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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark of Hard Science Fiction
Destination Moon is a true classic. Although not as widely known today as "The Day The Earth Stood Still" or "Forbidden Planet", it easily stands up beside them as representing the absolute best that 1950's science fiction cinema had to offer.

Destination Moon is also a seminal film in that it represents "hard" science fiction. That is, it is a serious attempt...
Published 17 months ago by Theo

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Transfer I've Seen... Ever
One of the greatest joys of DVD for me is not watching your latest block-buster, but seeing older films restored to their former glory. Two of the best are "Now Voyager" and "The Time Machine", but this film "Destination Moon" has to be the worst transfer I have ever seen and basically renders the film unwatchable. I didn't even get past...
Published on Nov. 18 2003 by Keith Miller


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Transfer I've Seen... Ever, Nov. 18 2003
By 
Keith Miller (Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Destination Moon (Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
One of the greatest joys of DVD for me is not watching your latest block-buster, but seeing older films restored to their former glory. Two of the best are "Now Voyager" and "The Time Machine", but this film "Destination Moon" has to be the worst transfer I have ever seen and basically renders the film unwatchable. I didn't even get past the first ten minutes before it was back in it's box and is now being advertised for sale on eBay. Ghastly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark of Hard Science Fiction, Feb. 14 2013
By 
Theo (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Destination Moon (Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
Destination Moon is a true classic. Although not as widely known today as "The Day The Earth Stood Still" or "Forbidden Planet", it easily stands up beside them as representing the absolute best that 1950's science fiction cinema had to offer.

Destination Moon is also a seminal film in that it represents "hard" science fiction. That is, it is a serious attempt to project into the future based on real science as known at the time of its creation. It's not a fantastical romp with gloss of pseudoscience applied for flavor. Nor is this a movie that spends much time exploring human relationships or emotions. This is pure science fiction for science fiction's sake.

Looking back from the vantage point of the early 21st century, its projections may not all have hit the mark. But even its misses are still thought provoking. In a contemporary context I'd encourage anyone to consider this movie in the light of the writings of astronautical engineer Robert Zubrin, or the actual hardware being built by Burt Rutan. Or the original Project Orion - America's real nuclear rocket program.

Destination Moon is a remarkable film and I highly recommend it.

As for the quality of the print... Well, it's watchable, but it is a disappointment. Especially given that one of the best things about this movie is the lunar landscape backdrop painted by famed illustrator Chesley Bonestell. Even today this work is still eerie and incredible to look upon. Destination Moon is no camp B-grade frolic where the crackles and scratches of aging celluloid are almost part of the charm. This movie deserves better. Incidentally, because reviews do tend to migrate around a bit and appear under versions other than the one they were originally written for, please let me stress that I am writing all this about Destination Moon [DVD] [1950] [US Import].

Hidden away in one of the comments to the current "most helpful" review over on Amazon's US website is the information that a company called "Force Entertainment" in Australia is also putting out a DVD of this movie. Being in Australia myself I decided to chase it up. Unfortunately, judging by this review:

(I did give a web address in the previously submitted version of this review but Amazon decided to censor it)

...the Force Entertainment version doesn't sound like it's any better.

You'll notice I gave this product four stars. I took a star off simply because of the poor quality of the print. Ignoring the print and focusing purely on on the movie, Destination Moon easily deserves five.

Theo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, Oct. 31 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Destination Moon (Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
I had seen Destination: Moon before a couple of years ago on TCM, but now it's fresh in my mind.

Firstly I'll get the negative out of the way. I'm disappointed with the general quality of the dvd transfer. This really should be cleaned up for the best colour and removal of periodic visual noise. In that way you could really appreciate the film's visual spectacle which is quite good within context of what they were trying to depict.

There's a lot of good detail in this film and I felt that even with what we know today there isn't much inaccurate. Certainly in context of what was known when the film was made it's very good with the details of space flight. For example I appreciated that they let the actors grow their facial hair since shaving in zero-g wouldn't have been practical and it's just like contemporary astronaut practices. I also liked that while care was shown in showing the characters moving differently in zero-g and on the lunar surface they didn't move with exaggerated slowness. It isn't exactly like actual footage we've seen of Apollo astronauts on the moon, but it's close. I quite liked some of the background details such as private industry being heavily involved in getting into space because it's much like the reality of space programs since the '60s and especially today with private enterprise endeavouring to get space tourism off the ground and made practical. And while I can't say how realistic it is I did like the sense of enthusiasm and urgency the characters conveyed. A great strength of the film is the realism of the characters behaviour and dialogue. There was absolutely nothing B-grade about either. Within the context of the story their behaviour is quite believable. I also appreciate that the sense of urgency is derived from a believable scenario rather than something contrived---it made it all seem more credible.

The Chesley Bonestell artistic influence is quite evident and it's wonderful. No, the film's lunar surface doesn't look as we now understand it, but it's fascinating nonetheless and really conveys a tangible sense of alien environment. I also rather liked the different colour space suits to help identify who is who while outside the ship. Mind you the perfectly clear faceplates of the helmets was amusing given what we now know of the brightness of the sun on the moon. The scenes depicting the Moon and Earth from space are very nice except that the starfields look a little too hokey.

