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Title: Destination Moon
Released: 1950
Running time: 1:29:25
Director: Irving Pichel
Producer: George Pal
Writer: Alford Van Ronkel, Robert A. Heinlein
Cast: John Archer, Warner Anderson, Tom Powers, Dick Wesson, Ted Warde, Erin O’Brien-Moore, Michael Miller

Scientist Dr. Charles Cargraves, former Air Force General Thayer, and industrial tycoon Jim Barnes believe that it’s time that the U.S. blazed new trails and found new adventures. Convinced that exploration of space is the wave of the future (and that America’s dominance in space is vitally important if they are to continue to dominate the Earth), the three men begin planning and constructing a spaceship called “Luna” in the Mojave Desert that will take the men to the moon and back. However, anti-American forces begin flooding the press with propaganda against the moon mission, and finally the men make their way to moon without the aid of the federal government. While the men are thrilled to succeed in their mission, it turns out that they miscalculated the amount of fuel needed to return — and that the rocket needs to drop a lot of weight if it is to return to Earth. Destination Moon won an Academy Award for Best Special Effects of 1950; the film also features a brief appearance by cartoon favorite Woody Woodpecker, who helps explain how rockets work.

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