George Pál’s Destination Moon

Today on Discovery Enterprise we will be featuring one of the greatest science fiction film classics of all time – Destination Moon.

Destination Moon was released in 1950 and directed by the legendary film director George Pál, who later produced other great science fiction film classics as “When Worlds Collide”, “The War of the Worlds”, and “The Time Machine”.


Pál commissioned the script by James O’Hanlon and Rip Van Ronkel. The film was directed by Irving Pichel, was shot in Technicolor and was distributed in the USA by Eagle-Lion Classics.


Destination Moon was the first major science-fiction film produced in the United States dealing seriously with the prospect, problems and technology of space travel. This movie was not the first such to hit the screens, however; Rocketship X-M stole its thunder.

The eminent science-fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein contributed significantly to the script and served as a technical adviser. Heinlein also published a novella of the same name based on the screenplay about the same time as the release of the film.

The film also fore shadowed many of the space milestones Apollo era and other space projects.

Much of the technology depicted in Destination Moon (such as nuclear propulsion and single-stage rockets) and other aspects like industry-driven project development vs. government driven, contrast with the eventual Apollo and Soviet Luna programs. However, in many aspects, the movie predicted elements of the Apollo Lunar missions and other first space flights. But, under President Barack Obama’s new space policy goals industry- driven space projects may indeed become a reality. But, time can only tell. In the meantime, and without further adieu dear readers we present – Destination Moon.


Destination Moon is available for free download at the Internet Archive.

Destination Moon (1950) also on YouTube


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