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Script: Destination Moon (Opus G.073) (1948)
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Author:  BillMullins [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Script: Destination Moon (Opus G.073) (1948)

Bill Patterson wrote:
But in any case, the book got a credit card on the movie, and that's probably the reason why the attribution continues to be perpetuated.


Was this a case of the producers giving Heinlein screen credit (and/or possible cash) to preclude the possibility of a later lawsuit?

Author:  JamesGifford [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Script: Destination Moon (Opus G.073) (1948)

Bill Mullins wrote:
Was this a case of the producers giving Heinlein screen credit (and/or possible cash) to preclude the possibility of a later lawsuit?

No, remember that Heinlein was wholly involved with the project from start to finish. It's not like they were, um, borrowing the ideas a la The Brain Eaters or anything.

Heinlein regarded DM as an evolution of RSG. It's a heck of a lot closer than some "adaptations" I've seen. Hence the credit, which may have been as much a promotional tie-in as anything.

Author:  beamjockey [ Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Script: Destination Moon (Opus G.073) (1948)

I am very interested in finding further information on the mysterious Moon Ballet I recently discovered.

I have now put a summary of what I know at http://www.geocities.com/higgins2k@sbcglobal.net/moonballet/moonballet.html.

I include pictures of the three dancers and of Double-Breasted-Suit Guy, in hope that someone can identify them.

If you know anybody who can dig up clues about dancers in Hollywood in 1949-- say scholars or buffs of dance, or movie musicals-- please urge them to take a look at my site. Perhaps we can uncover more of this hidden story.

Author:  BillPatterson [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Script: Destination Moon (Opus G.073) (1948)

beamjockey wrote:
I am very interested in finding further information on the mysterious Moon Ballet I recently discovered.

I have now put a summary of what I know at http://www.geocities.com/higgins2k@sbcglobal.net/moonballet/moonballet.html.

I include pictures of the three dancers and of Double-Breasted-Suit Guy, in hope that someone can identify them.

If you know anybody who can dig up clues about dancers in Hollywood in 1949-- say scholars or buffs of dance, or movie musicals-- please urge them to take a look at my site. Perhaps we can uncover more of this hidden story.

I've put out two or three feelers, but I think the best chance of coming up with some information, thoughnot a very good one, is George Pal's estate.

Author:  BillMullins [ Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Script: Destination Moon (Opus G.073) (1948)

The photographer, Allan Grant, only died last year (Feb 2008). His obits said he lived in Brentwood, CA and his widow's name is Karin("In addition to his wife, Grant is survived by daughter Kristina, sons Richard and Ronald and three grandchildren."). Perhaps you could contact her, and she could provide a lead.

Author:  BillPatterson [ Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Script: Destination Moon (Opus G.073) (1948)

Bill Mullins wrote:
The photographer, Allan Grant, only died last year (Feb 2008). His obits said he lived in Brentwood, CA and his widow's name is Karin("In addition to his wife, Grant is survived by daughter Kristina, sons Richard and Ronald and three grandchildren."). Perhaps you could contact her, and she could provide a lead.

That's a thought -- but I'm afraid that's about on the same level of likelihood as Pal's estate. Unless one of the kids happened to conceive a passion for his father's work -- not entirely impossible. Worth a shot, though.

Author:  BillPatterson [ Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Script: Destination Moon (Opus G.073) (1948)

Bill Patterson wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:
The photographer, Allan Grant, only died last year (Feb 2008). His obits said he lived in Brentwood, CA and his widow's name is Karin("In addition to his wife, Grant is survived by daughter Kristina, sons Richard and Ronald and three grandchildren."). Perhaps you could contact her, and she could provide a lead.

That's a thought -- but I'm afraid that's about on the same level of likelihood as Pal's estate. Unless one of the kids happened to conceive a passion for his father's work -- not entirely impossible. Worth a shot, though.

Bill, you seem to be much more expert at newspaper searches than I am -- something suggested itself to me yesterday, and I've been trying to frame in my mind the correct way to search it: One of those photos look like a distinctively Asian dancer, and there cannot have been many Chinese or Japanese dancers in Hollywood in 1949. It is something that might have been noted in the Trades or even in the major papers. Apparently there was a lot of hot buzz about DM going on during the filming and post production, and they got a lot of visitors. This might have been an impromptu performance by a visiting dance company. Could it be that, say, the Shanghai Ballet was on a cultural exchange visit to Los Angeles in November or December 1949? Ben Babb was the publicity guy for the film, and if he hadn't died in the 1960's, he might have been able to give some guidance.

Author:  JamesGifford [ Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Script: Destination Moon (Opus G.073) (1948)

I wonder if this is any connection: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0040725/.

