Destination Moon (film)

Destination Moon

Destination Moon DVD cover
Directed byIrving Pichel
Produced byGeorge Pal
Written byRobert A. Heinlein
James O'Hanlon
Rip Van Ronkel
Music byLeith Stevens
CinematographyLionel Lindon
Editing byDuke Goldstone
Release date(s)1950
Running time91 min.
Country United States
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Destination Moon is a 1950 science fiction film directed by Irving Pichel. The movie was filmed in Technicolor and runs for 92 minutes.

Destination Moon was the first major science-fiction film produced in the United States, and won the Academy Award for Best Special Effects (Lee Zavitz). The noted science-fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein contributed significantly to the script and invented many of the special effects. He also published, about the same time as the release of the film, "Destination Moon", a short story of the same name that was based on the screenplay. Rather than a drama, the film more closely resembles a documentary or a propaganda piece, and it was promoted through an unprecedented onslaught of publicity in the print media. Seven years before Sputnik, the movie clearly spells out a rationale for the space race: the bad guys (clearly the communists) are sabotaging the American space project, and if we don't beat them to the moon, they'll make a base there to drop bombs on us, and take over the world.

The film's producer, George Pál, later produced When Worlds Collide (1951), The War of the Worlds (1953), and The Time Machine (1960).

Four American astronauts blast off from the Mojave Desert and fly to the Moon (before the Russians get there). They establish a base, but are not certain they have enough fuel to return to Earth...

This film features the notion that US private industry will take it upon itself to fund and produce the first spacecraft to reach the moon, given the Soviet threat at the time, and then the US government will bring itself to buy or lease the machinery. Visionary factory owners are shown trying to raise money amongst themselves to do this. The fictional rocket uses nuclear thermal propulsion, a method that has not been employed in any real launches to date.

It includes an animated segment of Woody Woodpecker illustrating the basics of space flight.

Rudimentry scenes of the rocket being constructed occur in situ in the desert, and Lockheed aircraft plant in Southern California was shown with workers examining a model of the nuclear spacecraft. Transitional sequences show Lockheed Constellations being assewmbled. The only plot element in the picture is that once on the moon, they do not have enough fuel to return, and so must remove a good deal of equipment from the ship. This movie was not the first such to hit the screens, however; Rocketship X-M stole its thunder. The sets and costumes were used in cheap films subsequently, and even appear in the second episode of The Time Tunnel. Both Destination Moon and Rocketship X-M are polemical films, but with almost diametrically opposed messages: where Rocketship X-M contains a seriously intended antinuclear message, Destination Moon has a nuclear-powered spacecraft taking off in defiance of a court order, and depicts the court order as inspired by irrational fear.

The relationship between the film and the novel Rocket Ship Galileo exists, but is very weak. In the novel, the astronauts are high school boys led by an older scientist, the enemies are the Nazis rather than the Soviets, and the emphasis is on conflict with them. In the movie, sabotage is only vaguely hinted at, the concept of a space race is introduced, the voyage is a massive industrial undertaking, and the plot revolves around the dangers of the voyage. A common element in both stories is that the rocket takes off in defiance of a court order. The movie is in fact more similar to Heinlein's novella The Man Who Sold the Moon, which according to its copyright date was written by 1949, although it wasn't published until 1951, the year after Destination Moon came out.

The matte and scene paintings for "Destination Moon" were created by the noted astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell. Pal also employed Bonestell for work on "When Worlds Collide," from the novel by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer; "The Conquest of Space," which in turn was based on the book by Willy Ley and Bonestell; and "The War of the Worlds," notably the opening sequence featuring cleverly animated astronomical paintings of the planets by Bonestell.

Adaptations

Episode 12 of the Dimension X radio series was called Destination Moon and was based on Heinlein's input to the script of the movie.

A highly condensed version of the story was released on a 78 rpm disk by Capitol Records in 1950 as part of the "Bozo Approved" series, under the title of Destination Moon (Adapted From The George Pal Production by Charles Palmer)[1]. The narrator was Tom Reddy; Billy May composed incidental and background music. The story took considerable liberties with the film's plot and characters, though the general shape of the story remains.

See also

External links

References

1. ^ [1]
Irving Pichel

Born 24 May 1891(1891--)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died 13 July 1954 (aged 63)
Hollywood, California

Spouse(s) Violette Wilson

Irving Pichel
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George Pál

George Pál in 1979
Birth name Julius György Märczincsák
Born February 1, 1908
Cegléd, Austria-Hungary
Died May 2, 1980
Los Angeles, California

Years active 1934 - 1975
Spouse(s)
..... Click the link for more information.
Robert A. Heinlein

Heinlein signing autographs at the 1976 Worldcon
Born: July 7 1907(1907--)
Butler, Missouri, USA
Died: May 8 1988 (aged 82)
Carmel, California,USA
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Leith Stevens (September 13, 1909 – July 23, 1970) was an American composer.

