When a spaceship lands on the moon, it is hailed as a new accomplishment, before it becomes clear that a Victorian party completed the journey in 1899, leading investigators to that mission's last survivor.
After 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
A massive campaign was undertaken to create public awareness of the film during its production. This campaign also attracted the attention of independent producer Robert L. Lippert who rushed a low budget space travel film, Rocketship X-M (1950), into production to capitalize on this campaign. Legal action forced Lippert to modify the campaign for his film. Material sent to exhibitors for "Rocketship X-M" carried the disclaimer "This is not 'Destination Moon'." Lippert was able to have "Rocketship X-M" into general release more than three weeks before this film had its preview engagements. See more »
When Joe Sweeny (green spacesuit) jumps on the moon, the figure that actually jumps is the blue spacesuit (Dr. Cargraves). See more »
[Why the government isn't involved if it's so important]
Here's the reason. The vast amount of brains, talents, special skills, and research facilities necessary for this project are not in the government, nor can they be mobilized by the government in peacetime without fatal delay. Only American industry can do this job. And American industry must get to work, now, just as we did in the last war!
Yes, but the government footed the bill!
And they'll foot this bill, too, if we're successful; you ...
[...] See more »
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 »
Most science-fiction films are actually raw fantasy, with a disregard for reality that commonly borders on pure contempt. This isn't always a bad thing, since I really like fantasy. But techno-babble and flashy gadgets are too often only gimmicks favored by dumb producers, ignorant directors, and lazy writers who get themselves into of a jam. "Destination Moon" is rare and different. An enormous amount of time and effort were expended to make it as technically accurate as was possible in 1950. Even Kubrick wasn't this consistent in "2001"; he often let gravity appear where it shouldn't be. They never made that mistake in "Destination Moon". So it's unfortunate they didn't spend as much effort on the story and the acting, but both cast and crew were so wrapped up in creating a real moon trip they skimped on these aspects of story telling. The result was surprisingly impressive visuals for the time, but characters who are shallow, trite, and dull, and crises that arise and are solved while leaving us indifferent.
But there is real drama here, the drama of people trying to imagine what was virtually unimaginable back then -- how to actually get people to the Moon and back -- using real physics and engineering. And if it doesn't measure up to the story of "Apollo 13", another technically accurate film about a REAL trip to the Moon, it still stands out as unique among 1950s films and remains almost as unique among all science-FICTION movies ever made.
43 of 47 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?