I searched for "dance" in films from 1948 to 1951 and this popped out. It was filmed in England in 1948, but had the same distributor (Eagle-Lion) as DM. I don't see an obviously Asian name among the dancers but there is mention of flying dancers and objects.

The blonde dancer bears a striking resemblance to Moira Shearer, but I can't make the match positive.
Ditto, double-breasted suit guy looks a lot like Emeric Pressburger. OTOH, I've spent a lot of time trying to identify bit actors by photo comparison and it's easy to go wrong. (One absolutely positive match I had was of either the same guy or him and his clone... and the actor himself got in touch to say I was wrong!)

The date of these on the original site is January 1, 1950 - I wonder if that's a bogus date (e.g. "some time in 1950") or if they really shot on New Year's Day... which would make sense as filming would likely have been suspended that day.

This is fascinating. Perhaps a check of LIFE magazines in 1950 is in order - even a one-page article might explain things. (Hmm, a glance at all the 1950 covers doesn't show anything obvious.)

Author:  beamjockey [ Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Script: Destination Moon (Opus G.073) (1948)

James Gifford wrote:
I wonder if this is any connection: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0040725/.

I searched for "dance" in films from 1948 to 1951 and this popped out. It was filmed in England in 1948, but had the same distributor (Eagle-Lion) as DM. I don't see an obviously Asian name among the dancers but there is mention of flying dancers and objects.

The Red Shoes, one of the most famous dance movies of all time. I've always meant to watch it. I think it was on TCM just a week or two ago.

James Gifford wrote:
The blonde dancer bears a striking resemblance to Moira Shearer, but I can't make the match positive.
Ditto, double-breasted suit guy looks a lot like Emeric Pressburger. OTOH, I've spent a lot of time trying to identify bit actors by photo comparison and it's easy to go wrong.

Now that I've looked up Pressburger, I think he doesn't resemble D-BSG much. He seems to have been balder around that time of his life.

James Gifford wrote:
The date of these on the original site is January 1, 1950 - I wonder if that's a bogus date (e.g. "some time in 1950") or if they really shot on New Year's Day... which would make sense as filming would likely have been suspended that day.

This is fascinating. Perhaps a check of LIFE magazines in 1950 is in order - even a one-page article might explain things. (Hmm, a glance at all the 1950 covers doesn't show anything obvious.)

I'm guessing shortly after 9 December 1949, when the callsheets indicate that DM would have finished shooting. 1 Jan 1950 could have been fictional, as you suggest, or it could be close to the time when Grant sent the negatives to Life.

The callsheets, by the way, are included in the Archives file OPUS065-2.pdf.

See the 24 April 1950 issue of Life for their piece on the movie: "Destination Moon: Hollywood's Version of a Lunar Expedition."

Author:  beamjockey [ Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Script: Destination Moon (Opus G.073) (1948)



I meant to say more about this, but haven't taken the time. See http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Film-Worlds-George-Pal/dp/630594444X.

A kindly commenter on Boingboing pointed this out when my DM behind-the-scenes photo blog entry was featured there. Through the magic of Interlibrary Loan, I borrowed a copy.

On a DVD of a 1985 documentary, The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal, one of the "extras" is a wonderful kinescope. In 1949 station KTLA in Los Angeles sent a mobile unit out every Wednesday to a different part of the city. "The City at Night" would do a live remote broadcast.

This one was from the surface of the Moon. They spend about 20 minutes looking at all the sets for Destination Moon. They interview Pichel, the director, Pal, the producer, Heinlein, Chesley Bonestell, the artist, and Ernst Fegte, the production designer. We see the lunar surface and the control cabin of the Luna, and a bit of the exterior hatch set.

The four main actors in the movie are standing around in spacesuits, with their helmets off. They don't say much, and the camera pays little attention to them. I infer that they were interviewed in the early part of the broadcast, which has been chopped off.

Everyone seems to be smoking all the time.

The Eagle Lion guys allowed the KTLA crew to use their camera boom, so there are fine shots from a variety of heights.

Heinlein only speaks for about a minute, earnestly explaining translunar trajectories to the hostess. She appears to only pretend to understand, but she has a smile ready for all occasions.

Near the end of the show, Heinlein interrupts the hosts to get a Navy lieutenant on-screen for a brief word. Apparently RAH had engineered an opportunity to say a word about rocket research-- always looking out for good PR for the Navy.

It's not only a great look at DM, but also a fascinating glimpse at 1949 TV production.

The DVD also appears in a three-disk set for ardent George Pal fanatics.
http://www.amazon.com/George-Pal-Flight ... 1CG0B96HJ0

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