PROJECT MOON BASE (1953)
Article #285 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 12-25-2001
Posting date: 5-10-2002
A saboteur tries to destroy a space station, which forces an expedition sent out to photograph the back side of the moon to actually land on the surface of it.
Yes, that is Robert Heinlein’s name you see on the credits, and there are touches throughout that indicate he did have his hand in this. If you take into account that the show was originally slated for TV, the special effects are very good; for a movie, they do lack somewhat. However, the overall presentation is so humdrum and desultory that it’s hard to keep interested in the story, and the two main threads of the story (the standard spy story and the overly cute and contrived romance) are nothing to write home about. The movie also undercuts some of its good ideas badly; the rather novel idea of making the president of the United States a woman is offset by having Colonel Breiteis be a petulant spoiled girl intruding on a man’s world (though she provides the love interest). Even the novel space station footage where people walk on several planes (I love the DO NOT WALK ON THE WALLS sign) loses its impact during a meeting where some people appear to be sitting on the floor while others are sitting on the wall by making you notice that they have to uncomfortably crane their necks to look at each other; you know that in reality the rooms would have to be designed better than that.