6.3/10
3,409
82 user 40 critic

Destination Moon (1950)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi | August 1950 (USA)
Trailer
2:06 | Trailer
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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Irving Pichel

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

An astronaut crew on their way to the Moon are unexpectedly propelled by gravitational forces and end up on Mars instead.

Director: Kurt Neumann
Stars: Lloyd Bridges, Osa Massen, John Emery
Certificate: Passed Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As a new star and planet hurtle toward a doomed Earth, a small group of survivalists frantically work to complete the rocket which will take them to their new home.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Extraterrestrials traveling in high-tech flying saucers contact a scientist as part of a plan to enslave the inhabitants of Earth.

Director: Fred F. Sears
Stars: Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor, Donald Curtis
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The first U.S. spaceship to Venus crash-lands off the coast of Sicily on its return trip. A dangerous, lizard-like creature comes with it and quickly grows gigantic.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: William Hopper, Joan Taylor, Thomas Browne Henry
Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Aliens come to Earth seeking scientists to help them in their war.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Jeff Morrow, Faith Domergue, Rex Reason
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A spaceship from another world crashes in the Arizona desert and only an amateur stargazer and a schoolteacher suspect alien influence when the local townsfolk begin to act strangely.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Charles Drake
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An American-led team of International astronauts leave their space station on the first mission to Mars, but the captain's religious beliefs may get in the way.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Walter Brooke, Eric Fleming, Mickey Shaughnessy
Marooned (1969)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Three American astronauts are stranded in space when their retros won't fire. Can they be rescued before their oxygen runs out?

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Edward Judd, Martha Hyer, Lionel Jeffries
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Stranded on Mars with only a monkey as a companion, an astronaut must figure out how to find oxygen, water, and food on the lifeless planet.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Paul Mantee, Victor Lundin, Adam West
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The first manned expedition to Mars is decimated by an unknown life form which stows away on the rescue ship.

Director: Edward L. Cahn
Stars: Marshall Thompson, Shirley Patterson, Kim Spalding
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A small town in California is attacked by Martians, beginning a worldwide invasion.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Archer ... Jim Barnes
Warner Anderson ... Dr. Charles Cargraves
Tom Powers ... General Thayer
Dick Wesson ... Joe Sweeney
Erin O'Brien-Moore ... Emily Cargraves
Edit

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:

UP UP UP Seven miles a second See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Destination Moon See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

George Pal Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous space artist Chesley Bonestell is responsible for the beautiful matte paintings in the film. The first view of the lunar surface shows a patch of orange soil - no doubt Bonestell, who strove for scientific accuracy, imagined sulfur deposits around a volcanic fumarole. One of the highlights of the last Apollo mission was the discovery of orange soil by astronaut/geologist Harrison Schmitt. This was instantly thought to be direct evidence of volcanism on the Moon, but later analysis show that it was not. See more »

Goofs

It was stated that titanium was being used to construct the ship. The magnet boots would not stick to the hull and walls because titanium is non-magnetic. See more »

Quotes

Woody Woodpecker: Ha-ha-ha-HA-ha! It'll never get off the ground. Hmph - no propellers!
Cartoon Narrator: Rockets do not employ propellers. They use jets.
Woody Woodpecker: So do gas stoves, but they don't fly to the Moon.
Cartoon Narrator: Obviously you know nothing about rockets. Now, let's pretend that umbrella of yours is a shotgun.
[It turns into one]
Cartoon Narrator: Shoot it.
[Woody shoots and goes sliding backwards]
Woody Woodpecker: Who pushed me?
Cartoon Narrator: The gun, Woody. The charge not only fired out of the muzzle, it kicked back with equal force against the barrel.
Woody Woodpecker: Ahhh, it wouldn't happen again in ...
[...]
See more »

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Futurama: The Series Has Landed (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Technicolor prophecy of Things to Come!
11 November 2001 | by Bruce_CookSee all my reviews

Science fiction gets the deluxe treatment for the first time in history (except for `Things to Come' and `Metropolis'). This is a big-budget, technicolor production from producer George Pal and director Irving Pichel, with Leith Stevens music (`When Worlds Collide', `War of the Worlds' , others), Chesley Bonestell matt paintings, and Oscar-winning special effects supervised by Lee Zavitz. Stop motion animation scenes of the astronauts walking on the hull of the ship were directed by John S. Abbott. The fine script was penned by Rip Van Ronkel, James O'Hanlon, and veteran sci-fi author Robert Heinlein.

The cast includes John Archer as the millionaire industrialist, Warner Anderson as the designer of the rocket, Dick Wessson as the wise-cracking radio operator, and Tom Powers as the visionary general. (Note: this is not the same Tom Powers who stars in `Unidentified Flying Objects' in 1956).

Although many reviewers connect `Destination Moon' with Heinlein's novel `Rocketship Galileo', the film's story has much more in common with Heinlein's novelette `The Man Who Sold the Moon', also published in 1950. The novelette, like the film, spotlights private industry as the sponsor of the Moon trip. John Archer's industrialist is an eerie parallel to Howard Hughes, whose company actually did build the Apollo space crafts!

Heinlein actually published a THIRD Moon-trip story in 1950, a novelette featured in the September issue of `Short Stories Magazine' under the title `Destination Moon'. This version is so similar to the film, it was probably intended as a promotional piece, but it does include one fascinating story element not in the film. The explorers find evidence of previous lunar visitors -- either Russians or aliens, they aren't sure which!

While planning the famous E.V.A . rescue scene (in which an oxygen bottle is used as a makeshift propulsion unit) the film makers considered using a shotgun as the means by which John Archer retrieves Warner Anderson when he drifts away from the rocket in space. Thankfully they changed their minds; a shotgun seems like an inappropriate piece of equipment to take to a lifeless, airless satellite. However, the shotgun concept was used in the final film during Woody Woodpecker's cartoon demonstration of rocket propulsion, which is shown to the millionaire industrialists who finance the Moon trip.

Chesley Bonestell, famed artist of the celestial realm, provided matt paintings and designed the lunar surface (which had not been photographed up close at that time, so the film makers had to make some guesses).

Art director Ernst Fegte 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'. No wonder it almost single-handedly started the 1950s sci-fi craze of the 1950s. The film has a strong flavor of `The Right Stuff' (brave men doing a tough job). If you appreciated stories which portray heroism and the nobility of the human spirit, `Destination Moon' is your kind of movie.


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 82 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed