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 ...
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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
The cracked surface of the moon is reminiscent of a dried lake bed. Bonestell knew this was scientifically inaccurate, but used it to give a sense of perspective to the lunar panorama. See more »
When the astronauts look back at the earth, the lights of New York City are seen. Sweeney remarks, "I wonder who's pitching." If he was such a baseball fan as implied in the movie, he would have known that fact. 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 »
Understand it for what it is, not for what you want it to be.
Science Fiction master Robert Heinlien had direct influence with only one film during his lifetime. Early in his career, Heinlien made his way to Hollywood, way before he was well known as the author of the 60's cross over best seller, Stranger in a Strange Land. As a former engineer, Heinlien was interested in scientific realism, and he co-wrote the script for this film which was based on one of his early novels. Released in 1950, it wasn't until 1969 that the USA landed men on the Moon, but Heinlien's predictions about how space travel would look like were remarkably accurate. NASA credited this film as being instrumental in the history of the USA space program.
Don't expect a modern day science fiction masterpiece, or even a film on the level of Forbidden Planet. However, this often overlooked film had great special effects for the day and launched a series of (better, perhaps) science fiction films issued in the 1950s and 1960's. The realistic approach makes this film a bit slow for some, but it is a classic and should be viewed as such by any SF film buff or aspiring film maker.
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