Moon Pilot

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Moon Pilot

Post  BoG on Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:33 pm

I finally got around to watching this, during a marathon on TCM (celebrating the 40th anniversary of the actual moon landing). After a certain non-human space traveler completes an orbit around the Earth successfully, a hasty decision is made to send a human astronaut on a trip around the moon. The general in charge (Brian Keith) asks for volunteers; no one hastens to raise their hand - an odd preoccupation with a certain timidity which pervades this film. Tom Tryon ends up as a volunteer by accident; he's actually afraid of heights.

Yes, this is a typical lame Disney comedy of the sixties. It's also odd (as I already mentioned); Tryon's role would be later played in similar films by such comedians as Don Knotts - that's whom we usually expect in these comedies. I was accustomed to seeing Tryon in dramas; or, at least, in serious sci-fi like I Married a Monster From Outer Space (1958).
I was impressed by the early scene of the Air Force picking up a space capsule - it looked realistic; but, after that, it all devolves into cutesy possible spy intrigue and actors hamming it up - actors like Edmond O'Brien who, again, are usually better utilized in serious drama. Tommy Kirk shows up briefly as Tryon's brother. Before I watched this, I thought it would be about Tryon's trip to (or around) the moon. Instead, it's mostly about Tryon running about here (on Earth), usually from an annoying young lady (played by Dany Saval, who, unsurprisingly, did not appear in very many American films). She has a very French accent and is more foreign than Tryon realizes. Very silly and even ridiculous - but not all that funny Mad .