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Destination Moon (1950)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi | August 1950 (USA)
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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Writers:

(written for the screen by) (as Rip Van Ronkel), (written for the screen by) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
General Thayer
Dick Wesson ...
Erin O'Brien-Moore ...
Emily Cargraves
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Storyline

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 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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chesley Bonestell, famed artist of the celestial realm, provided matte paintings and designed the lunar surface. Art director Ernst Fegté added the fractured lava bed feature which resembled a cracked lake bottom. The cracks diminish in scale as they recede from the camera, creating a forced perspective which enhanced the depth of the set. This blend of technical accuracy and artistic excellence is the key to the success of "Destination Moon". See more »

Goofs

While staging the picture of Sweeny we can see he has his left arm in the "air"; while the view of Sweeny immediately after the picture shows him with his right arm up. See more »

Quotes

[Why the government isn't involved if it's so important]
Jim Barnes: 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!
Industrialist: Yes, but the government footed the bill!
Jim Barnes: And they'll foot this bill, too, if we're successful; you ...
[...]
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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

A rare bit of 1950s science-fiction.
19 June 2000 | by (Oregon USA) – See all my reviews

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.


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