Fritz Lang's WOMAN IN THE MOON
A movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
This 1929 silent film by Metropolis director Fitz Lang is quite amazing. Technical detail (provided by technical expert Hermann Oberth) are surprisingly accurate regarding the actual trip, even though the existence of oxygen on the moon is portrayed.
Especially intriguing is the similarity of both story and physical production details to George Pal’s Destination Moon, a movie released in 1950. In both films industry groups fund the Lunar trip. In Lang’s film, however, we have a woman on board and a woman as part of the funding group; such details were absent from Destination Moon. (I attribute this detail to story-writer Thea von Harbou’s influence who was, I believe, married to Lang at the time).
Another interesting point of comparability between the two films is the use of animated sequences to explain space travel basics. Animation appears several times during Woman; in Destination Moon we have the famous Woody Woodpecker sequence explaining space travel basics.
Keep in mind this is a silent film. In the version I saw, streamed from Netflix through an X-Box Live connection, subtitles were sparse. Still, for historic reasons, I believe that anyone interested in science fiction and space travel should be familiar with this film.
Review copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis D. McDonald