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
Of the film's 90-minute runtime, only half actually shows the trip to the Moon. The film's entire first half is devoted to the construction of the rocket and to giving reasons for going to the Moon in the first place. See more »
While staging the picture of Sweeny we can see he has his left arm in the "air"; while the view of Sweeny immediately after the picture shows him with his right arm up.
The view of Sweeny with his right arm apparently up was a view through a waist level screen on a twin lens reflex camera, which reverses the image left-to-right. Image characteristics indicate this is an actual image from a TLR. See more »
I know one thing: unless these pills work, space travel isn't going to be... popular.
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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 was our conception in the middle of the last century as to what our first hesitant steps would be towards getting to the Moon. What I was amazed to see was just how accurate they got it in terms of reality.
Four men, John Archer, Warner Anderson, Tom Powers and Dick Wesson are the chosen astronauts though that term had not come into usage at the time. When you think of the selection process for astronauts that was to come with the formation of NASA this part of the film seems almost a bit silly. Dick Wesson who provides the comic relief is a communications specialist who gets to go at the last minute because the chosen traveler gets appendicitis.
The best part of the film was the space walk, when they have to do some needed repairs to the ship. Robert Heinlein who wrote Destination Moon was very accurate with that and with the dangers of performing that task when needed.
As for the very harrowing trip home, the plot was eerily accurate in terms of what happened to some astronauts for real in the early Seventies. I really do marvel at how Robert Heinlein got so much of it right.
Without any weird alien monsters, Destination Moon still manages to be thoroughly entertaining and incredibly perceptive. The film won an Oscar for Special Effects no mean achievement since it's only competition was Cecil B. DeMille's big budget Samson and Delilah. It also was nominated for Best Art&Set Direction, but in this case it lost to Samson and Delilah.
When you beat out a DeMille film from Paramount with all the money that studio could throw behind a campaign, you know it has to be good. Even now the Special Effects aren't bad by today's standards.
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