Project Moon Base (1953)

This low budget science fiction film with story by Robert Heinlein of all people was given to the American movie-going public by Lippert Pictures. Certainly a writer of Heinlein’s reputation in the science fiction genre deserved better than a film by Lippert.

We’re into the future, 1970 to be precise and the Cold War is still going on and it’s race to the moon to see who can establish a base there and point missiles at Earth. There’s a US constructed and operated space station out there already and the Communists want to see it destroyed and our progress in space halted and maybe even reversed.

What to do but plant a spy on board a mission to the moon who will take over the ship and destroy the space station. The spy is Larry Johns who is discovered by that tried and true device so popular during World War II, knowledge of baseball. I mean anybody who’s never heard of the Brooklyn Dodgers has to be an enemy agent. And here the Dodgers never went west.

As if problems with Russian spies isn’t enough, pilot Donna Martell and co-pilot Ross Ford are feuding. She was jumped over him in rank and given the first orbital space flight due to her sex and Ford doesn’t like it. He kind of likes her though and they do get kind of close.

Even seen from a Cold War perspective I have to believe that Heinlein’s story was a great deal more complex. The sets are Lippert style cheap and the story is to ridiculous to describe further.