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
A radio announcer explains, "It takes three seconds ... for radio waves to travel between the Earth and Moon." In fact it's 1.3 sec each way, but the round-trip causes delays of almost 3 sec in conversation, which probably is what the announcer meant. See more »
[after stepping onto the Moon's surface]
Claim it, Doc! I'm your witness - claim it officially.
Dr. Charles Cargraves:
By the grace of God, and the name of the United States of America, I take possession of this planet on behalf of, and for the benefit of, all mankind.
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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 »
Pal, Bonestell, and Heinlein. If you know those names, you already know this film. If not, set your Wayback Machine for half-a-century ago and step in: you're going to the moon, the way it should have been done. You'll ride a cigar-shaped rocket, making the whole trip on one engine and one stage. You'll wear a bubble-headed spacesuit with corrugated arms. You'll have to lighten your ship to make it home and, oh boy, that's going to be a puzzle! Spaceflight turned out to be much, much more complex than this movie projected, but this is still a serious attempt (some, who must not have seen Lang's "Woman in the Moon," say this is the _first_ serious attempt) at making a movie about a moon landing. If you're like me and are feeling the pangs of disillusionment, go watch this film and relive the illusion that a trip to the moon could be accomplished with a pipewrench, slide-rule, and honest sweat. Ignore the last-minute inclusion of a character for comic relief; that seems to have been required in movies of this era.
BTW, when I met the venerable Isaac Asimov in 1972, I asked him what he thought of this film. He lightheartedly scoffed at, "ice on the moon." As you may know, NASA now believes there _is_ ice on the moon. Maybe this half-forgotten movie has something to teach us yet. (No offense, Dr. A; you were the great one.)
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