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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 »

Directors:

Irving Pichel, Walter Lantz (uncredited) | 3 more credits »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Woody Woodpecker cartoon used in the movie was updated and then used by NASA to explain space travel to the public. See more »

Goofs

When Barnes attempts to rescue Cargraves, who has fallen away from the ship during the antenna repair, he uses a bottle of pressurized gas as a makeshift rocket to propel him to the point where he can retrieve him. However, the gas exhaust from the bottle is nowhere near Barnes' center of gravity, thus the expelled gas would simply flip him end over end. 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 »

User Reviews

 
A Perceptive Look At The Future.
20 July 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Destination Moon 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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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