Born in Mount Moriah, Missouri, the former child prodigy worked as an arranger for CBS radio and went on to become a prolific composer of film scores.
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-1950- 1951 1952 1953  1954 .  1955 .  1956 .  1957  . 1958  . 1959  . 1960 

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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1920s  1930s  1940s  - 1950s -  1960s  1970s  1980s
1947 1948 1949 - 1950 - 1951 1952 1953

Year 1950 (MCML
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Science fiction (abbreviated SF or sci-fi
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Irving Pichel

Born 24 May 1891(1891--)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died 13 July 1954 (aged 63)
Hollywood, California

Spouse(s) Violette Wilson

Irving Pichel
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Technicolor is the trademark for a series of color film processes pioneered by Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation (a subsidiary of Technicolor, Inc.), now a division of Thomson.
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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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Lee Zavitz (born in Mount Vernon, Virginia) was a special effects technician. His first major impact was for his work on John Ford's 1937 film, The Hurricane. Zavitz won an Oscar in 1950 for the space fantasy Destination Moon.
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Robert A. Heinlein

Heinlein signing autographs at the 1976 Worldcon
Born: July 7 1907(1907--)
Butler, Missouri, USA
Died: May 8 1988 (aged 82)
Carmel, California,USA
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"Destination Moon" is a short story by science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein, first published in Short Stories Magazine, September 1950.

The story is an adaptation of his screenplay for the film Destination Moon in 1950, a quasi-documentary film.
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Sputnik program was a series of unmanned space missions launched by the Soviet Union in late 1957 to demonstrate the viability of artificial satellites for exploring the upper atmosphere as part of the International Geophysical Year.
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Space Race was a competition of space exploration between the United States and Soviet Union, which lasted roughly from 1957 to 1975. It involved the efforts to explore outer space with artificial satellites, to send humans into space, and to land people on the Moon.
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George Pál

George Pál in 1979
Birth name Julius György Märczincsák
Born February 1, 1908
Cegléd, Austria-Hungary
Died May 2, 1980
Los Angeles, California

Years active 1934 - 1975
Spouse(s)
..... Click the link for more information.
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IMDb profile
This article is about the 1951 film. For the 1932 novel, see When Worlds Collide. For the professional wrestling event, see When Worlds Collide (wrestling).

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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1920s  1930s  1940s  - 1950s -  1960s  1970s  1980s
1948 1949 1950 - 1951 - 1952 1953 1954

Year 1951 (MCMLI
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The War of the Worlds (also sometimes known as H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds) is a 1953 science fiction film starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson.
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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1920s  1930s  1940s  - 1950s -  1960s  1970s  1980s
1950 1951 1952 - 1953 - 1954 1955 1956

Year 1953 (MCMLIII
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The Time Machine (sometimes known as H.G. Wells' The Time Machine) is a 1960 science fiction film based on The Time Machine, an 1895 novel by H. G.
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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1930s  1940s  1950s  - 1960s -  1970s  1980s  1990s
1957 1958 1959 - 1960 - 1961 1962 1963

Year 1960 (MCMLX
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Mojave Desert (IPA: /ˌmoʊˈhɑvi/ or /məˈhɑvi/), locally referred to as the High Desert
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Moon  

The Moon as seen by an observer on Earth
Orbital characteristics
Periapsis: 363,104 km
0.0024 AU
Apoapsis: 405,696 km
0.0027 AU
Semi-major axis: 384,399 km
0.
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EARTH was a short-lived Japanese vocal trio which released 6 singles and 1 album between 2000 and 2001. Their greatest hit, their debut single "time after time", peaked at #13 in the Oricon singles chart.
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Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (abbreviated USSR, Russian: ; tr.
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In a nuclear thermal rocket a working fluid, usually hydrogen, is heated in a high temperature nuclear reactor, and then expands through a rocket nozzle to create thrust.
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Woody Woodpecker is an animated cartoon character, an anthropomorphic woodpecker (modeled after the Pileated species) who appeared in theatrical short films produced by the Walter Lantz animation studio and distributed by Universal Pictures.
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Lockheed Corporation (originally Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company) was an American aerospace company originally founded in 1912 which merged with Martin Marietta in 1995 to form Lockheed Martin.
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