Conquest of Space
A team of American astronauts leave their space station on the first mission to Mars, but the captain's religious beliefs may get in the way.
There was a genre of science fiction movies mid-century that centered exclusively on the perils of space travel. This one is notable for a few details.
The first is a sympathetic attitude toward Japan at a time when most of America still bitterly resented the island nation. The film explicitly observes that a lack of resources fed into Japan's aggression and gives a Japanese astronaut the speech about how space exploration can prevent future strife by providing for all. It's an odd moment that doesn't fully overcome racism, but it's touching for the attempt.
The other unusual attribute of the film is having an officer break down and nearly doom the mission with religious obsession. The failure of religious thinking wasn't exactly new in science fiction in that period, but combining it with treason in a ranking officer? That astonished me.
Thankfully, there was a Brooklyn Guy to keep the film firmly within genre conventions.
An interesting but ultimately doomed sci-fi curiousity that should have been aborted; an overly talky, religiously domineering film with poor attempts at humor and suspect acting.