Destination Moon

Film Review by Dean Duncan Mar 28, 2015

Destination Moon is awesomely dull and stolid, to the point of a strange, admirable sort of integrity. Did Carl Dreyer see this before undertaking Gertrud? I find Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers to be intelligently and honourably Conservative, and Farmer in the Sky too. This one, with Heinlein’s numerous writing contributions, has a little more Cold War urgency to it. As a result it pushes harder. It’s still not dishonourable, but it’s complicated. It’s interesting to hear various of the film’s personages acknowledge geopolitical complexities and uncertainties, and then, still to posit the irreducible virtue and efficiency of markets in the face thereof. Fair enough!

The sets and effects are very good, especially the parts on the moon. Those painted backdrops are really spectacular, quite worthy of celebration for all that they stand in the background. There are some terrific educational bits too, at least to scientifically woeful people like me. Thrust and anti-thrust, for instance. I like the actors’ G-force faces, which sort of resemble their non-G-force faces. The solution to the last problem is cool. Also, the comic relief is admirably, almost nobly unfunny.