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Woman in the Moon (1929)

Frau im Mond (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 6 February 1931 (USA)
A tenacious scientist blasts off for the moon in hopes of riches that may be found there.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Thea von Harbou (novel), Fritz Lang (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Klaus Pohl Klaus Pohl ... Professor Georg Manfeldt
Willy Fritsch ... Wolf Helius
Gustav von Wangenheim ... Ingenieur Hans Windegger (as Gustav v. Wangenheim)
Gerda Maurus ... Stud. astr. Friede Velten
Gustl Gstettenbaur Gustl Gstettenbaur ... Gustav (as Gustl Stark-Gstettenbaur)
Fritz Rasp ... Der Mann
Tilla Durieux Tilla Durieux ... Fünf Gehirne und Scheckbücher
Hermann Vallentin Hermann Vallentin ... Fünf Gehirne und Scheckbücher
Max Zilzer Max Zilzer ... Fünf Gehirne und Scheckbücher
Mahmud Terja Bey Mahmud Terja Bey ... Fünf Gehirne und Scheckbücher
Borwin Walth Borwin Walth ... Fünf Gehirne und Scheckbücher
Karl Platen Karl Platen ... Der Mann am Mikrophon
Die Maus Josephine Die Maus Josephine ... Mouse
Margarete Kupfer ... Frau Hippolt, Haushälterin bei Helius
Alexa von Porembsky Alexa von Porembsky ... Eine Veilchenverkäuferin (as Alexa v. Porembska)
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Storyline

Thirty years ago, at a scientific conference, Prof. Manfeldt presented his theory on the existence of gold on the Moon. It was greeted with laughter by the assembled academics. Today, Herr Helius has ambitious plans to build a spaceship... and take it to the Moon! Windegger, his chief engineer, will be going, and so will Prof. Manfeldt, now living in a cramped garret alone with his theory. But there are disagreements with the financiers who insist that their man Turner also accompany the flight... The unmanned Rocket H 32 brings back valuable information from the dark side of the Moon. Helius is upset by the news of Windegger's engagement to the pretty Friede. And the financiers have a secret agenda: to control the world's gold supply... Finally, the Spaceship "Friede" is ready as it rolls out on its gantry for takeoff. The staged rocket works as planned, but the acceleration is fierce. As they approach the Moon, they discover a stowaway on board, Gustav, a little boy... Written by David Carless

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

moon | rocket | gold | love triangle | boy | See All (21) »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

6 February 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

By Rocket to the Moon See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2000 restoration) | (DVD) | (1970) (edited) | (Cinemateca Portuguesa)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the Nazis began working on war rockets, they decided the movie's rockets were too close to the truth. To preserve secrecy, they had the models destroyed and the film withdrawn from release. See more »

Goofs

The rocket launch is boldly set for 2130 (9:30 PM) as announced by the smoke-writing plane. But the launch also coincides with the rising of a full moon. The full moon would rise much earlier, approximately 1800 (6:00 PM) local time. See more »

Quotes

Wolf Helius: If you should fall down those stairs again, I will not be there to catch you.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was given a release from Kino Internation on DVD, running a length of 169 minutes. The 2000 restoration runs 200 minutes. The original showing in the United States ran 156 minutes and was later cut to 95 minutes. See more »


Soundtracks

Heimlich singt für uns die Liebe
Music by Willy Schmidt-Gentner
Lyrics by Fritz Rotter & Andre Mauprey
Sung by Gerda Maurus and Willy Fritsch
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent, despite some slow patches
28 February 2005 | by RosabelSee all my reviews

The new Kino DVD release of 'Woman In The Moon' is a great addition to anyone's Fritz Lang collection. Once again, the new music composed for the film adds tremendously to the experience. I was astounded by how ahead of its time this movie was in terms of its science, and it was no surprise to read that Ufa had a team of science consultants working with Lang to supply realistic details. The use of the rotation of the Earth to provide extra impetus to the rocket, the way the booster rockets were discarded as the spaceship moved further out of the Earth's atmosphere - having grown up watching real moon launches in the 60s, it was astonishing to see the actuality echoed by fiction decades earlier. There was clearly a lot of attention to detail; they even figured out ways of conveying weightlessness in space, which were pretty advanced for the time. The special effect of trying to pour a bottle of wine without gravity was both funny and impressive. The movie is not one of Lang's great masterpieces, and I agree with other comments that point out that it tends to slow down in places. Lang always did like making long, long movies, and when he settled down to tell a story, he could really take his time getting everything perfect. When this involves people just sitting or standing in a room talking, it can get a little tiresome - in one scene, Helius is trying to get through on the phone to his partner Windegger, and it takes so long he has time to snip to pieces a big bouquet of flowers on the table in front of him. I swear, it seems to be happening in real time; if there were something exciting happening in the meantime somewhere else it might have passed more quickly, but we just keep cutting between a scene of a man impatiently holding a phone to his ear and snipping at flowers, and a scene of people sitting at a dinner table listening to a speech. Not even Lang can make this gripping, though I think he was defiantly determined to try. On the other hand, there are places where it works well. The long buildup to the rocket launch is terrific - I would have enjoyed it if it were even longer. The hangar in the darkening scene, lit with jumpy spotlights as the moon begins to rise, the slow, smooth monumental sliding of that massive machinery as the rocket glides forward to its launch position, dwarfing the human beings walking alongside it, and all the beautiful changes of camera angle to draw in the viewer, are very moving. I can see why the Nazis liked Lang and wanted to get their claws into him; if they could have harnessed him to make THEIR kind of movies, he'd have been a real prize for them, another Riefenstahl. 'Woman In The Moon' wasn't a hit at the time, mainly because Lang (as usual) wouldn't listen to the studio heads who wanted some concessions to the coming of sound technology, so it was a dinosaur silent movie when the public was engrossed with something new. But it is definitely worth watching, and its strong points are worth sitting through some tedious slow patches to enjoy.


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