Monday, 4 July 2011

Way... Way Out (1966)

Set sometime in the future but being more sixties than you can shake Austin Power’s Mojo at.  Way... Way Out is a Gerry Lewis film about America’s moon-base and how it has to keep replacing its crews all the time because of the male astronaut’s unspent frustrations causing them to go a bit mad in the head.
The obvious answer, for the sake of the films plot, is to send a ‘couple’ up but in order to avoid impropriety they insist on them being married first.  And that’s the whole set-up really.  You just have to chuck in the unmarried Russians from a neighbouring moon-base, who pop round to flaunt their godless un-American ways, and you have a comedy of sexual politics set firmly in the midst of the cold war regardless of how far in the future it would like to imagine its self being.

But let’s talk space suits
I’m going to hazard a guess here and say that these particular suits were made for this film as original costumes.  They’re seemingly inspired by the silver NASA Mercury suits although they aren’t exact copies. 
There are at least four of them seen in one scene, as well as a possible fifth suit belonging to the Russian which has a red (well it would wouldn’t it) helmet.  Although it’s highly possible that this could be one of the other suits doubling up with the helmet repainted.
What’s hard to see from these pictures, having come from a blurry old video, is that there’s a slight difference within the helmets design and those worn by the film’s two leads have visors that are a little larger and allow their features to be more visible than the other two cast member.  Logical I suppose but why not make them all the same?  Maybe it’s just one of those things or is that the infamous Lewis ego at work!  We’ll probably never know nor should we really care.
Anyway depending on which order you read these posts in you may or may not know that this is the starting point of a very interesting journey that ends in a galaxy far, far away.  Follow the Way Out Spacesuit link below.



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  3. Yup. They got lotsa re-use before getting the Ape-pollo white-wash for "Escape to the Planet of the Apes" and "Star Wars"

    ● James Coburn's 1967 super-spy feature "In Like Flint".

    ● "Get Smart!" first episode
    "Pheasant Under Glass",
    Aired 9/26/1969

    ● "The Green Hornet" episode 25 - "Invasion from Outer Space" Part 2
    Aired March 17th, 1967

    ● Bob Hope wore one in a "Planet of the Shapes" skit with Sally Struthers in The Bob Hope Show Season 22, Ep 1, Aired 9/13/71

    I'm sure there are more tv/film appearances

    and numerous magazine photoshoots...