Abbott & Costello Go to Mars

1953

Lester and Orville accidentally launch a rocket which is supposed to fly to Mars. Instead it goes to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. They are then forced by bank robber Mugsy and his pal Harry to fly to Venus where they find a civilization made up entirely of women, men having been banished.

Cast:
Bud Abbott .... Lester
Lou Costello .... Orville
Mari Blanchard .... Allura
Robert Paige .... Doctor Wilson
Horace McMahon .... Mugsy
Martha Hyer .... Janie
Jack Kruschen .... Harry
Joe Kirk .... Dr. Orvilla
Jean Willes .... Captain Olivia
Anita Ekberg .... Venusian Guard
James Flavin .... First Policeman in Bank
Jackie Loughery .... Venusian Guard (Miss U.S.A.)
Ruth Hampton .... Handmaiden (Miss New Jersey)
Valerie Jackson .... Handmaiden (Miss Montana)
Renate Hoy .... Handmaiden (Miss Germany)
Jeanne Thompson .... Handmaiden (Miss Louisiana)
Jeri Miller .... Venusian Guard (Miss Long Beach)
Judy Hatula .... Guard (Miss Michigan)
Elsa Edsman .... Handmaiden (Miss Hawaii)

Mari Blanchard

Born in April 1927 (some sources cite 1932 as her date of birth), California native Mari Blanchard was a beautiful blonde actress who almost exclusively appeared in B movies. She trained from childhood for a dancing career, but she suffered from a bout severe polio at age nine and it took three years before she was able to walk again. She ran away to join the Cole Brother Circus at the age of 17. There she rides elephants and performs on the trapeze. Finally, her mother calls her home. She attends Santa Barbara State College, UCLA and USC to study international law , bt between studies, she models for a Los Angeles swimsuit company. Shortly before receiving her degree in international law from USC, she goes to New York to seek employment in the international trade business ? signs with the Conover Model Agency. She is spotted by cartoonist Al Capp and becomes the inspiration for Stupefying Jones in his Lil Abner comic strip. Capp sends her on a nationwide publicity tour to promote Sadie Hawkins Day. In the late 1940s, Blanchard had been a successful print model, and her beautiful features made her a natural for films. In 1950, Blanchard was discovered by a producer who had seen her in a bubble bath ad. Blanchard soon found success as an actress as well. From 1951 to 1952, she took small roles in a number of films at MGM, RKO, and Paramount, until she was signed by Universal-International in 1952. Her first film at the studio was Back at the Front (1952). Throughout her film career, Blanchard excelled at playing bad girls. Possessed of a striking but somewhat synthetic beauty, Mari was most effectively cast as tarts, homewreckers, and other assorted villainesses. Her most prolific work was in tongue-in-cheek exotic roles, such as the Queen of Venus in Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953) and the Arabian princess in Son of Sindbad (1955). In 1960, Mari appeared as hotel-owner Kate O'Hara in the shortlived TV series Klondike, but was dropped from the project when it switched formats in 1961 and was retitled Acapulco. Mari Blanchard's last screen appearance was in 1963, where she was billed twenty-fourth as the likeable town madam in John Wayne's McClintock. Blanchard retired, acting in only a few TV programs in the late 1960s. She was diagnosed with cancer at this time and, after a long struggle, passed away at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital at age 43 in May 1970.

Martha Hyer

Martha Hyer was born on 10 August 24 is born in Ft. Worth, Texas, to Agnes Barnhart and Julien C. Hyer, Texas state senator and international president of the Lions Clubs. He will later become Judge Advocate with the Fifteenth Army, setting up the war crime trials in Germany. She was 11 when she first appeared in a film entitled THUNDER MOUNTAIN in 1935. For the next eleven years she would go back to the important task of growing up. Martha Hyer enrolled atFairfax Hall Junior College for Girls in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia then on to Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois where she majored in speech and drama. Her work at the Pasadena Playhouse led to a 1946 contract with RKO. Once she finished her formal schooling, Martha played a bit role in 1946's THE LOCKET. Slowly, Martha began picking up roles with more and more substance. The best years for the beautiful actress began in 1954 when she played in films such as DOWN THREE DARK STREETS (1954), SHOWDOWN AT ABILENE (1956), and BATTLE HYMN (1957). Perhaps the best role of her long career was as Gwen French, the prim small schoolteacher, in 1958's SOME CAME RUNNING in which she starred opposite Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Shirley MacLaine. As a result of her stellar role, Martha received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress, but she lost out to Wendy Hiller in SEPARATE TABLES. Martha has also played "hot to trot" roles in films like Pyro (1966) and spoiled-little-rich-girl types in films such as The Happening (1967). She did made a handful of foreign films, returning to appear in the US from time to time, but nothing compared to the pace she had in the fifties. Her last film was in 1973 in the film DAY OF THE WOLVES. In 1966 she married producer, Hal B.Wallis and remained with him until his death in 1986. Martha Hyer has set forth her life story in the 1990 autobiography Finding My Way.

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