Hi there and welcome!
So, I guess you’re asking – why a site devoted to the making of Saturn 3?
After all – wasn’t it awful?
Well, truth be told, the film has always held a peculiar fascination for me.
Call it a guilty pleasure if you will.
I had been putting together an extended post about the behind the scenes debacle which culminated in the cult classic 1980 sci-fi movie and had planned to post the article on my other movie review blog MOSSFILM http://mossfilm.wordpress.com/ But having spent weeks researching it (research based on magazine articles from the day and various other sources) it has blown out to a whopping 7,000 words (!) – so I’ve decided to dedicate another site entirely to this much maligned and derided, but fascinating production.
(oh yeah, and in case you’re wondering, the site takes its name from the film’s original tag line – ‘Some THING Is Wrong On Saturn 3’)
There has been so much speculation and false information about this troubled movie on the web – that I’ve taken it upon myself to delve into it ‘archaeologiclly’ and will hopefully provide the first truly comprehensive re-telling of exactly what went wrong.
(to the best of my current knowledge)
My aim with this site is to not only offer a place for fans to gather and hang out – but to also provide a serious forum for anyone who can offer verifiable information on the making of the film – and hopefully attract insight from people who actually worked on it.
(well, that’s the idea anyway)
Consider it an exercise in ‘cinematic archaeology’ – if you like.
So please, if you do have any comments or suggestions or would like to contribute factual and accurate information (from reliable sources) with regard to Saturn 3, or even just want to say hi – feel free to drop me an email at the address below:
Greg Moss is a film school graduate with a background in directing music videos and is currently seeking representation as a screenwriter. He likes creative people, feeding the cat and watching genre movies.
Saturn Survey logo rendered by Andrew Glazebrook
Thanks so much for this site! It answered a lot of questions I’ve had for a while, after seeing the movie years and years ago on TV. Hopefully a ‘director’s cut’ style dvd or blu-ray will be released with the missing scenes and soundtrack. It’s a great movie!
Cheers Johnny. I’m pleased you like the site! I agree – it would be fantastic if a remastered director’s cut were released on dvd or blu-ray. I’m guessing it will only be a matter of time. Thanks for commenting!
Great site! Thanks for taking the time to put this together!
Cheers Lee! It’s all good fun. Thanks for commenting!
I’ll also chime in and offer my thanks for the site. For some reason, I was reminded of Saturn 3–a film I desperately wanted to see when it was released, but was too young to attend–and went out a-searchin’ in Google country to find out more. Luckly, I found both your site and a fun little retro blog (http://space1970.blogspot.com/) that just happened to have an article about the upcoming Blu-ray, expected this (2013) December.
Your thorough research has already paid dividends, in that I was able to use your factual accounting of John Barry’s departure to explain that it was the old “creative differences” and not his terminal meningitis that led to his departure.
Again, thanks for the site. I’m dearly hoping that the Blu-ray from SHOUT! Factory not only presents the best possible print of the film, but that they might even be able to shine some light on the deleted scenes you’ve detailed here. (That perhaps is asking too much, but I’d very much like to see the excised teaching sequence between Adam and Hector.) Fingers crossed.
Thanks! Yeah, I guess my main objective with this site is to set the record straight as far as John Barry’s departure goes. And highlight the fact that the term ‘creative differences’ was really just a smoke screen to conceal the awful treatment of Barry at the hands of Kirk Douglas.
Thanks again for your comments – it’s feedback like yours which makes this all worthwhile!
But what does the ending mean with farrah on the space liner and the brooding foreboding music mean*?!! Is it happy or bad for farrah, I don’t get it!!
I guess it’s open to interpretation – which is kinda’ why I like it. The screenplay ends with the following passage … ‘Alex looks again through the window. Many emotions flicker across her face: fear, hope, resolve, elation. She tightens her lips, spurring herself on.’
So I guess the answer is … all of the above!
I would totally kill for a Hector Figure. the sets, and design were excellent. One of my fave movies. Also, I made a techno/garage mix years ago. http://youtu.be/mPImhfrpeCQ feel free to link and download!
Cheers Paul. Great stuff! – I’ve put up a link to it on the youtube links page.
Having seen Saturn 3 on its opening weekend (with my parents because I was 14, did not know about the quick nude scene..awkward sitting next to your mom!) I can’t wait for my Blu Ray this week. Does any of the original Harvey Keitel dialogue exist anywhere?
Thanks for commenting Jeffrey! I don’t know if any of Keitel’s original dialogue exists anywhere. As this was the first time I had seen Keitel in a movie – and I didn’t actually get to see another movie with his real voice for some years later, I was under the impression this was how he spoke – or at least – he was doing an mid-atlantic accent. I can’t wait to see what Roy Dotrice has to say about this. Two days to go!
Wonderful site! I am trying to track down information regarding the plastic pallet floor panels from Alien, Star Wars, etc. do you have any information on who the original manufacturer was?
