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
In 1951 Marvin Fisher (music) and Roy Alfred (lyrics) wrote a song called "Destination Moon" which was recorded by Nat "King" Cole, Dinah Washington, the Ames Brothers, Lester Young and others. The lyrics referenced space travel and were clearly inspired by the movie - "Come and take a trip in my rocket ship/We'll have a lovely afternoon/Kiss the world goodbye and away we fly/Destination Moon" - but Fisher's melody had no connection to the music Leith Stevens composed for the film. See more »
When first watching this film, it appears as though the crew looks through the round port that leads into the airlock to view the Earth outside the ship. This looks like a continuity error, but it is not - the confusion comes from the elaborate "special effect" of weightlessness generated with a rotating set and magnetic boots. The crew was squatting on the "wall" of the cabin and looking "out" through a round porthole on the outer wall of the ship, not down through the floor. There is indeed a round airlock door that leads down into a lower cabin where the spacesuits are kept, but it is not the same round port they looked through to see outside. The rotated perspective, the magnetic shoe use, and the two round windows causes this common misconception. 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 »
Destination Moon stands out as one of the better sci-fi movies from the fifties, mostly because they approach the idea of travelling to the moon in a very specific and realistic way. Unlike other films such as When Worlds Collide (another George Pal film) which sends the rocket down a giant ramp, Destination Moon relies on many of the same procedures that NASA later used in its actual launches. Of course, it still shares some of the fantasy qualities of others in the sci-fi genre as well as some great special effects (for which it earned an Academy Award). The characters are usual sci-fi fare, and that includes the usual "comedic element", in this case Dick Wesson playing a street-wise technician from Brooklyn who talks of "dames and baseball". By the way, this character was humorously parodied in the classic spoof Amazon Women On The Moon. So if you enjoy cigar shaped rockets, great fifties special effects, and cool retro images, you should check out Destination Moon.
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