Cheesy, shlocky and campy as it is, I suppose that 1951's "Flight to Mars" still has a claim to historical relevance. According to one of my film Bibles, "The Psychotronic Encyclopedia," it was "the first space-flight movie in color." But hey, wait a minute...what about "Destination Moon," made the year before? Better make that "one of the first..." Anyway, in this one, newsman Cameron Mitchell tags along with four scientists (one of them the obligatory hotty female scientist) on the first, uh, flight to Mars. The group's members wear bomber jackets and wide-brimmed hats, more suitable for a fishing expedition, and, during liftoff, strap themselves into blanketed cots. After toughing it out through a meteor storm (that looks like a bunch of orange dots), our Earth band finds the remnants of an underground Martian civilization, whose remaining members attempt to steal the Earth ship so as to evacuate their dying planet. Luckily, for the male Terran viewer, some of these Martians are leggy, miniskirted and babelicious; one of them is even named Aelita, in a not-so-subtle homage to the 1924 Russian sci-fi classic "Aelita, Queen of Mars." The sets and FX on display here, it must be said, range from imaginative and impressive to slapdash and laughable. (It's hard to believe that "Forbidden Planet," one of the real sci-fi champs, with its superb FX, was made a scant five years later!) The film's Cinecolor looks just fine on the DVD that I just watched, but the source print itself has been badly damaged, with many words missing. A somewhat tense finale, unfortunately, is also marred by a too abrupt ending. All in all, a mixed bag that should still be of interest to fans of '50s sci-fi. Oh, by the way: Cameron Mitchell reveals, in one of the DVD's extras, that this movie was filmed in just five days! Maybe they should have taken six.