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Destination Moon (1950)

 -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi  -  August 1950 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 2,270 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 34 critic

One of the first science fiction films to attempt a high level of accurate technical detail tells the story of the first trip to the moon.

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(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by), 2 more credits »
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Title: Destination Moon (1950)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Archer ...
Jim Barnes
Warner Anderson ...
Tom Powers ...
General Thayer
Dick Wesson ...
Joe Sweeney
Erin O'Brien-Moore ...
Emily Cargraves
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Storyline

After their their latest rocket fails, Dr. Charles Cargraves and retired General Thayer have to start over again. this time, Gen. Thayer approaches Jim Barnes, the head of his own aviation construction firms to help build a rocket that will take them to the moon. Together they gather the captains of industry and all pledge to support the goals of having the united States be the first to put a man on the moon. They build their rocket and successfully leave the Earth's gravitational pull and make the landing as scheduled. Barnes has miscalculated their fuel consumption however and after stripping the ship bare, they are still 100 lbs too heavy meaning that one of them will have to stay behind. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Endstation Mond  »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Heinlein actually published a third Moon-trip story in 1950, a novelette featured in the September issue of Short Stories Magazine under the title "Destination Moon". This version is so similar to the film it was probably intended as a promotional piece, but it does include one fascinating story element not in the film. The explorers find evidence of previous lunar visitors either Russians or aliens, they aren't sure which. See more »

Goofs

When first watching this film, it appears as though the crew looks through the round port that leads into the airlock to view the Earth outside the ship. This looks like a continuity error, but it is not - the confusion comes from the elaborate "special effect" of weightlessness generated with a rotating set and magnetic boots. The crew was squatting on the "wall" of the cabin and looking "out" through a round porthole on the outer wall of the ship, not down through the floor. There is indeed a round airlock door that leads down into a lower cabin where the spacesuits are kept, but it is not the same round port they looked through to see outside. The rotated perspective, the magnetic shoe use, and the two round windows causes this common misconception. See more »

Quotes

Woody Woodpecker: Ha-ha-ha-HA-ha! It'll never get off the ground. Hmph - no propellers!
Cartoon Narrator: Rockets do not employ propellers. They use jets.
Woody Woodpecker: So do gas stoves, but they don't fly to the Moon.
Cartoon Narrator: Obviously you know nothing about rockets. Now, let's pretend that umbrella of yours is a shotgun.
[It turns into one]
Cartoon Narrator: Shoot it.
[Woody shoots and goes sliding backwards]
Woody Woodpecker: Who pushed me?
Cartoon Narrator: The gun, Woody. The charge not only fired out of the muzzle, it kicked back with equal force against the barrel.
Woody Woodpecker: Ahhh, it wouldn't happen again in ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the film, a story of the first flight to the Moon, the words THIS IS THE END are displayed first, then OF THE BEGINNING is added. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Story by Heinlein, astronomical art by Bonestell, Pal produced and Woody Woodpecker to boot!
14 October 2000 | by (Tucson AZ) – See all my reviews

I can go for quite a while listing the movie's weaknesses-script, actors, et cetera. But with an idea by Robert Heinlein, Chesley Bonestell handling the astronomical artwork, George Pal as producer and a special bit of animation by Walter Lantz starring Woody Woodpecker done just for the movie, what else matters? Anyone who recognizes all those names and appreciates them understands just what I mean. Since everyone coming here is likely to know Pal and Woody, I won't say any more. For the rest, gather round my children and attend.

Rober Heinlein was the dean of Science Fiction writers. He spun off enough ideas as throwaways to do another writer proud for two careers! As for Chesley Bonestell, quite simply, he was the greatest artist ever when it came to astronomic art. Paintings he did look so real, you'd swear that they were photographs and so accurate that you'd swear he'd been there. Not only did he have no equal, he lapped the field two or three times over. If I ever strike it rich, the first extravagance would be a Bonestell. Genius strikes rarely. Greatness with only somewhat more frequency. This film, flawed in many ways, is shadowed by greatness and touched by at least one genius.


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