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One of several films trying to cash in on the Jules Verne name, in the wake of the very successful 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (54). This one might be the biggest failure. It takes place just after the American Civil War and concerns two protagonists, played by Joseph Cotten and George Sanders. They are rivals but end up together on a spaceship to the moon due to their respective inventions - Cotten invented a new explosive dubbed "Power X" while Sanders has manufactured a new metal. Also along for the ride are a younger couple, played by Debra Paget and Don Dubbins.
Science is not a friend to this film - shooting people to the moon with a big cannon - and it's also deadly dull: it takes a while for the new ship to get going to the moon and after a short but still very dull trip in space, there's a pretty grim conclusion:
- the ship splits in two - the two older gentlemen do end up on the moon (though we do not see this, it's only suggested), while the young couple end up in Earth's orbit where they are stuck until their portion of the ship burns up in re-entry. The strangely fatalistic tone is made more odd by the cheerful mention of how the two older guys have landed safely with several days supplies, failing to follow-up with the fact that they will die of starvation after the supplies run out.
From the Earth to Trivia:
over a decade later, actor Cotten guest-starred on an episode of The Virginian, A Time of Terror (broadcast in Feb. 1970), as a judge named Will McMasters; at one point, the regular character of Clay Grainger (John McIntire) states that Will McMasters couldn't take a bribe anymore than he could fly to the moon; maybe the judge did take a bribe...
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