Hi Ward – thanks for your query! Unfortunately I don’t have any information on the manufacturer of the Star Wars pallets. But prop collector Craig Spivey (who contributed info on them to the site) might know. You’ll be able to contact Craig here via his own site …
Hope this helps.
Just came across your website last nite, and must say it is quite interesting. I saw Saturn 3 only once years ago on HBO, and now I think I am interested in seeing it again. I do remember that the press at the time of it’s release was making something of a big deal of Farrahs very brief nudie scene.
By the way, have you ever read a sci fi short story by author Alfred Bester titled Fondly Farenheit? It was written back in the 1950’s and tells the story of a man and his servant robot who have some kind of mental link. One of them is a homicidal maniac. Perhaps this was one source of inspiration for the movie. If you get the chance, it is well worth reading.
Hey – thanks for the heads-up!
Yeah, I love Bester’s ‘The Stars My Destination’ and only just realized I also have a 1968 edition of a collection of short stories called ‘Starburst’ sitting on my shelf – which includes ‘Fondly Farenheit’! I just finished reading it based on your recommendation – and yeah – there is certainly a similarity! Perhaps Martin Amis (being a sci-fi enthusiast when he was younger) read that particular story. Thanks again for bringing it to my attention.
Hi Greg, brilliant cinematic sluthing here. I just stumbled across your site as I was looking into doing some research on this strange sci-fi film for my own pleasure, not sure I need to go further now as you’ve done such a great job ^_^ I never knew about Farrah’s Barbarella knock off costume!
I’ve watched the film a few times and think it has some great scenes and ideas, but the cast are so difficult to believe and clunky as Hector. It’s so strange that they would redub Harvey Keitel as I think he looks great in the film and does a very good performance.
Hector himself is really difficult to look at sometimes, almost over designed perhaps.
I found a really good quote from Mark Hamill concerning John Barry in John Brosnan’s ‘The primal screen’ book on Sci-Fi film history (p207):
‘He’d started working on Empire on the proviso that if he got the chance to direct Saturn 3 he would leave and do it. And the he did get the chance so he left, but then all that junk happened to him – he had such an awful time on Saturn 3 – and he came back to us. He was all excited at getting into directing the Second Unit and then suddenly we lost him. It was a horrible experience for all of us because he was such a nice guy.’
Many thanks again for creating such a good archive and a very neat summary, I really enjoyed reading it.
Thanks for your kind words, Kai. It means a lot to me receiving such nice feedback. And thanks so much for the Mark Hamill quote. I’ll definitely be adding it to the article (with a little thank you at the end). It’s quite clear John Barry was well liked by many people – which makes his passing all the more sad. And I understand John Brosnan was a big supporter of Saturn 3 – as he named it his favorite sci-fi film of 1980 in his column in Starburst Magazine back in the day. This is something of a surprise considering just how caustic and unforgiving he could be towards many sci-fi and horror films of the time.
Thank you for this site. i loved the movie in the 80’s and seen it at the theater when i snuck in with my friend. got the famous monster issue as well. now i need the soundtrack. thanks again…( i love all sci-fi..classic , campy , home made..whatever.) there close to the heart of the great days.
Congratulation for your excellent website upon this remarkable movie!
It’s one of the most marking movies I’ve ever watched since I watched the movie when I was very young (between 5 and 10…). Great suspense and great subject (with a philosophical dimension).
In reality, the moon Saturn 3 is the icy moon Tethys and not Titan which has an atmosphere. The probe Voyager I visited the Saturn System in 1980 and it is in 1980 that this movie was released.
Really surprised by the surprising feed back I sometimes see regarding this “out of this world” movie!!!
Always inspired by this movie in my astronomical activities…
Thanks Marc. Yeah – I’m constantly amazed just how accurate the filmmaker’s portrayal of Tethys is – especially in comparison with later images from the Cassini probe. So pleased you like the site. 🙂
You’re absolutely right Greg,
That’s what I had in mind yesterday.They were visionaries!!!
I noticed they released it at the beginning of the year 1980 (february) even before the arrival of the Voyager I probe into the Saturn System.
Their representation of the landing site was very close to the real surface of Tethys indeed.
If you see Stanley Donen, you can tell him that his work is a great source of inspiration for me…
The guys at Oxford Scientific Films who were responsible for the Tethys arrival sequence clearly had inside knowledge (or at least a very good crystal ball) … 🙂
Hi there. Just want to thank you for taking the time to make this site. Saturn was always one of my favorite movies. I watched it for the first time when I was around 5 🙂 Recently I decided to learn 3ds max to make a Resident Evil 2 Remake mod to replace mr. X with Hector so if you don’t mind I will borrow some pics to help me recreate the bastard.
No worries, Frank. I don’t own the copyright on the pics, so go right ahead. I’d be interested in seeing the results. 🙂