According to Grayson, producer George Pal decided to go in an entirely new direction after his successful run in animation by turning to plausible science fiction. Pal hired novelist-engineer Robert Heinlein to write a screenplay – as realistic as possible – for a moon landing, 19 years before it actually happened. It hits most of the marks, even talking about the possibility of running up against the Russians.
Says Grayson, “Using a no-name cast and relying on great special effects and lush Technicolor, ‘Destination Moon’ only falls down in some of its corny dialogue, mostly coming from an uninformed electronics technician who sports a Brooklyn accent that would embarrass Bugs Bunny.”
The movie, which stars John Archer and Warner Anderson, ushered in the era of 1950s science fiction that led to “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “The Thing,” “When Worlds Collide” and “Conquest of Space,” among many others.
Director Irving Pichel was a prolific actor, too, best remembered as the evil henchman in “Dracula's Daughter” (1936).
Admission is $5; concessions are $1. Info: 327-7135. For more information on Grayson work, visit www.drfilm.net/blog.