Ikarie XB 1

The year is 2163 and the spaceship Ikarie XB 1 embarks on a trip to the star system Alpha Centauri to search for life on a “White Planet”. The 40-person crew under Commanders Abajev and MacDonald includes a pregnant officer and a somewhat geriatric robot. Along the way, they find a derelict spaceship, whose crew died a violent death some 200 years ago. That encounter ends in death for two of the Ikarie’s space travellers. Shortly thereafter, the rest of the crew is afflicted with an odd sleeping sickness, apparently caused by a dark star between the ship and the White Planet … The electronic music in this film version of a Stanisław Lem story seems avant-garde, even today. Ikarie XB 1 took off in the West as well. That was less due to the mangled re-edit that was released in the US than to the fact that Stanley Kubrick – according to his assistant Anthony Frewin – watched the film while preparing for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The two films show clear similarities, not only in the atmospheric lighting, but also in several details of the sets, such as the hexagonal corridors.
by Jindřich Polák
with Zdeněk Štěpánek, František Smolík, Dana Medřická, Irena Kačírkov, Radovan Lukavský, Otto Lackovič, Miroslav Macháček
Czechoslovakia 1963 Czech 88’ Black/White Rating R6


  • Zdeněk Štěpánek
  • František Smolík
  • Dana Medřická
  • Irena Kačírkov
  • Radovan Lukavský
  • Otto Lackovič
  • Miroslav Macháček


Director Jindřich Polák
Screenplay Pavel Juráček, Jindřich Polák adapted from the novel “Obłok Magellana“ (1955) by Stanisław Lem
Cinematography Jan Kališ
Editing Josef Dobřichovský
Music Zdeněk Liška
Sound Bohumír Brunclík, Jaromír Svoboda
Art Director Karel Lukas, Jan Zázvorka
Special Effects Jan Kališ, Milan Nejedlý, Jirí Hlupý, Pavel Necesal, Karel Cisarovsky, Frantisek Zemlicka
Costumes Dena Rova
Make-Up Rudolf Hammer
Producer Rudolph Wolf

Produced by

Filmové Studio Barrandov

Additional information

DCP: Národní filmový archiv, Prag