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The first half of this film; the set-up of the flight, the introduction to the main characters, a love triangle, and an international conspiracy; is frankly boring. But once the flight begins, action tenses up and things get interesting.
For 1929, the science is sometimes prescient-- a three stage rocket, a vertical assembly building, and a monstrous rolling gantry crawler-- are suggestive of the Apollo program. Other times the science is more romantic, using dowsing rods and an egg-shaped moon. The eggy moon allows a far-side with a breathable atmosphere. But an eggy moon really isn't less scientific than faster than light travel, which is a staple of modern space flight science fiction. FTL travel is simply a mechanism whereby a cast of characters can visit multiple star systems; the eggy moon allows the visit to a breathable world in the context of a 1930s Europe.
This movie understandably has fairly primitive special effects. One major effect, a rotating barrel decorated as the moon, is charming.
The ending is definitely touching. In the sub-genre of science fiction/space flight, this is an important and interesting film and well worth suffering through the first half.
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