Project Moonbase (1953)

project moonbase 1953

Hard to believe the story and screenplay are by Robert A.Heinlein. The poster should be a tip off that you’re in for a dumb ride.

The U.S. has a space station. That’s where a ship will leave to explore the Moon. An unnamed enemy wants to destroy the station and it’s H-Bomb. They scour their files to find a double for someone going to the station. It’s takes them a year but they get their man. As soon as they dye his hair gray he’ll be all set to pose as Dr.Werner. The real one is supposed to photograph the dark side of the Moon. The fake one is supposed to slam the moon ship into the station.

Meanwhile…in another part of town. General Greene (Hayden Rourke) is telling Major Bill Moore (Ross Ford) that he’ll be piloting the Moon ship. He’s all smiles until he finds out the co-pilot will be Colonel Briteis. Then he’s really ticked off when a message comes from the President that Briteis will be the pilot. Bill says Briteis was okay as a Captain but the promotion went to the Colonel’s head and he doesn’t want to go. Greene tells him he doesn’t really have a choice.

In walks the Colonel. Gasp! It’s a woman (Donna Martell) And what a woman! On the way to the space station they yell at the top of their lungs as the acceleration crushes down on them. This gives the film makers an excuse to make the Colonel’s uniform top even tighter.

Now they’re on the space station. It has signs posted saying “Please Do Not Walk On The Walls.” Greene tells them to get ready to board the moon ship. Briteis wants to land on the Moon. Nothing doing. The Colonel, the Major and the fake Wernher get on board. On the way Briteis tells Wernher a bit about how the ship functions and Bill is getting suspicious.

The movie takes place in 1970 but Bill remembers all those war movies from the 40’s and gets suspicious when Wernher doesn’t know who the Brooklyn Dodgers are. Wernher slams down on the controls and it’s time for more yelling and tightening during acceleration.  No choice but to land on the Moon.

Bill overpowers Wernher and puts him in storage. Briteis apologizes to Bill for “Going Female.” She’s okay now. Bill has to take an eleven mile hike to put a radio relay on a mountain peak so a signal can reach the space station. Wernher has to go with him to help. Bill points a gun at him and tells him that’s what he’ll get if he causes any trouble.

They’re off while Briteis plays with the monitor. Bill plants the relay. Wernher plants himself as he falls off the mountain. Bill barely makes it back. They contact Greene and he’s not happy about the Moon landing until they explain. He also tells them about the fake Wernher. The FBI found the real one. They tell him they already know.

Now Greene says they’ll be known as Moon Base One. He tells Briteis to go below. He wants to speak to Bill in confidence. He has an idea from the President. Now things get really stupid. For it’s time the ending does have a bit of a shocker.

Some of the special effects are beyond crude. There are some scenes on the Moon where the sound stage does look interesting. The soundtrack by Herschel Burke Gilbert is decent. Donna Martell’s acting…well….why do you think they decked her out in a tight top?

What the well dressed astronaut will wear

What the well dressed astronaut will wear

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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