Review of Rocketship X-M (1950)

Moving picture, 77 minutes

Seen in 2021.

15 minutes before takeoff, the entire crew of the first manned mission to the moon is chatting it up with journalists at the first press conference on the subject. No matter; they accidentally go to Mars.

Kitsch. Dalton Trumbo’s work on the script is uncredited. He spent most of 1950 in a Kentucky penitentiary for contempt of Congress. I don’t know how much Trumbo did to damn or save this cheap production, but the script is certainly bad. It’s not as bad as The Martian Chronicles (1950) but there’s a whiff of A Princess of Mars (1912/1917) in a confrontation with rock-throwing degenerates, which meshes poorly with the writers’ flailing attempts to make the journey through space seem more plausible than “A Trip to the Moon” (1902).

References here: “The Imagination of Disaster” (1965), Stowaway (2021).

moving picture fiction