Thankfully our good Vulcan Spock essayed once again by Leonard Nimoy gave up his sabbatical on his home planet and rejoined the Enterprise where he was needed most. What would the scriptwriters do if they didn’t have the chance to inject some humor into the proceedings through the constant war of words between Nimoy and Kelley? Their banter was always one of the highlights of the original series.

I always had the feeling that this film was partly looked upon by Paramount as an opportunity to say,”look what we can do” in the effects department. This revisit did nothing to change that. It’s the main reason the film is over two hours in length. It’s not only a love-in for the fans to see their screen heroes back in action (though there is none) but to overwhelm us with some really well done space shots and light shows.

trek5

Joining the crew in this outing are Stephen Collins and Persis Khambatta. Collins I always found a weak character and hard to warm up to. Seeing this as a kid years ago he was an easy mark to pick on. I still don’t like him in this film. As for our bald lady, Persis has the advantage of being an android of sorts so she gets to play the role in a one dimensional style which I suspect may have played to her strengths.

persis

The “bald lady” had all the young boys tongues waving back in the day. As far as I can recall she was pretty much a first on camera sporting the Yul Brynner look.

Not seeing this film in quite some time, I didn’t find it played as slow as I recalled and I was amused to find myself saying a few of the lines right along with the crew. I surprised myself there as the words came back to me as if they were a nursery rhyme that I had recited as a kid. Truth is I probably had seen this sci-fi extravaganza a number of times upon it’s release into the home video market on VHS. Back when we rented three films and a machine for the weekend. Believe me, those three films would get worn out.

What prompted my revisit to the original crews first big screen outing?

Simple, I added an original 1979 movie poster to my collection recently. I just might be the envy of thousands of Trekkie fans across the Universe.

20151206_161203

11 Comments »

  1. Amusingly enough, a chunk of the effects were done relatively last minute or over the course of a few months and if I’m not mistaken, by a different team that started the project. A few of the visuals got a nice CG upgrade later on when the film hit Blu-Ray and certain parts were expanded (the Vulcan planet sequence, for example)

  2. Very underrated entry in the series. I still think it is the only Trek movie that feels like the old TV series. Roddenberry’s participation made all the difference, I think. Starfleet is supposed to be an evolution of NASA, but starting with STII, the whole thing feels more like the NAVY. I also think the film’s central idea is very Roddenberrian. The parallels between the mystery and Spock’s inner struggles are beautifully handled. BTW, Robert Wise reedited for DVD and that’s the best version (136 min.). PS I want that poster! 😉

    • That is the version I watched. I found it far better than I recall after too many years of a generally negative overview by most. Feeds on you so glad I rewatched it. You’ll be my first contact should I ever sell. 🙂

  3. I see on reading this that maybe the copy I watched might of had a re-jig. It did look fantastic.
    First lady Yul I can think of has to be Maggie Mcomie in THX 1138.
    I do like all things Trek but safe to say I’m not a trekkie. Saying that I’m very much looking forward to trying the new series when it gets released this year. Star Trek Discovery but that’s mainly because it stars Michelle Yeoh and that wonderful movable alien, fantasy horror shapeshifter, the awesome Doug Jones.
    Yep big kudos on the poster, very iconic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

CINESPIRIA

Shining a light on the deep recesses of film history

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"For me, cinema is a vice. I love it intimately." Fritz Lang

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

CINESPIRIA

Shining a light on the deep recesses of film history

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"For me, cinema is a vice. I love it intimately." Fritz Lang

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

%d bloggers like this: