Does anybody know the movie from 80's where a crew goes to another planet where the civilization is still in middle ages.

Cliff notes I can remember:

  1. a crew member pretends to be local and starts living with them
  2. there was something with the printing press some guy had built and he was executed
  3. there was also some torture with different "machines"
  4. I think locals thought the visitors were witches living on an island in the middle of a lake
  5. the guy who lived with the locals had a love story with a local girl, the crew watched him on infrared screen (or something similar to that) making love with her....

I think you may be talking about the 1989 adaptation of Hard to be a God. I have been unable to find a good summary of the 1989 adaptation, but the Wikipedia article for the 2013 remake covers the high points and the book site I linked above mentions the printing press.

A group of 30 scientists travel from Earth to a nearly-identical alien planet that is culturally and technologically centuries behind. The inhabitants of this planet have brutally suppressed a renaissance movement, murdering anybody they consider to be an intellectual, and thus the planet is stuck in the middle ages. Anton, one of the scientists from Earth, is sent to infiltrate the local populace of the Kingdom of Arkanar and help them progress as a society, although he is forbidden from getting involved with local politics or forcibly interfering with the advancement of technology or culture. He assumes the identity of Don Rumata, a nobleman who resides in a large castle surrounded by poverty. There, he lives with Ari, a young woman whom he has taken as his bride, and the juvenile prince of Arkanar. Rumata's presence divides local opinion; some treat him as a God, others despise him.


Found via search terms of film medieval planet torture printing press (not my first set of search terms, admittedly)

  • This should be it. The plot points overlap in all cases. In the brothers Strugatsky book the movie is based on, the Earthmen are called progressors and instead of being scientists are covert operatives who are specially trained to infiltrate the civilizations in order to help them advance. They are so far gone from violence and intrigue, however, that they do not understand well the time they are in,and the "stupid" medieval regime is supplanted with even worse and more restrictive theocracy under their eyes. – Gnudiff Oct 30 '17 at 13:43

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