Star Trek: The Motion Picture 40th Anniversary

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ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Today marks the 40th Anniversary of the original release of my favorite Star Trek film: Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

It truly blows my mind that the film is now this old. I remember growing up and hearing about the 50th anniversary of films like Gone With The Wind or The Wizard of Oz; movies that indeed appeared to be as old in presentation as their age and far removed from movies in the modern era.


A victim of its own time (during the immediate post-Star Wars era of action-oriented science fiction cinema. One critic even derided the film for specifically not having a “Darth Vader-like villain”) the film has slowly experienced a renaissance with fans as the truly cinematic version of Star Trek with a huge scope, outstanding design-work, great acting, breathtaking visuals, a compelling story and characters, and one of the most beautiful scores in all of cinema. We will never see its like again in the franchise, I believe.

Robert Burnett produced ah excellent chat on the topic, this week:


There is also a very entertaining review done by Red Letter Media that is on-point with a lot of their observations:

 
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Sluis Van Shipyards

Legendary Member
For some reason I had never seen this up until a few years ago. I'd seen every other movie, just not the first. I heard it was bad, but I liked it. My only complaint was the awful (IMO) uniforms.
 

ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
For some reason I had never seen this up until a few years ago. I'd seen every other movie, just not the first. I heard it was bad, but I liked it. My only complaint was the awful (IMO) uniforms.

I’m probably in the minority on this topic, but I love the TMP pajamas and I find the TMP Class B / Short-sleeved uniform to be the most comfortable looking uniform variant that the franchise ever produced.

I would much rather wear this uniform...

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...than any of these hot and uncomfortable looking multi-layered garments...

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Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I was at the Premiere on Dec.6 and the after party at the Air and Space museum

It was a rainy night and it didn’t get any better after that.

I thought it was absolutely dreadful and was horrified by what I had just seen even though I was somewhat prepared for it as I was in the Rec deck scene.

The best part of the night was talking to Jimmy Doohan and him telling me he had fallen asleep at the Premiere to which I replied “You Too?! “ :D

While I have grown to accept and even like it, I will never forget the sheer disapointment and heart break of that night
 

dbuck

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
We had opening night tickets 50 miles away, my dad had bought tickets well ahead of time (the first time I’d ever heard of that)
We were all thrilled and disappointed at the same time, it seemed a rehash of The Changeling, and needed more oomph, but man was it nice to see the gang back together.
The Klingons did not need to look so drastically different. (at first sight I thought ‘are those Klingons....really’?) And when the fellow gasps and says ‘Its 82 AU’s across’ or something.......no one knows what a friggin AU is. I do, but I studied astronomy. (The novelization was surprisingly good and filled in some blanks, but that should never need to happen)
While we all loved the beauty shots of the Enterprise as it felt like going home again, it went on fooooooooorever.

Yet, later on with VHS we rewatched it and it always got better with each viewing. Yeah, it still needs some trimming, the directors cut that came out later is an improvement.
it‘s not perfect, but I love it more now than ever. Perhaps only through the blinders of nostalgia, but so be it. If it ever plays in a cinema near me I’d go.
 

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ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I thought it was absolutely dreadful and was horrified by what I had just seen even though I was somewhat prepared for it as I was in the Rec deck scene.

I would love to hear more about what your experience was like being involved in the filming of the Rec Deck scene. That is so awesome.
 

patrickivan

Sr Member
Damn.

I remember going to the 25th-anniversary movie marathon that included a sneak preview of TUC in 91. TMP was only 12 years old then!

It was the last time I saw it in a cinema (in Toronto). It was awesome because EVERYONE there wanted to be there. FIVE Star Trek movies in a row with the TUC teaser, and all fans. Of course, the laughs at some things like Kirk neeeeeeeding Bones when we arrived on the Enterprise. But no groans that I can recall, and no mocking. I think there was one intermission for lunch.

And now TMP Is 40 years old. It's hard evolving with cinematic styles and then going back to watch older and older movies. And while some things about TMP really piss me off, overall, it's a decent movie for fans. I'd have no issue with an updated version that cut some scenes down or out (except the Enterprise flyby! I ******* love that scene and relish every second with its orchestral accompaniment). Change some lines around, and background effects. Though I 100% appreciate the extraordinary work they did for the time.

Happy Birthday TMP! And happy birthday to the best damned Movie version of any Enterprise shown on the big screen!
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I was lucky enough not having to “Audition” to get in on the shoot.

Just went in and got fitted for my Costume on the day of the filming and we all stood around a lot and waited for the cameras to roll, typical of the Movie business.

A lot of people got moved around much to their dismay but everybody was just happy to be there

The fans on the balcony were disappointed as they were way in the back but at the end of the day everybody was dismissed except them, they were to come back the next day for close-up shots which ended up on the cutting room floor.

Some of us jokingly?, yeah right! , were trying to figure out how to “walkoff” the lot with our costumes

It was definitely an experience I was lucky and grateful to have !

I would love to hear more about what your experience was like being involved in the filming of the Rec Deck scene. That is so awesome.
 

Laspector

Master Member
I remember reading in Starlog all about that rec room scene and all the fans and writers they got. Very cool that you were one of them!
 

Marv

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Fantastic and clever film I think by giving something relateable with vger, then everything after Wrath is simply horribly dated.
 

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Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I do think folks that haven't should check out Bob Wise's 20th anniversary Director's Edition. One of the biggest issues with TMP was always the unfinished FX work that impacted Wise's editing window. He wasnt able to tighten things up or intercut the way he might have wanted, and the result was really... long... shots... But what he and Foundation Imaging did was brilliant. I don't agree with all the tweaks, but it's a much more watchable film in this form.
 

ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Here are some excellent videos that I recommend covering the 40th anniversary of this film:



 
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NakedMoleRat

Master Member
Loved the fact that I was getting new Trek. As an 11 year old it blew me away. Pretty much anytime I try to watch it now I fall asleep.

However, they manage to spend over two hours of nothing but dialog and it didn’t feel preachy.
 

The Brahma Bull

Sr Member
Loved the fact that I was getting new Trek. As an 11 year old it blew me away. Pretty much anytime I try to watch it now I fall asleep.

However, they manage to spend over two hours of nothing but dialog and it didn’t feel preachy.
Always felt like a over two hour long average episode of TNG, DS9 or VOY. So pretty much unwatchable.
 

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goldcylon

Sr Member
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Loved the fact that I was getting new Trek. As an 11 year old it blew me away. Pretty much anytime I try to watch it now I fall asleep.

However, they manage to spend over two hours of nothing but dialog and it didn’t feel preachy.
I get this. For me it was a THRILL just see anything new in the TREK universe finally make it the big screen. I too was happy to see the cast back and they were all in fit form.
 

The Brahma Bull

Sr Member
Wouldn't TNG, DS9 or Voyager feel more like TMP to you? Since TMP came first...

And do you actually like ANY Star Trek? You pretty my just dumped on 3 series and one movie in one comment. Remarkable.
I like things about Star Trek. I like The TOS Crew, Captain Picard, ENT and some Movies. I don't like the 24th century stuff and the unnatural behavior of nearly everyone in this shows.

I wasn't born when TMP was released. Grew up in the late 80s and 90s. So ST was kinda everywhere and In always try to like it.
 

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