I was at a pub some time ago watching the TV while nursing beer. The sound was turned off, but I could still tell it was French.

A human-like alien(?) woman is hosted by an Earth family. This might have been in Montreal, but I can't say for sure. Based on the technology, this would be taking place some time in the future - humans had flying saucers for instance. The woman has telekinetic powers, and I recall one scene where she uses them to freeze a watermelon in mid-air after one of her hosts jokingly tosses it at her.

For reasons I could not figure out, they travel into space, and I seem to recall she has some problems, perhaps flashbacks, during the voyage. They approach and explore an abandoned/destroyed spacecraft. I believe she either was on that ship or others of her race were. I left at this point, perhaps half way into it.

Based solely on the set decoration and the 2001-like "perfection" of the future where everything is clean and tidy, I would place this movie some time in the mid/late 1970s, early 80s at the latest. The spaceships were all "classic flying saucers" as well, which seems to place it in the pre-Star Wars era.

Another notable feature was that all the space scenes were filmed in a water tank. You could see bubbles here and there but they did a pretty good job of it overall.

Given the sets and quality of the filming and editing, I would say that this was a fairly high-budget effort. This was especially true for the spaceships, which were large sets and well decorated. And anything in a water tank costs bucks. Given that I was seeing it in Toronto, I suspect this was a well known movie at the time.

  • 1
    Probably a stupid question, but by "French" you mean "in the French language" rather than "from France"?
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 19:41
  • Yes I do mean French language, but given the apparent budget I would suspect it was likely shot in France with a possible maybe in Quebec. We're talking Fahrenheit 451 here, not Starship Invasions :-) Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 19:47
  • Did she have purple hair? Could Montreal have been the moon? There was a British TV series called "UFO" that had scenes that were underwater, bubbles and all. It was done by the Thunderbirds people I think, but it is live-action. Don't know about telekinesis.
    – Yorik
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 22:18
  • @Yorik, say what you will about Montreal, it's difficult to confuse it for the moon :-) Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 12:35

1 Answer 1


"Through the Thorns to the Stars"(1981). A.k.a. 'Humanoid Woman'. It's a Russian sci-fi film with a '2001' look to it. The plot matches perfectly to your description. Here is the entire film from Youtube, but it's in the Russian language, I think. The watermelon freezing scene starts at 20 min. and 30 seconds in. Just click on the link below.

It seems to be in the pre-Star Wars era because in Russia they didn't have big budgets to make sci-fi films with. The only English-dubbed version I could find was the MST3K version, so I won't disrespect this well made movie with that crud.

  • Wow, you sir are a star! This is indeed the movie. Interesting that I confused Soviet Russia with France, which says a lot about my prejudices in that time. Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 15:15
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    BTW when I say pre-Star Wars I'm not referring to the SFX but the artistic direction. Before SW, the future was clean and orderly. 2001 is a perfect example, everything was white and polished, there was no dirt anywhere. SW introduced a new "dirty" style that changed the way we saw space. Now it was just another place, and of course it's dirty and seedy. One can often place a movie's era based solely on the amount of dust in the scenes. Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 15:18
  • The movie kinda gave me a French vibe as well, and it may have been dubbed into French, as well as other languages. It looks very interesting, but I've never seen it. I'm going to have to find an English dubbed version. Thank you for responding.
    – the guest
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 15:35
  • An update, I have extensively updated the Wiki article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_Aspera_Ad_Astra_(film) Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 16:01
  • Oddly, the imdb page calls it "To The Stars By The Hard Ways" and doesn't mention "Per Aspera Ad Astra" at all (not even in "alternate versions").
    – davidbak
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 16:19

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