A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A visitor from outer space, eager for adventure and curious about the larger universe, learns that there's really "no place like home" and that he's better off keeping his "nose out of other people's planets." He must also comically confront the pain of love, the pain of jealousy, and "the pain of pain."
Positive Role Models
The alien-hero is honest and sincere, but childlike and trouble-prone. Male human adults are gullible, single-minded, and vain. A very ditzy mother flutters around, totally oblivious to unfolding events. Set in 1960 -- no people of color, no independent or working women.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoon-style action in a number of scenes: an exaggerated fist fight; someone is hit over the head with a vase; a gun goes off; a person is head-butted by a goat; tear gas is fired; a character lands upside down in a barrel of water.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of kissing and sexual innuendo -- off-handed comments about chastity, overeager males ogling and trying to seduce innocent women. "Tangling" and "pitching woo" are used often as a pointed euphemisms for making love. The alien visitor asks questions like: "How do you multiply?" and "May I watch?" A scene takes place at Lover's Lane.
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Some put-downs and name-calling: "stupid," "boob."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Repeated funny cigarette commercials. People consume alcohol in several scenes. Kreton drinks bourbon and has an immediate bizarre reaction (walking on the ceiling). A scene is set in a beatnik club: The Hungry Brain is filled with smoke and all the patrons seem to be very high on something -- glassy-eyed, trancelike, but no mind altering drugs are seen or mentioned.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Visit to a Small Planet is a fish-out-of-water comedy form the 1960s that is often focused on teaching a spaceman/alien about sex and watching a young man's efforts to get his sweetheart into bed. Frequent kissing, sexual innuendo, and flimsy humorous seduction techniques are key plot elements. There's some drinking and smoking; a lengthy scene takes place in a beatnik bar where glassy-eyed, tipsy, or high customers sit behind a veil of cigarette smoke. Farcical action includes a fist fight, tear gas, gun shot, and more. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Based on an acclaimed play -- Gore Vidal's parody of the Communist witch hunt in the 1950s -- this filmed version of VISIT TO A SMALL PLANET has been turned into standard Jerry Lewis silliness. The "special" effects are purposefully cheesy; the acting is broad; and what story there is simply showcases Jerry Lewis hi-jinks. Kids may appreciate the pratfall humor, but the "wink-wink" sexual repartee compromises the innocent fun.
One hilarious scene in a beatnik bar with Buddy Rich on drums, and an extraordinary dance number, may be enough to make the film worth a look if you don't mind the "opium den" atmosphere of the place.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.