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A private businessman arranges for an expedition to the moon before the Russians get there first. The American astronauts fly there, establish a base, but are not certain they have enough fuel to return to Earth.
TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING!
Title: Destination Moon
Release Date: June 27, 1950
Runtime: 92 mins
All Genres: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
IMDB Rating: 6.3
Buried.com Rating: 7.3 - (Rate This Horror Movie at Buried.com)
Category: Horror Movies Starting With D
MPAA Rating: Approved
John Archer ...Jim Barnes
Warner Anderson ...Dr. Charles Cargraves
Tom Powers ...General Thayer
Dick Wesson ...Joe Sweeney
Erin O'Brien Moore ...Emily Cargraves
Grace Stafford ...Woody Woodpecker (voice)
Franklyn Farnum ...Factory Worker
Everett Glass ...Mr. La Porte
Kenner G. Kemp ...Businessman at Meeting
Knox Manning ...Knox Manning
Mike Miller ...Man
Irving Pichel ...Off Screen Narrator of Woody Woodpecker Cartoon
Bert Stevens ...Businessman at Meeting
Ted Warde ...Brown
Robert A. Heinlein
Alford Van Ronkel
Robert A. Heinlein
Destination Moon Horror Film Trailer 1
More Movie Taglines:
- 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 a hundred times. Cartoon Narrator: Shoot it at the ground a few times in rapid succession, and see what happens. [Woody shoots and becomes airborne] Cartoon Narrator: That same principle applies to rockets. It is the same shotgun kick of the explosives that throws the rocket forward. That kick, incidentally, is quite independent of the air around the rocket. It works just as well in a vacuum, or in outer space, which is a vacuum.
Industrialist: Now listen, fella, I've known you from way back. Two-engine planes weren't fast enough: you had to go in for four. Then props weren't fast enough: you had to go in for jets. Now you've got a hold of something else, something that'll go higher and faster than anything that ever existed before. You can't swing it alone, so you're trying to rope us in on it. Well, before we go along with you, you'll have to tell us: what's the payoff? Jim Barnes: Dollars and cents? I don't know. I want to do this job because it's never been done. Because I don't know. It's research, it's pioneering. What's the Moon? Another North Pole - another South Pole - our only satellite, our nearest neighbor in the sky. Industrialist: But why go there, Jim? Jim Barnes: We'll know when we get there; we'll tell you when we get back. It's a venture that I don't want to be left out of.
[Why the government isn't involved if it's so important] Jim Barnes: Here's the reason. The vast amount of brains, talents, special skills, and research facilities necessary for this project are not in the government, nor can they be mobilized by the government in peacetime without fatal delay. Only American industry can do this job. And American industry must get to work, now, just as we did in the last war! Industrialist: Yes, but the government footed the bill! Jim Barnes: And they'll foot this bill, too, if we're successful; you know that. If we fail, we'll take a colossal beating. So we can't fail! Not only is this the greatest adventure awaiting mankind, but it's the greatest challenge ever hurled at American industry. And General Thayer is going to tell you why. General Thayer: The reason is quite simple. We are not the only ones who know that the Moon can be reached. We're not the only ones who are planning to go there. The race is on - and we'd better win it, because there is absolutely no way to stop an attack from outer space. The first country that can use the Moon for the launching of missiles... will control the Earth. That, gentlemen, is the most important military fact of this century.
Dr. Charles Cargraves: You can't buck public opinion; I've tried. Have you seen this? [Newspaper headline: MASS MEETING PROTESTS RADIOACTIVE ROCKET] General Thayer: That isn't public opinion - it's a job of propaganda! Jim Barnes: You're almighty right it is. Manufactured and organized - with money and brains. Somebody's out to get us.
Jim Barnes: Say, Doc, the ship's about ready to take off, isn't she? Dr. Charles Cargraves: Except for tests and minor adjustments. Jim Barnes: Well, what's the next favorable time? Dr. Charles Cargraves: About a month from now. Jim Barnes: No, I don't mean that. What's the next favorable time this month? Dr. Charles Cargraves: [checking the calendar] The only favorable time this month is about 17 hours from now. Jim Barnes: All right, that's it then. We take off in 17 hours. General Thayer: Are you out of your mind? Jim Barnes: I will be, if we run into any more red tape! Now look, there's no law against taking off a spaceship: it's never been done, so they haven't got around to prohibiting it. If we ask for permission, they'll find a way to block us. So we go now, as soon as we can! General Thayer: In an untested ship? Jim Barnes: How do you test a thing of this kind? It either works or it doesn't.
- The Woody Woodpecker cartoon used in the movie was updated and then used by NASA to explain space travel to the public.
The panoramic view of the lunar scenery was a Chesley Bonestell painting 13 feet long, mounted on wheels and rolled past a stationary camera. To make the stars appear brightly luminous, 534 holes were punched in the painting and illuminated from behind.
This marked the first time that Grace Stafford (cartoon producer Walter Lantz's wife) did the voice of Woody Woodpecker.
In order to make the space suits appear to be in a vacuum they were padded to make them seem inflated. The padding and the studio lights made the suits so hot the actors could wear them for only a few minutes at a time.
The cracked surface of the moon is reminiscent of a dried lake bed. Bonestell knew this was scientifically inaccurate, but used it to give a sense of perspective to the lunar panorama.
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