No Answer from F.P.1

Film, Science fiction
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F.P.1 is an artificial island in mid-Atlantic, and it's not answering because there's a saboteur on board: the designer has been shot, the crew have been gassed, and the structure is sinking... This German sci-fi melodrama aspires to something of the grandeur of Metropolis, but its roots really lie in penny dreadful comics and early movie serials. As such, it's rather pedestrian in its exposition (it takes forever to get the plot moving), but fair value once the panics and alarms start multiplying. The stock performances are rather good, especially from Albers as the aviator-hero soaked in booze and self-pity, and Lorre as a bizarrely masochistic photographer. And Curt Siodmak's storyline manages to cross the epic adventure elements with a romantic triangle without either getting in the way of the other. Specialists may care to note the early associations of flying with sexual virility.

By: TR

Release details

Duration: 114 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Karl Hartl
Screenwriter: Walter Reisch, Curt Siodmak
Cast: Hans Albers
Sybille Schmitz
Paul Hartmann
Peter Lorre
Herrmann Speelmans
Georg August Koch

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

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I have had the good fortune to see both the Hans Albers and the Conrad Veidt versions of the F.P.1 film (shot concurrently in two languages - a custom of the day). While I was expecting more special effects, I wasn't disappointed by the plot, which I believe is the cinemas' first true 'techno thriller' in the vein of POSEIDON ADVENTURE or HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. F.P. 1 is an ambitious film for its day and a film OF its day - using many of the lighting/shadow techniques and early montage sequences considered advanced at the time to good effect. Both Albers and Veidt own the film with their portrayals of the pilot-adventurer, Ellisen (though Albers has the edge there). I can recommend F.P.1 as part of a body of early techno-thrillers, all penned by Curt Siodmak, which include: TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL and NON-STOP NEW YORK.