I really like the design of the spaceship Luna. Of course it's nothing like the multistage utilitarian design of a real Saturn V rocket, but it really nails the romanticized idea of future space travel. I love the Luna's clean lines and ideal proportions as well as its silvery finish, a high-tech bullet fired into space and into the future. Wonderful! I only wish we could have seen the ship sail back into Earth's atmosphere and land again.

In it's own way Destination: Moon was a hard SF film much like 2001: A Space Odyssey would be eighteen years later, and it doesn't suffer for it. It clearly shows that in an era of B sci-fi flicks with bug-eyed monsters there were folks who wanted to aim higher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love this movie!, Dec 26 2010
By 
Brian Doyle - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Destination Moon (Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
I first watched this movie many years ago and even though it is pretty "campy" by to-days standards, it is a lot of fun to watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Movie., July 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Destination Moon (Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
The sign of a good movie is always that the plot moves along.
This movie starts and doesn't stop.
The science is solid and holds up more then most.
The special effects are good and consistent, and of course it was written by Robert Heinlein, who wrote the original Starship Troopers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of Note on several fronts., May 11 2014
By 
Big Bill - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Destination Moon (Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
Not exactly a Five Star movie , but it is a movie of Five Star significance. The recent Biography of Robert a Heinlein by Lawrence H Pattison Jr. gives a very good idea of the preliminaries of getting the movie made. Robert Heinleins' personal agenda included
trying to write Science Fiction that would involve the public in the space industry , so getting a movie out must have been a big
win for him. The movie is based on a book called "Rocket Ship Galileo" . Some of the science has been expanded on since ,
but the movie was accurate as they could make it at the time. Produced by George Pal , and won an Oscar for its' special effects,
which by modern standards are no longer so special. Of interest to sci-fi types and fans of RAH. This movie has a definite place
on the sequence of events that eventually lead into space.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BLAST OFF!!, Aug. 24 2005
By 
Dean (Duncan, B.C.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Destination Moon (Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
Any movie about the Moon that shows it having tall jagged mountains instead of the boring roundish features it has in real life, gets 5 stars from me.
GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?
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4.0 out of 5 stars The original "Astronaut Training" film, June 1 2004
By 
V. N. Dvornychenko (Rockville, MD) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Destination Moon (VHS Tape)
This film was not the first dealing with a voyage to the moon (this honor goes to George Melies 1902 film, "Le Voyage dans la lune"), nor was it the first one to treat the subject realistically (Fritz Lang's 1929 "Frau im Mond" beat it by 20 years. However, the film's large budget (for its time), high class special effects, and attempt at realistically portraying a trip to the moon put this film in a class by itself. Perhaps the single most important factor in making this a milestone film was simply the timing. Released some eight years before the official start of the space age, this film was a training film for future space scientists, aerospace engineers (I was one), and astronauts.
Looking back, the film's mistakes are among its most interesting features: 1) the moon's surface is cracked by ubiquitous deep fissures (can't be, because there never was any water); 2) ship is powered by atomic energy (turned out to be too hard and too dangerous); 3) communication with earth is sporadic and primitive (during the Apollo missions, TV was everywhere); 4) no rocket staging (the Apollo vehicle had many stages which were discarded along the way; presumably atomic power made this obsolete); 5) no computers used for control (computers were probably seen as to big and heavy to put in a spaceship).
Suspense and drama are provided when it is discovered the ship is too heavy to return (this is solved). Humor is provided by the kid from Brooklyn. Unusual for a Hollywood movie is the absence of a love interest (Fritz Lang's movie did not resist this temptation). Another interesting aspect of the film was the palpable cold war paranoia. To summarize: although the dialog is stilted, the plot somewhat artificial, and even George Pals and Bonestell's special effects are dated, when it comes right down to it no space video library can be without this film!
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3.0 out of 5 stars WARNING - NOT CAPTIONED, Sept. 28 2003
By 
roger born (ridgecrest, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Destination Moon (Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
This otherwise excellent Geroge Pal movie, fully restored, and one of the only ones where Robert Heinlein participated in the production, is useless to anyone with a hearing impairment.
Nade Williams Collections, Corinth Films and Image Entertainment have produced this movie and another like it, (Rocket XM) which I purchased, and neither of them are captioned.
Having recently lost my hearing, I depend on Closed Captioning for nearly everything on TV or video. Therefore, these old classics which I wanted for my own are worthless in their present condition.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie for late night fun, June 17 2003
By 
Steve Fair (Watauga, Tn United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Destination Moon (Full Screen) [Import] (DVD)
The movie while it may seem a bit elementary today contains a lot of things that classic science fiction fans enjoy. Pretty good story line, decent actors and decent technology for its day. What really made me like this is that it is remastered and repackaged by Wade Williams. I have several dvds that have received the Wade Williams treatment and you can tell it is a labor of love by the remastered print which is fantastic ,the sound improved and even the packaging is improved over most B-movies released. I wish there was a way to do a search for Wade Williams on Amazon because they really know how to treat classic Science Fiction
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Destination Moon (Full Screen) [Import]
Destination Moon (Full Screen) [Import] by Irving Pichel (DVD - 2003)
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