Tuesday, December 6, 2016

1950s Moon Movies: Destination Moon

At the suggestion of my lady fair, I am tackling some 1950s Moon Movies. Yeah I know it is out of my element without mass levels of jiggly girls, nudity and plot holes the size of Kansas but it should be fun. With the space race in full swing 11 years after this film, building the necessary foundation of space exploration, a small group of scientists have to convince US companies to foot the bill when the government says it's too much. This is Destination Moon.

Smoooth Criminal!!!  Ow!

With Dr. Charles Cargraves (Warner Anderson of The Lineup, The Caine Mutiny, Peyton Place and The Rockford Files) and retired General Thayer (Tom Powers of Double Indemnity, Angel and the Badman, Julius Caesar, Double Jeopardy and The Go-Getter) desperate to be the first men to make it to the moon, their prototype satellite rocket fails on the ground. The government isn't likely to keep backing financially for more failures in their eyes so the fellas must make their way to the private sector. Aviation constructor and CEO Jim Barnes (John Archer of White Heat, Destination Moon, The Big Trees, Blue Hawaii and The Little Sister) might just be what the guys were looking for.

Establishing the heat from McCarthy spotting reds in every direction to the threat of the USSR gaining an orbital death platform, the general is convinced they simply must gather nothing but the best engineers, scientists and aviators and try again. It is imperative. Jim pushes the fellow captains of industry have to be sold on a Woody Woodpecker cartoon explaining the fundamentals of space travel. Poppycock! The stuff of fantasy! Is it really so impossible that it could not be done?

Dr. Cargraves is home with the wife Emily (Erin O' Brien-Moore of Little Men, Two in the Dark, Ring Around the Moon, The Plough and the Stars, Black Legion, Green Light and The Family Secret) has been given the call that private enterprise is on board, creating airlocks that are pressurized, blue prints created for the original rocket basis for the Apollo, using the Air Force poopie suits (An Air Force survival suit allowing body heat to be contained in the even of an emergency bailout over waters) or immersion suits.

Swingin' mad pad you got here, Daddy-O

Just want to take this time to tell you what impressed me with this movie. The accurate portrayal of weightlessness before the Apollo missions. The usage of jet packs with oxygen tanks maneuvering the astronauts in space and them surviving with bananas and coffee prior to the tang and baby food. All these concepts were based on simple theoretical physics of the time and it was frickin' awesome how true to life they were.

A gross miscalculation means not enough fuel to turn it and burn it back to Earth. Stripping non-essential parts and lighting the load still leaves them a hundred pounds too heavy. One of the four will have to stay behind. Who will it be?

Remember that none of this was factual as this is a decade before anyone made it into space. Admittedly the light-bulbs via starfield were a bit bright but dammit it worked for Roddenberry 14 years later so quit grumping. Also the fact of having a four man flight crew, meaning 4 times the possibility of getting home is no joke. Accidents could happen and no we did not watch a few minutes of them peeing into a hose. That is all Tom Hanks.

Stop farting up there!  God, it's like a stinky jungle.