Project Moonbase - The 1953 SCI-FI Schlocker!

 (35)3.31 h 3 min195313+
In the not-too-distant future of 1970, the United States is considering building bases on the Moon, and send a female colonel and two men to investigate. One of the men turns out to be a foreign spy, and the entire operation--and the future of the free world--is in danger.
Richard Talmadge
Donna MartellHayden RorkeRoss Ford
Science FictionDramaAction
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Larry JohnsHerb JacobsBarbara MorrisonErnestine BarrierJames Craven
Galaxy Pictures Inc.
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4.0 out of 5 stars

35 global ratings

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Al PhabeticalReviewed in the United States on November 6, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
This movie stinks to high heaven, but ...
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... you have to see it. Don't expect Plan-9-style crappiness. Don't expect a plot. Don't expect anything, because nothing can prepare you. I just now watched it. I hadn't seen it before, and I was two years old when it was released in 1953. I had more fun watching this than I've had in a long time watching a movie. I laughed out loud about once a minute.

It is easy to poke fun at these old sci-fi potboilers. The mickey-mouse science, the wooden blocking, the whining theremins. This one has something extra, something that lifts it partway out of the slopbucket of pure crapola, but it's hard to say what that is. It might be the absolute sincerity of the inept director, which shines through like the stars that you can see through the black parts of the space station. It might be the incredibly good special effects (for the time), that stand up like the supply rocket fails to do when it gets to the moon. It might be the jaw-dropping sexism cutting both ways or the endless unintentional gags. It might be Donna Martell.

Some movies have value for capturing the beauty of an actress for posterity, even if for nothing else. This is one. Martell is the prettiest actress who ever graced the silver screen—prettier than Grace Kelley in Dial M, prettier than Diane Kruger in Joyeux Noel, prettier than Emmanuelle Chriqui at the park in Zohan, prettier than the girl in the car who laughed at Judge Reinhold in his pirate hat in Fast Times, prettier than Emily Foxler at the door with her cake in Killer Pad, prettier than Audrey Hepburn …. OK. Nobody is prettier than Audrey Hepburn. Close second. Donna Martell is a colossal heartbreaker in this movie. She's still alive, by the way, at 92.

This movie stinks to high heaven nevertheless. Don't let me leave you with the impression that it is good in any way. It's just that the effects guy had the brains to shoot the blastoffs upside-down so the smoke goes the same way as the rocket blast for a change. They actually addressed weightlessness in a surprisingly accurate and fun way. The models were better than the ones in Star Wars. There are good things about it. But it still stinks.
9 people found this helpful
B. ChandlerReviewed in the United States on December 3, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Sequel to destination Moon.
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“Danger adventure and breathtaking thrills come rocketing to the screen.”

The year is 1970 and the US has built a space station that can be used as a platform for the mission of orbiting the moon. This is only the first step in building a movement based military station. Yet some are opposed to the US being there and will do everything in their power to sabotage the station. Can they do this and how will they do this?

Meantime Maj. Bill Moore's (Ross Ford) debut as the rocket Cmdr. has been usurped by his arch-rival Col. Briteis (Donna Martell). Watch as their rivaling banter turns into something more serious.

This film looks like it was put together from a Saturday afternoon series. However, I don't remember seeing anybody in scanty T-shirts. The dialog is a little stilted and the technology a little hokey. However, even though you can anticipate what's going to happen it's fun to see it in action. You'll see quite a few cliffhangers and might have to cover your kid's eyes during the gushy scenes or at least plug their ears.

