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From the Earth to the Moon (1958)
Topic Started: Jul 29 2018, 06:48 PM (110 Views)
Laughing Gravy
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From the Earth to the Moon (1958) Dir. Byron Haskin
Produced by Benedict Bogeaus for RKO Radio Pictures
Distributed by Warner Bros.
101 min. / color / 1.85:1
DVD or Blu-ray: Nope

ITB Strange Science Cinema #173

Scientist and war profiteer Joseph Cotten has created a new explosive so powerful it can only be tested properly on the moon, so he builds a projectile to send it there. President Grant intervenes for the good of humanity, and Joe cancels the launch, incurring the wrath of his investors, who threaten to lynch him. SO, he decides to turn his projectile into a rocket ship and head into space with rival scientist George Sanders - who turns out to be a religious fanatic who has sabotaged the ship to prevent tampering in God's domain yadda yadda yadda. Also aboard are young lovers Debra Paget and Don Dubbins (who?), who once they figure out they're doomed spend most of the rest of the voyage making out on the poop deck.

"Fairly dull" - Michael J. Weldon

I dunno, I didn't think so. I also didn't think it was the most exciting thing I'd ever seen, and frankly, it was awfully reminiscent of a film I saw not long ago. What I DID like was how seriously Mr. Cotten and Mr. Sanders took the whole thing, really gave the rather cheap-looking sets and repetitive special effects (the same shot of the projectile is used wherever it is in space) a bit of gravitas.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Mr. Dubbins (who?) waxing philosophic: "This is the beginning of something that man has dreamed about ever since he dropped out of the trees and started walking about on two legs."

This seems to have been the start of various studios attempting to cash in on the success of Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; over the next 3 or 4 years we'd see a lot of H.G. Wells/Jules Verne stuff in A pictures. This one was minor but enjoyable. Funny Warner seems to have forgotten it owns it (or maybe rights reverted to somebody else).

Also on the Program

For the kiddies, a trio of color cartoons, including Magoo's Problem Child (Mr. Magoo thinks Waldo has turned into a criminal), and I'll say this, they sure made a lot of Magoo cartoons on awfully thin material. Then, Mighty Mouse went to Krakatoa to save mice from a volcano and jitterbug with Krakatoa Katy, the island "Bad Girl" mouse (well, she IS, they tell us), and I love Mighty Mouse cartoons. Then Superman had a Showdown with a fake Superman who was robbing jewels and on to "Blast in the Depths", chapter 12 of Superman the serial and the trailer for next week's movie The Atomic Submarine and drive safely, folks!
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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Balcony Gang, Foist Class
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For me, this was a thoroughly frustrating film; far more than "Blast Off" which at least was playful. The cheapness was often obvious; the plotting was muddy (Cotten's turn from profiteer to idealist isn't really shown); the science was flaky even by fantasy standards (we're told you have to be in a centrifuge to survive launch, but the girl does fine hiding in a spacesuit); and it was mostly a downer.

"First Men in the Moon" beats it twelve ways to Sunday, even before finding lunar life.
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