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Destination Moon (1950)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi | August 1950 (USA)
Trailer
2:05 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

One of the first science fiction films to attempt a high level of accurate technical detail tells the story of the first trip to the Moon.

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 »

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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
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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:

TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Endstation Mond See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although no date appears on the newspaper, nor does the year appear on the calendar, having the month of June begin on a Tuesday suggests that the film takes place in the year 1954. Subsequent years with matching calendars include 1965, 1971 and 1982. See more »

Goofs

Propulsion for the ship is furnished by water being conducted through a nuclear reactor (called an "atomic pile") which produces extremely high pressure steam. When the ship ascends, we see sparks on the ground, and a red exhaust plume, neither of which would be produced by steam. 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 Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

A rare bit of 1950s science-fiction.
19 June 2000 | by roarshockSee all my reviews

Most science-fiction films are actually raw fantasy, with a disregard for reality that commonly borders on pure contempt. This isn't always a bad thing, since I really like fantasy. But techno-babble and flashy gadgets are too often only gimmicks favored by dumb producers, ignorant directors, and lazy writers who get themselves into of a jam. "Destination Moon" is rare and different. An enormous amount of time and effort were expended to make it as technically accurate as was possible in 1950. Even Kubrick wasn't this consistent in "2001"; he often let gravity appear where it shouldn't be. They never made that mistake in "Destination Moon". So it's unfortunate they didn't spend as much effort on the story and the acting, but both cast and crew were so wrapped up in creating a real moon trip they skimped on these aspects of story telling. The result was surprisingly impressive visuals for the time, but characters who are shallow, trite, and dull, and crises that arise and are solved while leaving us indifferent.

But there is real drama here, the drama of people trying to imagine what was virtually unimaginable back then -- how to actually get people to the Moon and back -- using real physics and engineering. And if it doesn't measure up to the story of "Apollo 13", another technically accurate film about a REAL trip to the Moon, it still stands out as unique among 1950s films and remains almost as unique among all science-FICTION movies ever made.


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