Posts Tagged ‘Leith Stevens’


October 8, 2014 1 comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producer George Pal sought to start the decade of the 1950s with a well-made outer space drama. He adapted “Rocket Ship Galileo”, a novel by Robert Heinlein, for his project and installed Irving Pichel to direct. The story reveals humanity’s first effort to fly a spaceship to the Moon. Dr. Charles Cargraves and space exploration enthusiast General Thayer solicit aircraft executive Jim Barnes to join them in a collective effort to build Earth’s first nuclear powered spacecraft. Politics, public hysteria and regulations threaten to shutdown the project but are circumvented by a decision to pre-empt impending interference by launching early. They successfully launch and begin the epic trek, but are forced to make emergency repairs mid flight that includes a dramatic rescue of an un-tethered crewman. As they initiate lunar descent, miscalculation causes them to consume too much fuel during the landing. System check calculations indicate that they now have insufficient fuel reserves to successfully blast off and achieve lunar orbit with the full crew. They make desperate efforts to lighten the ship yet come up short by 110 pounds; meaning one of the crew must remain. With their launch window closing and crew anxiety building, they resolve to not only jettison the ship’s radio equipment, there-by losing contact with Earth, but also their sole remaining space suit. With time almost out the Luna safely blasts off from the Moon with all aboard and completes its epic voyage by returning to Earth. The film was a modest commercial success and earned two Academy Award nominations, winning one for Visual Effects. Read more…