Barry Sulivan is a cynical gangster who controls the Neptune Beach waterfront. He runs a numbers racket with the local soda shop owner: the police are in his pocket and the local hoods are on his payroll.
Astronauts (Lloyd Bridges, Osa Massen, John Emery, Noah Beery, Jr., and Hugh O'Brien) blast off to explore the moon. Because of craft malfunction and some fuel calculations, they end up landing on Mars. On Mars, evidence of a once powerful civilization is found. The scientists determine that an atomic war destroyed most of the Martians (who surprisingly look like humans). Those that survived reverted to a caveman-like existence. Written by
Matthew Soffen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ZOOM through the Universe the Screen's First Story of Man's First Conquest of Space! GASP at the Daring Courage of Four Men and a Girl as They Thunder Between Planets on a Runaway Rocket! You've Read About It! You've Heard About It! Now SEE it! See more »
When George Pal announced production of his space epic Destination Moon (1950) this film was rushed into production to capitalize on it and beat Pal's film into theaters by several weeks. See more »
Mars is roughly 35 million miles from Earth, while the Moon is roughly 240,000 miles from Earth. Even if the X-M was carrying twice the needed fuel supply, it is highly unlikely that they would be able to reach Mars and return to Earth. See more »
Some films are blessed (though the producers would argue) by having less money with which to work. "Rocketship X-M" (the initials represent "eXpedition Moon") relies therefore upon, ahem, a real Story, with Acting, rather than flash and effects. That's why a half-century later, the well-remembered "RX-M" has held up so well. (An analogy could be drawn with the co-incidental 1949-1955 television series "Captain Video and His Video Rangers", where the bulk of budget also went towards quality writers and cast.) John Emery is - surprise!- a good guy here.
Osa Massen, one of the screen's most photogenic stars ever, is radiant. The whole cast carries through the forgivable inconsistencies with style. Ferde Grofé's music takes us from exultant triumph to eerie mystery and, finally, into bitter realization of what the RX-M crew discovers, the utter waste of an entire civilization. (Remember the real-life "face" on Mars?) Grofé well-illustrates the withering madness in the crew's panicked escape and return attempt. And the final moments aboard the doomed RX-M are of the stuff that makes for great film. I saw this in theatrical release, and you, too, will find "Rocketship X-M" one of your most memorable. Highly recommended to all.
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