Saturday Night Drive In: Destination Moon (1950 George Pal Film)

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Also known as Operation Moon, Destination Moon is a 1950 independent film produced by George Pal.  The film is directed by Irving Pichel and stars John Archer (Not the one from Enterprise), Warner Anderson, Tom Powers, Dick Wesson, and Woody Woodpecker

Though independent and not really what I could call a great film it is probably the first film that deals with the dangers that come with human beings traveling in space.   Keep in mind, the film was made before we actually went to the moon so the moon was this highly anticipated dream yet to attain by America and imaginatively illustrates what the problems with a lunar landing and take off could be.

The film was made during a capitalist era so the notion that the government would pay for such an endeavor wasn’t really a thought because it wasn’t up to the government to provide this service so private enterprise teamed up to finance, research, develop, and produce the goods and materials needs for such an important endeavor.

The film shows all the American corporations coming together for the common good to create this amazing feat.  It also of course is wrought with many dangers, bad conversation, unrealistic casting for astronauts, and not very good acting.

But the film’s best actor would have to be Woody Woodpecker (no lie).  Though the movie is hoaky and kinda lame in a been there done that kinda way it’s also nice to see a film before we knew what know now about the planets and the solar system today.

The movie however did win an Academy Award for best special effects and for 1950 standards they really are quite amazing.  So enjoy this technicolor classic of how our trip to the moon could have been very very different!

Liked the film?

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