“The race is on — and we’d better win it!”
A group of astronauts (Warner Anderson, Tom Powers, John Archer, and Dick Wesson) defy the American government by flying their rocketship to the moon.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Science Fiction
- Space Exploration
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this 1950s classic is a “slow, dated, but influential science-fiction film”. The filmmakers focus primarily on portraying space travel (as-of-yet unachieved) in a realistic manner — in addition to providing a healthy dose of red-baiting, which is the weakest element of the plot by far. Nonetheless, once the astronauts actually get out in space, you’ll be enchanted by their amazement as they experience zero-gravity for the first time. Especially exciting — if a bit contrived — is the finale of the film, in which the four astronauts must figure out how to make their ship light enough for a successful return. It’s a trip watching this movie so many years after it was released, when travelling to the moon — and beyond — is accepted as commonplace; this would make a great double bill with The Right Stuff (1983) — with Destination Moon shown first, of course.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Excellent early special effects
- Good focus on the science behind space travel
- A humorous Woody Woodpecker cartoon which explains to laypeople how rocket science works
Yes, simply for its place in film history.