Destination Moon Overview:

Destination Moon (1950) was a Science Fiction - Adventure Film directed by Irving Pichel and produced by George Pal.

Academy Awards 1950 --- Ceremony Number 23 (source: AMPAS)

Best Art DirectionArt Direction: Ernst Fegte; Set Decoration: George SawleyNominated

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Destination Moon (1950)

By Beatrice on Jul 14, 2015 From Flickers in Time

Destination Moon Directed by Irving Pichel Written by Alford Van Ronkel, Robert A. Heinlein and James O’Hanlon from a novel by Heinlein 1950/USA George Pal Productions First viewing/Amazon Instant Turgid story but still an interesting insight on how space travel was envisioned about 20 ye... Read full article

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Quotes from

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.

[after stepping onto the Moon's surface]
Jim Barnes: Claim it, Doc! I'm your witness - claim it officially.
Dr. Charles Cargraves: By the grace of God, and the name of the United States of America, I take possession of this planet on behalf of, and for the benefit of, all mankind.

General Thayer: On the Moon! Jim, Doc, we're on the Moon!
Joe Sweeney: And we're alive - holy cow! General, the next time you tell me you can get to the Moon, I'll believe you!

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Facts about

A massive campaign was undertaken to create public awareness of the film during its production. This campaign also attracted the attention of independent producer Robert L. Lippert who rushed a low budget space travel film, Rocketship X-M, into production to capitalize on this campaign. Legal action forced Lippert to modify the campaign for his film. Material sent to exhibitors for "Rocketship X-M" carried the disclaimer "This is not 'Destination Moon'." Lippert was able to have "Rocketship X-M" into general release more than three weeks before this film had its preview engagements.
The rocket uses water, heated by a nuclear reactor, as reaction mass. This system, although with electrical heating, is actually occasionally used for small unmanned rockets for scientific research. Both the US and the Soviet Union tried to build (jet) airplanes on the principle but abandoned the concept because a flying nuclear reactor was too risky.
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.
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Best Art Direction Oscar 1950

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Also directed by Irving Pichel

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Also produced by George Pal

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Also released in 1950

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