[[ASIN:B0000648YD Flight to Mars]]
2 people found this helpful
Paul S. PersonReviewed in the United States on January 3, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
An Interesting Historical Record
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I watched this because it is written, in some sense, by Robert A. Heinlein.
It does look very 50s schlockfest-like, I must admit.
It's view of how female military officers would dress (that is, what their version of the uniform would look like, and how they would behave) fits in quite well with Heinlein's novels and with 50s expectations.
IOW, the uniform looks nothing like the one the men are wearing, and the officer herself is basically a spoiled brat.
So, if nothing else, this film records attitudes towards women prevalent in the 50s which are now a bit ... undesirable. To say the least.
The film is short; it would be even shorter except that they took the time to show us exactly how the commie agent was infiltrated onto the team and what his orders were.
The budget was low, the actors are unknown; however, I think they did a good job with their roles. And what's an extra that looks like a mannequin among friends?
It manages a credible job at portraying space travel. Keep in mind that, in 1953, nobody actually /knew/, from experience, what it was like. The theory, however, used to make the film was clearly sound.
One person found this helpful
Wayne S. JonessReviewed in the United States on May 2, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Much Better Than Expected - Classic 50's Sci-Fi
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This film has just about everything I like in a vintage science fiction film, with none of the things I do not like! The effects scenes are pretty darn good. The science in the film is pretty accurate, all things considered. And I was surprised to see both a woman in charge of the rocket ship, and the appearance of a woman as the President of the United States! Furthermore, the film has a pretty decent score as well. Happily our rocket ship captain in the film was not required to scream at the hanky monsters, which seems to define the role of women in lot of these older films. Highly recommended.
3 people found this helpful
azogReviewed in the United States on February 17, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Project Stinkbase
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When watching old movies like this, I try to keep perspective of the era in which it was released. In 1953, this was 8 years before Gagarin orbited the earth, and 16 years before we even landed on the moon. They tried as best as I assume they could, but came up very short.

Flight mechanics are just nonsensical. They do gain a few points for casting women in high powered positions traditionally relegated to men, but they just as quickly loose those points by making said women meek and submissive. And it all goes out the window anyways with the conclusion. The miniature models are interesting.

This thing aged worse than a tuna sandwich left on the dashboard of a car in Atlanta on a July afternoon.
J LewisReviewed in the United States on May 27, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Originally was to be a TV pilot!
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Not widely known, this was supposed to be a TV pilot for a series of space stories (all possibly by Robert A. Heinlein) that was much shorter.

What happened?

That fellow you see alongside RAH's name in the opening credits happened. When he saw scifi and space films taking off so well in the 1950s he added and shot scenes to pad the story out to feature length to be able to get it released in theaters. Heinlein was NOT a happy camper when he saw this. While you can see the intercuts that weren't RAH's stuff, quite a bit got through in the sections that were obviously his--especially any of the scenes of Hayden Rorke portraying a Heinlein 'Old Man' command character.
ZenDodge69Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
50s schlock, spoilers ahead.
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SPOILER ALERT!: The movie was a bit interesting, but they ruined it with an unnecessary romance and marriage. Hollywood is never going to stop ruining movies with that crap. Anyway, they made no attempt to futurize the movie outside of the t shirt, shorts and skullcap uniforms. And it is unusual for a women to be in charge in the 50s, but don't worry the cultural values of the time eventually take over. I found it hard to believe that Robert Heinlein (the sci fi writer) had a hand in this, as there were some scientific inaccuracies. The lead actress sounds like a spoiled teen ager most of the time and the lead actor constantly insults her. This movie is for someone who likes these B movies, otherwise it is not worth a watch.
Carl BostekReviewed in the United States on January 28, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Good for a few (very few) laughs. Especially if you like patronizing men and submissive women.
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I've been a fan of RAH (Robert A. Heinlein) since I was in 6th or 7th grade. His association with Destination Moon is well known, but I never knew he was associated with this bomb until I stumbled across it tonight. OTOH, I'm sad to say, his influence on this clear to anyone familiar with his stories. Even though Heinlein wrote some strong women characters, especially in his later novels, they were often to some degree submissive to men who dominated their lives. That is all too evident here, amplified, I suppose, by the producer having the crew wearing shorts and Col. Briteyes wearing the cone shaped bra so typical of that era.
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