Thursday, January 19, 2017

Rocketship X-M (1950)

Starring Lloyd Bridges, Osa Massen, John Emery, Noah Beery Jr., Hugh O'Brian
Directed by Kurt Neumann
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

The first manned rocketship launches on a voyage to the moon, and its crew encounters several hazards and miscalculations that carry them far off course.

Although less famous than the other "moon" film that came out the same year, Destination Moon, and possessing lesser special effects and costumes, I've always been fond of this movie, which has some memorable visuals, a good music score, and a well-composed screenplay, despite containing a few pieces of sexist dialogue.  Neumann, who later directed the definitely more famous The Fly, keeps things suspenseful and interesting throughout, but the picture really takes off when the rocketship finally lands, as a combination of matte paintings and rocky scenery are beautifully captured by photographer Karl Struss and given mysterious accompaniment by Ferde Grofe's score.  John Emery probably gives his best performance, at least the best I've seen from him, and Morris Ankrum appears in his first of many science fiction movies of the 1950s.

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