Four men travel to the Moon but then discover their rocket does not have enough fuel for the return trip.
Intended to be the first realistic film about space exploration, producer George Pal’s fun effort was beaten into cinemas by the exploitation quickie Rocketship X-M. But that didn’t have an animated lecture on the principles of space travel hosted by Woody Woodpecker!
Co-scripted by science fiction great Robert A Heinlein, the pedestrian tale of man’s first lunar landing has dated badly, and the corny dialogue uttered by the barely adequate cast doesn’t help.
Yet the enthralling look, taken straight from the pulp fiction illustrations of the day, is enchanting and colourful and the special effects (which won an Oscar) are impressive for the era.
Dr Charles Cargraves