or maybe not, perhaps it is just ignorance on my part. But until very
recently, I had never even heard of Fritz Lang’s 169 minute follow up to
“Metropolis”; “Woman In The Moon”. Released in 1929 the movie tells the
story of the first successful trip to Earth’s satellite. It is a
melodrama backed by large doses of credible science.
told in three acts. The first act involves skullduggery and established
our central characters. The hero is Helius, the wealthy owner of an
aircraft factory, who is assisted by Hans and Friede. The latter two
have become engaged, an act that has broken the heart of Helius, who has
been secretly in love with Friede. You have old professor Mannfelt,
whose theories about the moon caused him to be laughed out of academia.
There is the young boy Gustav who is enamored with science fiction and
who runs errands for Helius. Finally there is Turner, the evil servant
of a conglomeration of international business interests. Aware that
Helius is preparing a space flight to the moon and also Mannfelt’s
evidence that gold will be found there, Turner has stolen essential
material from Helius and is blackmailing him. His goal is to be part of
the ships crew and see to the conclave’s interests.
second act shows the take off and the flight to the moon. For the first
time on screen the public is introduced to the count down and multi
stage rockets. The significant G-forces involved in escaping the Earth’s
atmosphere are also addressed, along with weightlessness. The latter
concern is dealt with in a novel way via a series of looped belts on the
floor. The astronauts must slip their feet in and out of these to walk.
The crew is Helius, Hans, Freide, Mannfelt and Turner. That is until
they learn that Gustav has stowed away. The trip to the moon takes 36
final act is what happens upon the moon. I’d rather not reveal
specifics but people do die and characters expose their true nature. I’m
not ashamed to admit that the film was able to bring me to tears.
So I’m giving a hearty recommendation that you catch “Woman In The Moon”.